Teaching yoga and working with people in pain to help with healing injuries is an amazing way to make a living. I get paid to play and learn. It is humbling and thrilling and scary all rolled up into one. Helping people process through chronic pain is quite the process. There aren’t always answers at the ready and I often have to think outside the box.
And I am often wrong, or not as effective as I‘d like to be. I recently ran into the sister of an old client who had been working through a series of injuries that left him unable to walk much and barely able to sit at a desk that he needed to be behind for twelve hours a day.
We worked together for a while and made some progress. His walk changed. His core tone improved. His pain diminished by about half. And that is where we parted ways.
When I ran into his sister and asked after him, she told me he was pain free and hiking mountains. Thrilled, I asked what precipitated that turns of events. She told he read John Sarno’s book Healing Back Pain.
Nothing makes me happier though this isn’t a post about John Sarno whose work I love.
There are all types of injury and pain and all different ways to approach healing injuries.
About a month ago I started running regularly again and four weeks later my ankle is stronger than ever. The first week was a bit tenous as I was reminded of unhappy ligaments that had been tweaked. The second week moved up into my fibularis (peroneal) muscles on the outer calf.
Now at week four everything feels rock solid and I am good to go.
Another story of healing that I rarely share with my students and clients goes back a ways to living in Carroll Gardens and running my dogs in Red Hook Park. One sunny day my dog Ollie decided to take me down when I wasn’t looking.
He ran full speed into my leg from the side knocking me off my feet and messing up both my knee and my ankle. Again time passed and I healed but there was a lingering misery in my acchilles tendon that wouldn’t go away.
Watching TV one night, for whatever reason, I decided I had had enough and a light bulb went off above my head. I got off the couch and started squatting with my feet together. It was slow going at first and I was on the verge of tears by the time I got down into the full squat but at the same time I instinctively felt that it could be good.
I was pain free a week later after the ache in the achilles had been with me for a couple of months.
This is not part of my recommended protocol. What I am willing to do is not always what I recommend to others when it comes to healing injuries. But it has worked for me a number of times in the past.