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A Body In Motion: How To Recover From Injury (And Feeling The Winter Blues)

laurafenamoreIt feels like it happened yesterday – literally. The pain in my knees is a constant reminder of that beautiful run I took on my 45th birthday. Torn meniscus, said the doctor. Surgery was the answer. But five years later, having had the surgery (and then again on the other knee), things have never been quite the same as they were.

I’ve learned a lot about myself (not just my knees) through this process. Recovering has been much more arduous than I would have expected. Exercise keeps me happy, but my movement was at first seriously limited, and I am still not able to run yet. I continue to adjust my exercise regimen DRASTICALLY.

Now, I basically take all of the effort I used to put into exercising my body, and pour it into being PATIENT and LOVING with it instead.

I have found that pursuing alternative treatments to manage my joint pain and help me to recover not only gives me a sense of purpose but they actually work. I’ve discovered some amazing treatments and practices that would benefit many recovering from a whole variety of ailments and/or injuries.

1. Acupuncture
An ancient Chinese medicinal practice, acupuncture involves a trained technician inserting needles into certain points on the patient’s body. The process is painless and bloodless; the needles simply redirect the flow of energy throughout the body. Acupuncture has developed a great following even among medical professionals and was declared beneficial by the National Institute of Health. It can be used to manage a variety of issues such as arthritis, nausea, and, as in my case, pain.

2. Herbal remedies
Like acupuncture, herbal remedies often follow ancient traditions, such Chinese and Indian medicine. A knowledgeable practitioner can prescribe a course of treatment for you using all natural, over-the-counter herbs, teas, and supplements. I, for example, take all kinds of herbal tonics for my joints and send love to the joints as I drink them down.

3. Meditation
Your mental state is incredibly important to your physical recovery. Even 10 minutes of meditation a day can lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety, and help depression and insomnia. Facing your thoughts about your injury or illness head on, instead of pushing them aside, helps you deal with them more effectively.

4. Positive Thinking
Although we can’t control the Uni-verse with our minds, we do attract what we think! Dwelling on your condition, falling into despair or depression, will only sink you further into that reality. Take control by imagining what you want and deserve and believe that it is in the process of happening! You are recovering; you are getting better. Perhaps write a daily affirmation of health to say right before bed.
i.e., My body is always trying to correct itself and I know that powerful healing is taking place within me right now.

OR

Every cell of my body is saying YES to life and is revitalized by the pure love and light I give my body every day.

5. Stay Active
Don’t let a setback stop you all together from being active. I may not be able to run outside right now, however, I belong to a gym and use the equipment with less joint impact. I also do yoga, swim, hike and walk – whatever your injury, there are other options to keep moving without exacerbating your symptoms. Talk to a trainer or doctor for ideas tailored to your needs.

Every day, I love my body through its process of healing. My life has changed, and while I may not know what that will mean tomorrow or even a few years down the road. What I DO know, is that I am willing to create enough self-love and self-care every day to love my body and honor it – even through limited mobility, pain, or discord.

My body is my HOME, and I love it no matter what. For today, that means that I am willing to embrace slowing down to be as STRONG as I can and to create energy of healing all around me.

What if any, alternative healing modalities have supported your health and well-being? I welcome your comments below.

Love,

Laura

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Weight Release & Body Image Expert Laura Fenamore supports women around the world to love who they see in the mirror. Having overcome her own battle with addiction, obesity, and eating disorders, Laura released 100 pounds 25 years ago. She has chronicled this journey in her new book, Weightless: The Be Good To Yourself Diet. Learn more about Laura’s programs, or invite her to speak by visiting her website at OnePinky.com, her Facebook Pages and connect with Laura on Twitter.

  • Brandy Priest

    Thank you for sharing your story. I needed to hear this, especially with 2014 around the corner. I am a dancer and truly love flowing my body to the beat of all types of music. Last Dec in 2012, I finally took that leap of faith to open my own dance studio. Right when everything was finally coming together and injury changed my life forever. In March 2013, I fell off a horse and my knee smacked a railroad tie on the ground and shot my knee cap sideways. I had major reconstructive knee surgery, torn meniscus, torn acl, pcl, mcl, everything. I have been laid up most of 2013 and had to get another surgery the week of Christmas as well. I have yet to be able to dance fully and I have had work on my patience through this difficult process. I know my knee will never be the same and the things I once was able to do with ease will now be more difficult. Having patience with myself, and still having hope and faith that one day I will be able to dance again is what is getting me through this year long process. Finding other ways to move my body with the music without doing leaps and turns on the knee, has helped some. I just know I can not give up when dancing is my passion. Just got to take it one day at a time and love myself through this recovery process. Keep me posted when you are able to run again because that gives me the extra push of hope that I can get through this too : ) -Brandy Priest

    • Laura

      how about being open to the possibility that the knee will never be the same however, it can be better? or different and older? just always looking for the bright and sunny side for both of us Brandy.

      With love and happy New Year wishes. xo, laura

  • Martie

    So true! I love that western medicine is beginning to recognize the really important role alternative treatments can play in so many health challenges.

    In my late 40’s I began to experience hip pain. I went to my doctor, was told I had arthritis, offered prescription pain medications and sent on my way. A dozen years later, I have a prosthetic hip and arthritis in my knees, other hip, back, shoulders and hands. OW!

    My surgeon recommended that my other hip be replaced, but I realized that I can’t replace all my joints and need to learn how to live with the challenges I have. This sent me on a beautiful journey through the world of alternative treatments. No one thing has been a magic bullet, but each makes a major contribution toward the whole.

    Today, I receive regular acupuncture treatments, employ herbal remedies, practice Tai Chi and Yoga, walk, and meditate daily. These treatments and activities have allowed me to live an active, hopeful and happy life without any mechanical aids or pain medications of any kind. (OK – I do take an Ibuprofen once in a while before a long car trip. :) )

    Western medicine is amazing and works regular miracles. It is, in my opinion, limited in its ability to manage long term, chronic issues. This is when we need to seriously consider stepping up and becoming active participants in our own care. I am so different today – in a good way – and still working to hone the process. Recently, I had an arthritis checkup and my doctor said that my arthritis has not worsened at all since last time. Have I stopped the progression? I’ll never know – but the possibility is encouraging…

    • Laura

      HOPE AND POSSIBILITY.

      Love that. thank you for your reply. wishing you peace, and health in 2014.

      xo, Laura