Shifting the Focal Point
"What will it look like when you reach your goal?"
This is a "Wisdom of Myofascial Release Inspiration Card", created by fellow MFR therapist Karla Quello. I have this particular one hanging in the office and just last week I discussed this message with a patient. You see, in my experience 99% of people who seek out physical therapy treatment do so because they are in pain....and PAIN too often becomes the focal point for people when gauging their progress. People have been conditioned to rate it, from 0 to 10 and we could easily get focused on the number, or at least on the sensation of pain. This card is a reminder that there are LOTS of other ways to gauge progress, especially for those people dealing with chronic pain....pain lasting for 3 months or longer. So I encourage patients to shift their focal point, and their goal, to something other than the pain scale.
"What do you want to be able to DO that you can't right now?"
What are you struggling with that you want to be able to do easier or without so many limitations? Is it walking a couple blocks? Getting on the floor to play with your children? Being able to help residents transfer from their bed to their wheelchairs at work? Swinging a baseball bat? Getting a restful night's sleep? Keeping up with your friends when hiking?
Now picture what it will LOOK like when you reach that goal. What it will FEEL like to be able to do X, Y or Z. Picture all the details of attaining your goal, your transformation, if you will. Is the sun shining? Who is with you? What are you wearing? How excited do you feel? How energized are you? Picture yourself going through the motions. Set a time frame....pick a date of when you will reach your goal. Write it on the calendar. Make it as concrete as you can. And now DO this everyday (or when you're most aware of your pain or limitations).....visualize what it will LOOK like when you reach your goal. If you don't reach your goal by the date you set, it's okay, just take some time out to reflect on the progress you DID make toward that goal. Pat yourself on the back for working toward it. Then pick a new date and keep on working!
I find that it helps people to keep a journal. Don't worry, you don't have to share it with anyone except yourself. It can be simple, just a narrative of what you can and cannot do, as a record of what you're struggling with now so you can look back in the future and have some concrete ways in which you've changed. Don't make it all about the pain. Focus on your current abilities and the activities that you want to be able to do. Jot down any thoughts or feelings that come up. It helps to include what you CAN do so you see the positive side of your situation as well.
To me, there's nothing better than helping people feel better and move easier, to hear the joy in their voice when they start reaching their goals! I would love the chance to help you reach YOUR goals. After all, there are things that can be done to help you along....it's not all about sitting around visualizing the outcome. If you're not sure where to start we can help!
The Healing Spot Physical Therapy, LLC serves the communities of Woodland Park, Divide, Florissant, Lake George, Green Mountain Falls, Cascade, and Manitou Springs, Colorado. If you are interested in specialist physical therapy care, we’d love to help you move easier and feel better. If you're struggling with pain or immobility and would like some help, reach out to us. Call us at 719.270.1123, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out an inquiry form.
Justine Calderwood, PT, MSPT is the owner and physical therapist at The Healing Spot Physical Therapy, LLC in beautiful Woodland Park, CO. Since 2002 she has been helping people just like you feel better and move easier, by providing one-on-one hands-on therapy and educating people on what they can do at home to help themselves. She specializes in treating chronic and unresolved pain and conditions that haven't responded to other forms of treatment.
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