Section 1 has 5 different types of psychological skills training. I weight those heavily because as is true with much in life, the healing and recovery battle is won or lost between your ears.
1. Deep breathing. This is one of the only proven ways to slow your body down and put it in a parasympathetic state (recovery state) easily. Deep breathing affects your bodies rhythms and can help reduce pain and speed up healing if done consistently.
2. Progressive relaxation. This is where you learn to hone in on different body parts and consciously relax them. This can help reduce muscle tension, which can reduce pain and bodily stress.
3. Affirmations. These may seem cheesy but they are important. Speaking things over yourself can actually change your body. When you always say “I have a bad (back, knee, leg, etc.) your body hears that and follows. When you speak things like “it’s going to better if I work at it”, which is true but positive, it will actually make you get better faster.
4. Visualization. Getting an idea of what the ailing body part looks like and intentionally envisioning the body part becoming healthier and stronger, can potentially make it happen faster. It also builds confidence that it will happen, which leads to greater overall program compliance.
5. Conceptual reorientation. Sometimes people have the wrong ideas about things. They don’t understand pain, healing, rehab, the variables that influence how we feel everyday, etc. Learning about these things helps make sense of them and reduces the likelihood of worry (which makes pain much worse).
Section 2 has 7 possible nutrition modifications. Remember the old saying “you are what you eat?” Well, it’s kind of true.
1. Anti-inflammatory diets. These reduce inflammatory substances in your bloodstream and thereby reduce inflammatory reactions in injured tissues. The major things to eliminate are sugar, dairy, wheat, fried food, and genetically modified organisms.
2. Weight loss diets. Each pound of bodyweight can add up to 4 pounds of stress to weight bearing joints and can significantly stress our spine as well. Losing weight (especially in the abdomen) can reduce stress on inflamed and damaged tissue which reduces pain and quickens recovery.
3. Detox diets. These are anti-inflammatory diets on steroids. Usually done for 1-5 days, detox diets would involve eating only raw organic fruits and vegetables and very little else. This purges toxic substances from cells that can cause inflammation.
4. Omission diets. These are dumbed down anti-inflammatory diets where you eliminate only one thing at a time to see how much your pain changes after each omission. You’d be amazed at how much you might discover by doing this.
5. Water quantity/quality adjustments. This is as it sounds. Simply drink more water (1/2 ounce per pound of bodyweight per day) and drink water with higher quality (reverse osmosis with alkalization is best).
6. Chemical stress reduction. This is partly done through detox diets but would also include working to eliminate or reduce medication consumption. You’d be amazed at how many OTC and prescription meds can aggravate pain conditions!
Section 3- Supplements and Section 7- Therapeutic Interventions are pretty straight forward so I’ll leave those out of my description.
Section 5 has 7 different exercise solutions that should all be used together.
1. Locomotion. This just means walking more. Within physical limitations of course. Walking is a great way to get a dose of virtually all of these other exercise solutions.
2. Joint specific active motion. This means moving the affected body part/s repeatedly, to increase blood flow and joint lubrication. This can often act like medicine and sometimes even reduce pain immediately.
3. Flexibility training. Working to improve range of motion in joints that are restricted can reduce bodily stress and pain and accelerate healing.
4. Muscle activation training. Using the MAT process, we can get muscles to work better which improves range of motion, alignment and strength. It also reduces stress on injured tissue which causes faster healing.
5. Positional strength training. Getting stronger in joint positions that hurt can make it less painful to be in those positions.
6. Dynamic strength training. This increases the overall strength of the body, which can reduce the likelihood of injury or the recurrence of the ailment.
7. Cardiovascular training. This will enhance blood flow through your body, which is critical for healing.
Section 4 has 5 different ways we can adjust our lifestyle to reduce bodily stress which would aggravate pain and slow healing.
1. Planned rest/recovery periods. Every body part gets stressed when it gets used. If it is used a lot the stress is higher, if less it is lower. Certain tissues need more time to recover than others and not all of them can keep up with our desired activity schedule. Planning when, how often, for how long, and how intensely you will do things makes a BIG difference in how well your body will keep up over the long term.
2. Biomechanical alterations to movement. There may be 100 different ways to do something, but there’s usually only one best way. The same is true for how you move. The way you walk, bend, twist, lift and do anything else makes a big difference in how your body feels day to day. One simple tweak can sometimes make a world of difference.
3. Posture training. When we are sitting or standing our body is opposing gravity and it takes work to keep it in a good alignment. Being focused and intentional on keeping good posture helps save our body from uneven stresses that can prolong painful problems.
4. Strategic activity reintroduction. If you have had to stop doing something because of pain and now want to reintroduce it, you have to gradually increase the dose just like you would with a medicine. Doing too much too quick is a recipe for disaster.
5. Sleep adjustments. If you hurt more upon waking up, part of it may be due to a bad sleep position. Trying other positions can help you find one that your body likes better.
Phew! Was that enough to chew on for one week? Now you have all my secrets on one chart! Oh and don’t forget praying to God for help since He is the manufacturer.
God bless you and Happy Healing!