I’ve had a really interesting week, this week, through engaging with my healing in a completely different manner from any I’ve done before.
I had an appointment with Dom Koch from https://www.decrypt-bodywork.com/ on Tuesday, my intention being for Dom to give me some exercises to help begin stabilising and strengthening my core. What I hadn’t expected was the long conversation we had around the relationship you build with any operation / scar tissue post operation. Dom was telling me that he has had numerous clients who have come to him, with lower back pain that stems from an appendicitis operation 20 to 30 years previously. As we talked I was explaining how vulnerable I had felt post operation and also how nervous I had felt about certain movements (it had taken me a few days to comfortably stand upright). What he explained to me was how the body creates these dark areas, where we avoid using our body for movement, to protect and keep them safe. The impact of this is other parts of the body overworking, learning new movement patterns that will ultimately lead to injury and overuse issues. This makes absolute sense to me and something I wanted to avoid.
The conversation continued and he begun to talk about the process he suggested following – which was to really engage with my scar, touching it and considering how it has healed, where it has healed. Whilst doing this he advised me get a piece of paper and write down the feelings that arose. As I listened I could feel a large mental / physical aversion to doing any such thing, which made me realise I really had to. Dom offered to send me videos that would talk me though the process.
I received the videos the next day (Weds) and begun to watch the first video. This made me feel nervous and uncomfortable, so I stopped watching and begun to allow the thought settle – which scar (of the 3 I have post op) would I be able to start this with first?
By Thursday evening I felt comfortable enough to re-watch the video and follow the instructions. It took me through 3 separate areas:
- The physical and emotional relationship I had with the scar.
- The associations I had with the scar – who was there at the time of the op and post op to help heal.
- What has changed for me subsequent to the operation – what I can or can’t do (down to looking at the scars themselves).
Following this first video, the second shorter video then encouraged me to breathe into the area with the scar and feel whether I was able to or not. As I travelled through the process my anxiety / nervousness gave way to curiosity and confidence in how my body had healed. I found that this was exactly the same with the second and third scars. Where I noticed the greatest change was when I showered on Friday evening. Up until this point I had been very wary of washing my stomach at all, either consciously or not. However on Friday I found that I was more than happy to give my stomach a decent scrub and clean – no worries about the scars and my stomach.
The sense of confidence I had in my bodies healing, alongside the reengagement I had with the areas cut open amazed me – all through the simple act of taking some time with each scar, really considering what it had meant to me, from a physical, emotional and associative point of view. I can feel a difference in my outlook towards myself (all part of the valuable healing process) and reinforces the manner in which our body internalises trauma and the measures it will go to to protect us.
I also considered just how valuable a process this would be to anyone who has been operated on, returning home from hospital in terms of rehabilitation. It would be wonderful if post any surgical / medical procedure you could be directed to a short series of videos that may help you heal. In terms of cost it is so incredibly cheap. The cost of making the videos once, then nothing for the patient using to help heal. Long term it allows people to utilise their bodies as fully as possible, reducing the risk of injuries that are a direct result of compensatory movement patterns. It is a shame that this isn’t something that is far more widely utilised.