The Cancer Support Community offers many physical activities (yoga, Feldenkrais, Pilates, qigong, t'ai chi, etc.) for cancer patients and for families dealing with the stress of caregiving. Although not specifically for people with cancer, the following blog from Dr. Carr is a good reminder about the importance of going slow when recovering from an injury (i.e. surgery) and listening to your body. Questions about CSC's program? Call 310-314-2555.
Getting Creative on the Road to Recovery
Erin Carr | February 24, 2012 |
When can I???Every patient that comes through my door asks such questions at least once. No matter our age or condition, although we think we are still a kid at heart, when recovering from an injury our body and mind are not on the same playing field. We think we can, until our body says “no.” At least not yet.
Normal healing from an injury takes a minimum of six weeks. This is a natural progression, and with the constant stresses and strains we place on our bodies every day, it should make sense. During that six-week window you are in a vulnerable state. Whether you have pain or not, your system has been weakened, muscles aren’t as strong or flexible, and your joints may not be as stable. If you go back to a rigorous activity too soon, these factors can place you at a higher risk of re-injury, only to restart the six-week healing process.
It’s also important to note that age and the type of injury also plays a part in recovery. Those at fifty, sixty or seventy may need ten to twelve weeks—or more—to recover. And those recovering from surgery, depending on the type, require even longer. As a physical therapist, when I meet with a patient after a recent surgery, I tell them right off the bat to give themselves one full year to feel “normal” again, and to be able to perform all activities they were doing prior to surgery. I know it sounds like a long time, but this is the reality. Most assume once surgery is done they will be back to normal within a couple of weeks or months. One must remember surgery is a traumatic event requiring extra time, patience, and rehab in order to return to optimal function.
The bottom line: listen to your body, slow down, and respect your body’s need to heal. Many people stick to the old adage “No pain, no gain.” This can be true, but there is a time and place for this mindset, and in the early phases of healing—this is not the mantra to follow.
Sometimes, these moments in life can actually reshape us and help us realize that maybe this all happened for a reason.
Here are some tips to help you through the healing process for your mind, body, and spirit.
Erin Carr, DPT, is an integrative physical therapist at The Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. She works with individuals of all ages and variety of conditions using a multi-faceted treatment approach with the goal of diminishing pain and restoring optimal function. You can also visit Erin’s website HERE.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
For about five months now I've been obsessed with "community"-what it is, what it isn't, which ones I used to belong to, which ones I currently belong to, what my role is in them- my queries went on and on until I started looking for answers. To be honest, I would've blithely gone on and accepted it for what it was but I had a very significant turning point. During a pleasant afternoon, at a place I'd spent many pleasant afternoons, someone caused my view of community to change when they questioned my ethnicity. After a lifetime of such inquiries from members of my own race (I'm African-American), and unenlightened others, it wouldn't have bothered me if it didn't happen where it did.
During my struggle over this issue I realized why it caused me to meditate so assiduously about community. The very act of questioning someone about something so personal, and in such an insulting manner, violated my civil rights and private boundaries. Now I had to sort out for myself just what it meant to me and my future with community.
Throughout my research I found the following definition from "The American Heritage Dictionary Of English Language," "A social group or class having common interests." Lori, on www.collectiveself.com, contributed her own definition online that both touched and inspired me. She wrote, "Today, for me, community is an unexpectedly diverse and unified body of individuals who help ensure that life is surprising and delightful." I'd also like to add that a community is a place where you know you'll be surrounded by friends and extended family.
While I continued exploring the "Cancer Support Commnity-Benjamin Center's" Mission Statement kept coming back to me. Featured in the lower left-hand corner of their monthly newsletter it states, "Our Mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community."
Before I started going to the Cancer Support Community I thought I knew what community was because I'd been a member of different groups, clubs and organizations, both personally and professionally, but once I truly started interacting with the other cancer patients and facility staff there I realized how little I knew. The most important thing I've learned from them is to accept others despite race, age, lifestyle or background.
Ultimately I agree that a community can be cultural even if that culture is made up of cancer patients and their supporters. It develops the ability to alter as new participants enter and old ones leave and has the flexibility to be there for those who need it. In my case it's always with me whether I go every week or once a month.
Personally the communities I've belonged to, by birth, include female and African-American and the ones that include my interests are the writing, fashion, tap dancing and reading communities. Lately I've also become aware of communities in literature, such as "The Great Benzini Brothers" circus from the book "Water For Elephants". Besides tha main characters, Jacob, Marlena, August, Uncle Al, Walter ("Kinko"), and Camel there's Queenie, Walter's dog, Rosie the elephant, and Bobo the chimp. Set during the Depression, in the 1930s, it didn't matter that these characters weren't all related and were basically dysfunctional they were all connected by a common purpose-putting on a show!
After reading this book I finally realized my search for the meaning of community wasn't over, it was just beginning, and I was still in the midst of figuring it all out and where I fit in.