Mind-Body-Spirit connections: body and mind

Last month I wrote about the mind-body connection. How our thoughts and emotions can have a very real physical impact and how our bodies communicate with us through physical ailments such as chronic pelvic pain. Fortunately our bodies can also communicate with our minds in more subtle ways. However, most of us don’t actually take the time or know how to listen. This has certainly been true for most of my life and, honestly, is still true for me most days. Taking time to be still without any distractions is a direct contradiction to the culture around us. Yet there is a treasure waiting for us when we do, and we don’t have to look any further than within ourselves.

mind-body - when sex hurts there is hopeAs I progress down my own healing journey I am slowly learning how to listen to my body. Continue reading

Mind-Body-Spirit connections: mind and body

I shared last month that the more recent years in my healing journey have been about exploring the mind-body-spirit connections.  The first of these connections that I started to recognize in myself is that of mind and body.  This started first by acknowledging that my body is not just a machine with my mind at the controls.  My body is a separate part of me.  It works in connection with my mind (and spirit), but it can respond to thoughts in a myriad of ways. It can also communicate quite directly to my consciousness, if I will only listen to it.

mind-body - when sex hurts there is hopeThis is not to say that addressing the “mechanics” of my body is not an important aspect of healing. I have specific physical injuries that need physical treatment.  The hypertonic muscles of my pelvic floor required physical therapy to heal.  Just as the atrophied and enflamed tissues of my vestibule required hormone treatment to recover.  For some people, these physical treatments are enough to bring them back to good health.  But for me, my physical pains are connected to more than just their physical triggers.  I have been going to physical therapy for seven years now and, while I acknowledge there are more “mechanical” aspects to healing from chronic pain, I believe full healing will only come when I address the broken connections between my mind, body and spirit. Continue reading

Mind-Body-Spirit connections: a preview

mind-body-spirit - when sex hurts there is hopeAs I walk through my healing journey I have found that I never stop learning and discovering. In recent years, much of my learning has been around the idea of a mind-body-spirit connection.  I am learning that I am mind, body, and spirit (or soul) and each is distinct yet entirely one at the same time.  All three aspects of myself can connect and communicate uniquely with each other.

This concept has been more than a little difficult to understand as I am a very logical, mind-based individual.  But, as I am opening up to these ideas I find that I am healing on new levels.  Continue reading

The Mind-Body-Spirit Connection at a local support group

I’m excited to share that the Orange County Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Support Group is hosting a talk on Considering the Mind-Body-Spirit Connection.  The guest speaker will be Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT who you may remember from my review of her book, Healing Through Chronic Pain.

Mary Ruth Velicki, MS, DPT will present concepts about the mind-body-spirit connection using information from the literature, her personal experiences, and case examples using clients with interstitial cystitis. The purpose of this talk is to introduce a holistic approach and new avenues that may be helpful for healing. The role of the nervous system will be highlighted along with concrete strategies to calm both the body and mind. Continue reading

Healing Through Chronic Pain

Mary Ruth Velicki is a fellow pelvic pain sufferer with her own unique healing journey.  healing through chronic pain - when sex hurts there is hopeDetermined to find relief from intense, debilitating pelvic pain that plagued her for years, she tried a plethora of treatments from the Western, Eastern, and alternative sides of medicine. To her surprise, she underwent incredible healing that extended beyond her physical body to her full person and experienced many direct connections between her body, mind, and spirit. In Healing Through Chronic Pain, Mary Ruth recounts her five-year journey of “healing through the layers” and personal transformation. Along the way, she shares the treatment strategies she used and the support she received from a team of professionals to move past the pain and to heal her whole being.

I was initially drawn into Mary Ruth’s story because of its similarity to my own pain journey (we even share some of the same caregivers).  I’m amazed at the level of detail she recounts of her journey—she must have kept very good notes about her pain, treatments, and personal experiences throughout.  But what really deepened my interest was as she began explaining the part of her journey through Eastern medicine and alternative approaches to healing.  One of the unique traits that she brings is her background as a physical therapist.  This not only allows her to understand and explain her symptoms very specifically and anatomically, but also to approach these non-traditional healing methods with a skepticism that provides objective descriptions of her experiences.

In reading Healing Through Chronic Pain, Mary Ruth brought up concepts that I hadn’t necessarily considered yet made a lot of sense as I thought through my own pain journey.  The descriptions of her personal experiences are so complete that it opened up my own thinking to these aspects of healing.  Continue reading