Have you ever had one of those nagging pains? Not anything serious enough to get worked up about, but that just won't go away. Then one day, "Pop!" A loud noise, a sharp pain, and you can barely walk. That happened to me this month, and what's happened since reminded me of a basic truth of healing that I often overlook.
It was a bit ironic that the big pop happened just after I had been to visit my family doctor about this nagging pain that was shooting down the outside of my right leg. Sciatica, or so we thought, and it could well have been. Rarely are health challenges one dimensional or singular without ripple effects to surrounding areas. Yet, the loud pop indicated that something else was amiss as well.
Two days later, I'm back in my family doctor's office and she offered an on-site acupuncture treatment that was hugely helpful. She sent me down the street to the herb shop where I asked the cashier to help me find the vitamins and supplements that my doctor recommended to aid in my healing.
Later that week, my chiropractor saw me for an alignment of my hips, knees and ankle that had slipped out of place because I was walking wonky. I also met with my Brainspotting practitioner to explore some contributing emotional and mental factors that were exacerbating the pain. The next week, the massage therapist offers a specific type of massage that my doctor said would be particularly helpful for the problem.
In the midst of all this, I received many messages from friends to let me know they were praying for me and to offer help with anything I might need. My online friends offered encouraging words and companionship as I was stuck in my house and not able to go much of anywhere. My husband suddenly found himself in the role of my caregiver. He cooked, washed dishes and clothes, drove me to my appointments, and has been my legs for everything I can't get myself.
You heard me right. I said "can't". I dislike that word in general. It's not a word that a wellness coach likes to hear and rarely ever says out loud. We are in the job of empowering people to make changes that will move our clients towards wholeness. "Can't" is a limiting word that people often say when they feel trapped.
In my case after that big "pop", can't was my true reality. I really couldn't run up and down the stairs of my split level home and do my normal activity. I needed help. I really couldn't drive with my right leg without a lot of pain. I really couldn't reset the joints in my body that were out of place by myself. I really couldn't stick acupuncture needles into the backs of my own legs. I needed help.
The basic truth of healing is that it often happens within the context of community. It takes people other than yourself to journey alongside you to find your way towards it. It's a journey you can rarely travel alone.
Healing communities can take different forms.
For most of us, one of our healing communities is our circle of medical professionals that we trust to guide and direct us towards the medical interventions that will be most likely conducive to our healing. This includes our doctors, nurses, medical office staff, medical facility personnel, technicians, and those who have been trained in a specific type of healing modality, like massage therapists, wellness coaches, pharmacists/herb specialists, etc.
Another type of healing community is a support group. People who have gone through or are currently going through what you are experiencing can offer helpful insight, encouragement, and support that others may not know how to express. Support groups are also great sources of information about which medical providers and community resources that others have found helpful for different needs you may have.
Another type of healing community is a faith community or a church. Friends from church can offer practical help during challenging circumstances, create space to listen to your experiences, and pray for your healing.
More than ever, many of us our also finding help through the greater community of commerce. Many things can now be delivered right to your door, like the HelloFresh or DoorDash meals that my husband and I have been enjoying since this happened. Nearly every week we get at least one package with something that we ordered online. There is a long line of people from the manufacturer to the distributor to the delivery company that brought those to us.
There's an old saying that says, "No one is an island." This is so true. For true and lasting healing to occur, it most often has to happen together, alongside other people.
Are you ready to find your healing community? If so, consider checking out the websites below for some ways to hold the hands of others that can walk together with you as you navigate your path towards your healing.
Support Groups & Mentoring:
Stress Management Coaching:
Pain Management Coaching: