THE BLOG

A Reminder On Mindfulness, Straight From the Physical Therapist's Office

18 years ago I was diagnosed with scoliosis. Until recently, I never had any issues with it.

Out of nowhere it seemed, I started to experience pain like never before. It was extremely disruptive; affecting my sleep, work, and social life.

I finally took matters into my own hands and began seeing a specialized physical therapist, whose practice focuses on scoliosis patients.

Starting PT for the first time in my life, I expected to learn some new movements or exercises to eradicate this pain. As my therapy kicked off, I was assigned daily exercises to do at home, with new ones added to my regimen each session.

Several sessions later, I realized I was still doing some of the exercises (shown to me several times by now) incorrectly. I was visibly frustrated, and my therapist quickly comforted me and told me it was normal that my body wasn't catching on yet.

She explained how it took time for the body and muscles to learn how to move in new ways. How the muscles are "lazy" - not in the negative sense - but that our muscles will typically revert to the way they have always done things (and not necessarily the new or best way).

Hearing her explain this struck a huge chord with me.

I realized our thinking and thought patterns can be just like our muscles. Sometimes (or always) our thoughts can be lazy. They can divert back to what we already believe and know (in our heads) to be true. It takes a lot of work and mindfulness to break out of our bad thinking habits and to start using our thoughts in a new, unfamiliar way, which can be downright difficult or scary to do. When we're faced with something - we'll naturally react and think about it the way we typically do, because we always have in that way. Unless we've become self-aware of how that thinking gets us nowhere - and that new thoughts must emerge to move forward.

Over time, with daily practice of this PT routine, I've slowly starting to change my muscles' normal way of moving. For the first time in two years, my back pain has dwindled significantly.

Sometimes the most difficult thing is the new thing, the uncharted territory - yet that new thing or undiscovered place may be just the thing that abolishes our pain and suffering.

I'm going to keep this in mind as I continue to try and engage new ways of using my muscles to get my back and my body in a more harmonious place. And the minute my thoughts get lazy - I'll remind myself the importance of using my thoughts in a new way to achieve positive results.

If you know someone who could use a shift in their thinking, share this with them. And what are some "lazy" thoughts that are blocking you from moving forward in your life? Any reminders to yourself to move past them? Share below!

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