Stepping stones to recovery
There are many resources on this work already out there, so we don’t plan to reinvent the wheel here. Below we offer a brief summary of the main stepping stones we took on our journeys towards recovery. But be aware, these stepping stones are not always in a straight line! People using this approach often have to go back and forth or cover a few stones at once. It can feel like going in circles for a while, but we stuck with it and it worked.
In our experience, knowledge is the primary tool in combatting neuroplastic conditions - as we are working with the brain. Through understanding the neurophysiological processes in our brains and nervous system, we can start to ‘unlearn’ the unhealthy responses, and move our bodies back towards full heath. There is a wide range of low-cost or free tools available to help people learn about this approach.
For us it was crucial to have an open mindset in our recoveries. For the knowledge to take hold, we need to be open to it. Keeping an evidence diary as we progress is a great way to convince our brains that there really are links between our thought processes, our emotions and our physical symptoms. If we start noticing variation in our symptoms - for example, that some days are better than others - this is good evidence that our condition is neuroplastic and that the cause is in our brain and nervous system. Then we add it to the evidence diary!
Process Your Emotions
Emotions past or present that we are repressing or holding onto can cause a continuous flow of unhealthy chemicals through our system, which can contribute to physical symptoms. We needed to learn to release these emotions; journalling is an excellent technique to help do this; again, lots of information on our Resources page.
We have used a wide range of different resources to help us towards full recovery. Many of these are featured on our List of Resources, and can appeal to different learning styles. Everyone takes information in differently so you might prefer to read, listen to podcasts, or engage via an app. Many of the resources we list are free to use, or come with a very low cost such as the price of a book. We strongly believe everyone should have access to this information, regardless of their circumstances.
Conquer the Fear
Many of us stopped doing certain things in our lives, because of the fear that they would exacerbate our symptoms. In order to retrain our brains, we needed to start reintroducing those things. It was important not to overdo it! But we need to let our brains know that it is actually safe to exercise or move or lift or bend or jump or swim or whatever we have been avoiding: that our bodies are strong and that there is no threat to our lives from these activities.