What does healing mean?
Updated: Mar 17
True healing is a whole person process that occurs layer by layer over time. It is an integration through release and digestion of what has been, and then a resilience that emerges leading to growth and integration of the whole human: physical, spiritual, and mental.
You might ask, well, but I just have neck pain or knee pain or low back pain. This is not a whole person process. Yes, but, your muscles or ligaments or tendons do not exist in a vacuum. They exist in relationship. And what do they exist in relationship to? Each other, fascia, the nervous system, the organs, the emotions, thinking, the circumstances of your life. Everything exists in relationship to everything else. This is also wonderful news! Healing then in one area can also affect all other areas in a positive way.
Furthermore, while we might use measurement devices to look at the “healthy” numbers that make up a healthy organism, ultimately, the healing of the body as led by the innate intelligence will be far more intricate than our educated intelligence can create or understand. Meaning your healing journey might begin with neck pain, however, when the healing begins to unwind this pain, we have truly no idea how far reaching that healing will be in assisting with the innate’s ability to heal into equilibrium multiple other facets of one’s ultimate well being: physically, spiritually, and mentally.
Deep healing then may occur during the process of the body having its cellular healing process whereby the person may begin to feel more “whole” and at ease. This is ultimately a process of landing back into the spiritual element of oneself. This wholeness is healing and so, one might even see this healing inside of someone preparing to shed the body. In addition, this sense of well being can be cultivated during a healing process in order to help facilitate the healing process along, as we now know that the coherence that occurs with such cultivation actually contributes greatly to overall healing inside of the entire human organism.
When physical, spiritual, and mental healing come together, now we have a process of wholeness that allows the eternal part of us to inhabit a body and mind that is also healthier and more capable of bringing us through life in a resilient way. At our center we become more courageous, more growth oriented, and our body is able to meet and overcome the “Three T’s” of life’s stressors in a way in which it uses them as fuel for growth vs. causes of breakdown. In other words: the innate intelligence of every cell knows what to do with the 3 T’s, and, it has the capacity to do the work.
In a deep healing process we begin to look at focusing more on “functioning better” than on “feeling better.” Feeling better is the desire for instantaneous escape from pain or discomfort. Functioning better is a process where our whole being: body, mind, and soul can gain the resilience we are speaking of to meet life.
In this way healing becomes a process that occurs over time, and, as I began, it is layer by layer. I also believe that because healing is a process of growth and transformation as built into us as the seasons are built into nature, we will be faced with the opportunity to engage in healing processes throughout our lives in a myriad of ways. It’s not a one time “now I am fixed” process. Healing, in essence, is the process of life unfolding.
The layers model I like to look at with healing is like a “spiral” effect of coming into harmony, then into “disharmony” or “disturbed status quo” in order to then learn as a whole being how to orient to life in a greater and even more whole way than before. We then “move” into another tier of existence where we can meet more of life: physically, mentally, and spiritually. This concept is inspired by the work of Spiral Dynamics (https://spiraldynamics.org/blog/) and their model of societal integration and growth.
Of course even with these models and ideas, healing remains beyond the realm of educated intelligence. We can look at it, model it, measure it, and still, it gives us it’s experience. It’s often confusing, two steps forward and one step back. This path working then this path not working. It asks us to be alive, self-aware, and participatory. Healing then, and life, aren’t “set it and forget it.” It is a process of aliveness to the current of now-experience as it moves through us internally and externally.
We grow, we feel better, we emerge into a feeling of wholeness, and then we forget this sensation and journey back. And along the way we find healers, helpers, and methods that hold us for awhile on the journey of life, which is a process that asks us to remain awake to healing. Of course, not all will want to orient to the process in this way. We mainly live in a culture of fix it and forget it. Still, inside of our being, our cells, our human experience, is an invitation to participate in the depth of attention possible to a whole new and deeply enriching experience of being alive.
Generally this process is much quieter and attuned than the fast paced go from high to high culture avoid fear and avoid feeling culture that we live in. In fact that culture continues to create the need to heal, thus, the invitation arrives again and again from our very own innate intelligence as connected to a greater whole of universal intelligence.
Invitations to engage in healing, as changes of behavior and changes of relationship within our bodies, our lives, our dearest relations, our communities, and our relationship to the earth that hosts us are all around. The beauty of this is that we truly exist in relationship to all that is. As we engage in a microcosmic way, it ripples into the macrocosm: metaphysically, and directly through our contact with others.
How do we apply this in our office?
I might sound like a broken record, but the most primary way we apply this is through how we view a person who comes to us for care. Simply holding them in a space of wholeness to know that all is connected to all can create the space for healing to emerge for that person over time.
Everyone has their own way in which they want to enter into a deeper relationship with what is happening in their life. Through our care we offer the opportunity for greater awareness through our work on the table. As we offer the body the help it is asking for to become more aware of itself and the ability to release and digest that which it is holding, healing begins to occur.
We also assist the body to function better biomechanically so that it can do what it knows how to do- communicate cell to cell in without blockage in order to re-establish continuity, coherence, and healing.
We also operate with awareness of the principles of time: there are simply things that occur in the body that require a more rapid attention to repair. We don’t offer diagnosis or cure, and so when we become aware that this might be necessary, we will refer to networks of other providers. We like to be sure we see change and a movement in the right direction in order to safely hold our clients inside of the trust it requires to go through a healing process.
With respect then we enter into the healing relationship with others, walking with them through short term acute desires to find equilibrium, or longer term experiences of integration with life, transformation, and growth through the multiple chapters of ease and then challenge that life presents.
This might be far down the rabbit hole, but I like this video from chiropractor Peter Kevorkian talking about “salutogenesis” and chiropractic: https://vimeo.com/299304945
Salutogenesis, roughly stated, is a way of looking at methods that work with the healing power of the body to help bring about more health, vs. the fighting of pathology.
Check out our podcast where Dr. Austin and I discuss the topic as it is released in the next few weeks!
One of the most powerful tools I know is to direct yourself towards a healing image. We grow towards the light that can place hope into, so long as that which we hope does not seem so far “out there” that we can’t truly connect to it. The healing image is that image for you that you want to move in the direction of. The more you can write down what it is you want to bring about, the more clarity you can have in terms of the helpers you engage with along the way, and, that light you can return to looking at when you find yourself in the contraction of fear or doubt or symptomatology.
The guided meditation I love for this is either the 10 or 30 minute version of “Golden Healing Heart Coherence” I developed and placed on the free app Insight Timer. The 10 minute version is here: insig.ht/gm_41489 The 30 minute version is still awaiting approval but should be loaded soon.