Personal Posts

Thoughts On Healing

Almost one year ago to date, I wrote this post about healing over on my community page on YouTube. It was written in the thick of my current healing experience and, as I now near the end of my recovery from pudendal neuralgia, I want to share it again and expand on what I wrote here.

When I talk to others about healing, I still find myself encouraging the same things—relying radically on yourself, listening to your intuition and cultivating that kind of relationship with your body, embracing trial and error, and trusting in your body’s innate ability to heal itself (given the right conditions and optimal healing environment).

I recognize that these encouragements might sound trite or cliche—and that they might even be frustrating to receive.

I think I can understand that. But I continue to encourage them so often and stand by them so firmly because implementing them has always ultimately led me to my healing, and it’s what’s healing me this time, too.

You may know that I am currently on the tail end of healing from what would have been diagnosed as a chronic pelvic pain condition—a pudendal nerve injury that would very much qualify for the title, “pudendal neuralgia.”

You may not know that this is my fourth “chronic” health condition. I’m 29 years old, and I’ve healed from three other “chronic, mysterious” health conditions by implementing those same encouragements against the recommendations of my healthcare providers in all three scenarios (you can learn more about how I healed two of those conditions—chronic urinary tract infections and GERD—if you’re interested!).

This isn’t me encouraging you not to listen to your providers—it’s me sharing a few things I’ve found to be true about Western healthcare in my experiences not only as a patient, but also as a provider myself:

1. Western medicine should not be demonized. There are certain scenarios where it is AMAZING for healing—especially if your life is in danger or you have a straightforward infection. However, Western medicine is NOT set up to support someone trying to heal a “chronic” condition (I put chronic in quotations because while there is such a thing as a truly chronic, permanent health condition, it is my belief that Western medicine too quickly labels other conditions as chronic, when they are, in fact, curable).

2. Western providers are not taught to heal these “chronic” conditions, they’re taught to manage them. While negligent providers do exist, I generally don’t blame providers nor do I think they should be demonized. They aren’t taught to treat patients holistically, and their productivity standards are insane. Sometimes a well meaning provider really wants to help you, but they don’t have the time. Other times, they don’t have the emotional capacity to invest in you because you’re one of 10-20 patients they’re seeing that day and they have to protect themselves.

3. Pharmaceuticals are not inherently bad, they can be life-changing and life-saving. I don’t take issue with pharmaceuticals, I take issue with their overprescription, the sentiments sometimes attached to them, and the lack of education often associated with their prescription.

If I hadn’t recognized these phenomena and consequently relied radically on myself, listened to my intuition/my body, embraced trial and error, and trusted in my body’s ability to heal, I would have four “chronic” health conditions, and I’d be taking 5-6 prescription medications every day—all before the age of 30. Other than my pudendal nerve injury, I have no health issues, and my daily supplements include a sugar, a mushroom, and a D vitamin.

Don’t demonize Western medicine, but recognize that it isn’t without flaw. Don’t demonize Western providers, but recognize that they may be limited in their knowledge or their mental-emotional ability to help you. Don’t demonize pharmaceuticals, but recognize that they’re overprescribed, they have side-effects, and while they can be incredibly life-giving, other times they’re glorified bandaids that cause more issues than they fix—it just depends on the person and his/her unique physiology.

At the end of the day, no one knows a body like the person living in it—cultivate that relationship, trust your body and your intuition. No one knows if a treatment will work—embrace trial and error, accept that this new intervention will either make you better or bring you one step closer to your healing, and try not to attach yourself to either outcome. And no one is responsible for anyone else’s health except their own—rely radically on yourself, do your research, ask your providers questions, and try to get a new provider if the one you have dismisses you.

Every single person’s body is different, and what works for one person will not work for every person—this is a universal truth, and I would highly recommend avoiding any provider who claims otherwise. In fact, my belief that individualized mechanism of injury should guide interventions has only become stronger with time. I do not mean to convey that there is only one intervention for each person, so much that there is likely a primary intervention essential to each person’s recovery, without which healing would be difficult.

For example, while I do believe that my pudendal nerve healing has been enriched by implementing mindfulness and other mind-body techniques (these greatly improved my mental health, which I do believe can impact the body), I do not believe that I would be where I am today without having addressed my physical dysfunctions, since I had such a clear physical mechanism of injury. However, physical interventions won’t work for everyone, and for those who do need physical intervention, the exercises and modalities that have been tailored specifically to my body and her dysfunction may not align with another person’s needs—and that’s okay! What’s necessary to heal, I think, is truly understanding how you got hurt, and using that understanding to guide interventions. That’s exactly what I aim to provide in my one-on-one pelvic health coaching service, amongst other things.

Finally, I do still very much stand behind this parting message—so much so that I echoed the same sentiment in my about page. You deserve to feel peace in your body and your mind, and you are so much more powerful than you think you are. I’m not special, and how I’ve been able to heal isn’t unique. Anyone can do what I’ve done and what I’m doing—including you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.