THE PAIN OF GROWTH
WOW! What a great month it has been! So much has changed. Many hours were put into breaking down everything in our old office and moving it piece-by-piece to our new space. Renovations were done. Carpets were torn out, yanked and ripped bit-by-bit from the floor they were once glued to so that the new carpet could be installed. Walls were scraped, sanded and spackled so that the proper paint could be applied. Four-hundred pound tables were heaved, pushed, pulled and thrusted in any way possible in order to get them to the proper position within the rooms. Network cables were ran, re-ran, and ran again until they were right. So many little things had to be done so that we could open and begin to care for you, our incredible clients, in this new office space.
And then… the pain set in.
Each movement sent shooting, cramping pains throughout my limbs. The dull ache in my back reminded me day after day of the immense work that I had done, and still was doing. It was as if it was saying, “STOP! You are doing too much! You’re just one man!” And guess what… it was right! My body was working perfectly. My pain was there as a sign, a reminder not only that I had pushed myself pretty hard, but also as an early warning system to prevent me from hurting myself by continuing.
You see, almost all growth requires us to push ourselves, to reach beyond our comfort zone, get a little uncomfortable. This is how we grow. Bones strengthen only when stressed. Muscles grow in size only after they strain from so much effort that they use up all the oxygen around them. Our mind learns only after we force the use of a specific pathway over and over again until the brain “glues” it into place. Nothing comes without effort.
After a hard workout, you should feel a little sore. After doing a new workout, you should feel a little sore. But there is a difference between feeling a little sore because of pushing yourself and hurting because you have damaged your body.
Pain is our friend. No, that is not a typo. Yes, I meant to say that. In fact, look at what happens when someone can’t feel pain.
There are neurological conditions out there where people lose the ability to feel pain. They bump their toes into things, they bleed, get infected, in some cases gangrenous, and need to be amputated. Others will burn themselves and not know about it. They risk serious infection, loss of body parts, the risk of bleeding to death, and many other complications because their body cannot tell them there is danger.
Pain is GOOD! It often brings clients into our office. They realize it is not natural to have headaches or low back pain, shoulder pain, etc as much as they do. They listen to their body and want to know why this pain recurs. They eventually understand the relationship between their pain and their nervous system, and learn how to prevent recurrences in the future through Wellness-based chiropractic care, not symptom-based care.
Pain is an early warning system designed to stave off danger. Fail to pay attention, and you risk damaging the very body that tried to warn you. Listen to those subtle clues, and you will have a long and wonderful relationship with the “’human suit” you are wearing.