Success in the Abdominal Healing Process

Transcript of video:

Hello everybody, Isabel spradlin here.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to bring up something that I think is really important when you’re working with resolving pain, discomfort, distress in your belly. I wanted to share with you what I have seen happen most reliably, with the people who get the most relief of all of the folks that I’ve worked with over the years, of all the people who have worked with the online programs here on this site

I want to share this with you because I want you to have that same success, and it’s worth at least thinking about. I just wanted to briefly talk about what some of those things are. 

As you know, hopefully you know if you’ve signed up for any of my programs, from the tour of free resources, to the getting started program, to the full recovery program, the first video of the series includes a discussion of how to think about adhesions of course, what to do about them of course, but also I talked about this issue that when you are resolving distress anywhere in your body (but I think it’s most profound in the belly), when you are resolving that distress, there are often a lot of emotions that come up with that resolution, with the healing process. 

I want to encourage you to really take seriously the idea that it may be a good idea to seek out a counselor, or a therapist, a psychotherapist of some sort, to help you work through this process, because I know it can be a burly process. I’ve seen over and over again that folks who are going through this need that extra support, and it’s very helpful in the healing process. So that’s the first and sort of primary thing that I would like you to consider. 

The second thing that you know, especially if you’re part of the recover program, is that movement is a huge piece of recovery. I also recognize that movement can be really tricky, especially if you’re experiencing acute or chronic pain, or pain that’s very debilitating, that makes you feel like you cannot stand up, you can’t move, you can’t go about your daily life, I get it. Not only have I myself experienced that kind of pain, I work regularly with people who are experiencing that kind of pain, and I by no means intend to diminish what that is like. 

I also want to say that movement, regular movement, even when you’re in pain, speeds the healing process. Our bodies as humans, we are made for movement. Our bodies, our cellular structure, the way our bodies are put together, our bodies expect movement, and we really function best overall, not just in the healing process, but in all parts of our lives when movement is part of that. 

I really encourage you to find a way, even if it’s very gentle movement each day. Maybe if it’s taking your movement up a step, maybe from gentle stretching or a slow walk around the block, just seeing if there’s anything else that you can add in. Maybe some gentle yoga, maybe gentle Pilates, maybe working with a physical therapist. Anything you can do to encourage movement in your daily routine really will help you to recover faster. 

Those are the two primary things that I see the most successful people. Successful in that they they really make it through this process of healing from chronic, even very debilitating abdominal pain. They’d usually have some form of those two things in place. 

And another thing, even if you can’t afford or just don’t want to see a therapist, a psychotherapist of some sort, it can be really useful to find just a friend who gets it, who’s willing to listen to you and help you process through some of what you are experiencing. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal relationship that gets you there, but just creating space in your life for that processing to happen. 

There are a couple of other things that I just want to list really quickly that I see be really beneficial to people in this overall process of moving out of the pain or distress that they’re experiencing in their belly, back into full function and into feeling really good. 

  1. It can be really helpful to find a counselor or psychotherapist to help you with the emotional component of whatever you are resolving. 
  2. Movement, exercise any way that you can figure out to make that happen in your daily routine is so profound to the healing process. 
  3. Also people often love to work with acupuncturists. And I know that there are lots of varying forms of acupuncture. Please don’t give up on the whole modality if you’ve had maybe one practitioner who wasn’t able to help you. There’s a huge breadth of knowledge in Chinese medicine and in acupuncture and different practitioners quite frankly know different things. Just like in every modality, different practitioners are good at working with different types of situations, different health issues. I really encourage you to not give up on any form of treatment just because you’ve had maybe one practitioner who really didn’t work out. Acupuncture is a really great thing to consider. 
  4. Working with a naturopathic doctor is something that very many of my clients and people who are working with the online programs have chosen to do, and that’s because naturopathic doctors hold a huge breadth of information, not just about supplements but about lifestyle and how to really treat your pain through how you live your life. 
  5. Another thing to consider is working with an herbalist, a nutritionist, or dietician. Each of these forms of nutritional counseling come with different levels of education and you’ll want to research that a little bit for yourself, but I definitely see people really benefitting from thinking about how diet, nutrition, and moving beyond that, how different natural herbs grown from the ground and used in a medicinal way can really affect the whole body, the whole system, the gut, and our healing function in our body, in a really positive way. I’ve seen people use those services really successfully as well as they’re going through the hands on belly work. 
  6. The last thing I’d like to mention is that I’ve seen people get some really great relief from chiropractic work as well. 

All of these are different things that you can consider as you are going through your healing process. I just want to say briefly, try not to overload yourself with this. I also see that people who are very gung-ho about getting the relief that they want from all of their treatments, one of the things that I see is that we’ll overload our bodies with too much treatment in too short of a period of time. 

Once you have your momentum and you’re starting to feel better, you’re starting to notice changes from the manual hands-on work, then that’s a great time to start looking at other things that you might be able to add in one by one, slowly, not swamping yourself all at once with them, but this slow add-in to continue to support your system and bring your whole system up to this new level of a good baseline of not just feeling good, but having great function as well. 

I hope that helps you think about how to structure this whole process of healing. If you have any questions let me know down in the comments! I’ll answer your questions down in the comments about any of this, and I hope this was useful!

Author Profile

Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin
Isabel Spradlin is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and abdominal adhesion specialist in Portland, OR. She specializes in educating people about manual treatment (massage) for abdominal pain and dysfunction, especially when it is adhesion related. Please see the "Programs" page to see her offerings.

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