/ December 22, 2013

The Fear of Falling: How Fear can Limit your Rehab

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The Fear of Falling

I realize there are many options out there that can help with diastasis recti and I know people passionately believe in what they do. I have no desire to critique other programs and I do not feel the need to be competitive or compare ourselves. There are plenty of people looking for help and many different approaches to healing. Instead, I spend my free time furthering my understanding of how the body functions and heals, and how to improve or add to what we do at The Tummy Team. I would rather focus on helping people better understand what we do here and, even more importantly, why we do it this way.

The Fear of Falling

In graduate school, my thesis research paper was on the elderly falling. The number one contributing factor in people who fall is not weakness or instability, but the fear of falling. It’s not lower body weakness, not hip replacements, not dementia, but simply fear.

A common factor we see in clients who have gone through programs prior to The Tummy Team is fear. Some of our clients are completely controlled by this fear and others are simply living a life less than God’s best because of it. They have a fear of moving wrong, fear of having another baby, fear of exercising, fear of having sex, fear of sleeping wrong, fear of picking up their child wrong, the fear of doing one wrong move and ruining all their hard work. Ironically, it is this fear that usually keeps clients from experiencing full healing.

Hope Trumps Fear

To quote The Hunger Games, “The one thing more powerful than fear is hope.” But have you ever been too afraid to hope? Having hope does not mean you know all the answers. It does not mean there is an absolutely clear path ahead of you. Hope is risky; hope always requires a step of faith. To have faith is to have “confidence in what we hope for and assurance for what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Yes, I just quoted The Hunger Games and the Bible in the same paragraph. I believe there are many ways we are exposed to the truth. 😉

So where do you find this hope? Hope can come in knowing our bodies were perfectly designed. Your body was designed for balance, strength, mobility and long life. Its capabilities are unbelievable. Your bodies were designed for constant movement and activity, are efficient, trainable and have an incredible capacity to heal. But more than anything our bodies function on demand, on a “use it or lose it” theory. At the end of the day, we train our bodies with our habits.

If you habitually sit collapsed with an inactive core all day, that is what your body expects. You cannot expect your body to effectively carry out an extreme workout for 30 minutes only three times a week when the majority of your time is spent inactive. But if you are consistently using your muscles to hold you up and be an active participant in your daily movements, they will be less likely to fail you when you ask for a little more. It is what we do most that will win.

Importance of Awareness

So how will rehab help? The first stage of our core rehabilitation programs at The Tummy Team is awareness. Being aware helps you make better choices and keeps you from unintentionally continuing to hurt yourself. But the first thing people become aware of is how weak they are. This can be discouraging but let’s look at it another way: awareness is power. Awareness should not create an atmosphere of fear but rather an atmosphere of hope. Once you realize your body is injured, you can learn how to fix it. Understanding what your body requires to heal is intended to give you the power to change your limitations.

Against what our culture encourages, there is freedom in boundaries and power in limitations. Understanding your particular limitations at a certain time will keep you from making choices that will further limit you. For example, if you love to run but your body is currently telling you that it makes your knees hurt, ignoring that boundary can cause damage that will forever keep you from what you love. Consider the boundaries you give your children. Is it not in love that you give them these limitations? Your body was designed in love and the limitations protect you and allow you to flourish. These boundaries allow us to have the longevity, mobility, strength, and endurance our bodies were intended to have.

However, awareness is not the same as obsession. Being aware of something does not make it your prime focus. My husband just finished extensive training to get his motorcycle license, during which they discussed how to avoid accidents. They taught him that if there is a hazardous object in the road (a rock or a log or roadkill etc), do not look at the object. Instead, look beyond the obstacle toward your destination. If you look at the obstacle, you will more than likely end up hitting it and crashing. This is a revealing perspective for all of us. If we become obsessed with one thing, that will ultimately distort our perception. You want to be aware of the obstacle, but keep your focus on the end destination.

There is a balance. Fear of movement will keep you from using your body to its full capacity. Yet carelessly ignoring what your body is telling you will cause further injury. The key is understanding where you are and what is required to get to where you want to be. Begin with educating yourself. Then take that risky first step in faith, hoping to reach the destination you desire.

How The Tummy Team Can Help You

This is the intention behind The Tummy Team. Our goal is to educate you and give you the tools you need to thrive. We guide your progress until you are strong, stable and capable of continuing your journey of healing. Though most of our clients experience a change in their appearance, that is not our goal. Our goal is functionality. We focus on helping your body function optimally for the specific demands of your life. We can help your body function better as a homemaker, construction worker, barista, athlete, farmer, computer designer etc. But fear has no part in the journey. I wish I could magically take away your fears, but that has to be your part of the journey. As I have walked through this with many clients, I have learned that there is much deeper healing that takes place than the physical healing of the abdominal wall. Nothing is wasted.

I encourage you to trust, knowing you are not alone and not the first person on this journey. So many have gone before you and found healing and strength, and the elimination of pain and fear. Trust the perfect design of your body and let us help you get back to that design. What we do is unique and effective. In order to meet the needs of people all over the world, we have created an online version of our program. No matter where you are or what stage of life you are in, we can help.

The Tummy Team has helped thousands of clients locally and internationally with their comprehensive online core rehab programs. The core is the foundation for all your movement all day long. If you are struggling to really connect to your core, let us help you. Check out our online courses HERE or click the images below to preview our most popular programs.

Diastasis RectiPelvic Floor


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