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Body, Mind and Spirit Integrate for Physical Healing

Submitted by: Corey Vanderwouw, MPT

As a physical therapist, I am a direct witness to people’s rehabilitation processes daily. I am honored to be part of their healing progression. For over 19 years, I have seen that when the body, mind and spirit are unencumbered, they create a most effective healing process.


It seems easy to see how an ailed body can affect the heart and mind of any person through a variety of emotions and beliefs, loss and grief. However, it may not be quite as easy to see how emotions and beliefs can affect a person’s physical body and physical healing. This article addresses how the healing of physical ailments can be slowed, or paused, by a burden of heart and soul.


When a person has a physical trauma or injury, the next phase is to let the body heal, while pacing activities properly and encouraging the body to perform activities at a safe level. As appropriate challenges continue, physical abilities progress until the rehabilitation process is complete, and the body can perform to its fullest ability. For many people, however, this process becomes slowed or stalled. It may seem that their bodies do not have any more potential to improve, or the way to continue is unclear.



At this impasse, I have looked to a professional colleague, Dr. Michael Axelman, for understanding with this topic. He is a heart-centered psychologist, who helps his clients move through painful emotions and limiting belief patterns to open up new possibilities in their lives. He has shared with me the perspective that each person has a set of beliefs around healing that have been created by personal past history, other’s shared opinions and beliefs, the environment, and their feelings, including fears. Each person has their own personal lens in which they envision their healing path. The combination of one’s emotions and beliefs steers that person in how they address their physical healing. People are often limited by past emotional experiences that still have an impact on the way they feel. For instance, grief, or the loss of a loved one, even one that is long past, can decrease the amount of energy a person has to deal with other important matters, including their own healing processes.



So, what helps a person move forward effectively with their physical healing? One can gain the most out of their physical healing process or rehabilitation through freeing the mind and spirit, and by bringing closure to emotional issues by shedding light on one’s current beliefs around healing. Of course, one must participate in the physical aspects of healing the body. But it is the “healing mindset” that frees each of us from the barriers and limitations set upon us by our hearts and minds. It is extremely powerful to create a vision of one’s own healing, as well as opening up a healing pathway; a pathway that is more likely to be taken, when it can be seen.

In the Union:

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