Healing – Ann Parkinson

What does healing mean to you?

Healing may not mean full resolution of symptoms, of course it may, symptoms change and often a lot over time. Healing is a change in suffering.

What do we need for healing?

An overly active sympathetic nervous system (SNS) doesn’t support healing. An overactive SNS is common in many conditions including persistent pain & fatigue. It’s also a common part of chronic stress, anxiety & trauma. We need to rebalance our autonomic nervous system to support healing.

We need compassionate awareness, self-compassion, connection to ourselves & others.

These are not the only things we need, though they are some important things.

What’s a healing state?

A healing state is not one that rests in disconnection, separation, over control or giving in. Over control generates more threat (stimulates the SNS), as it is a combination of threat and drive, it creates more anxiety.

A healing state is a place that sits between over control and giving in. A place where compassion, acceptance, vulnerability, strength, courage and possibilities are all deeply present. A place where self-criticism, frustration, anxiety & fear don’t play so loudly.

It’s a place from which the seeds of change that we plant can grow & flourish. There is a balance of gentleness and strength here, the yin & yang we need to help us navigate the tricky times in life & to heal.

This in-between place isn’t a set point, it’s ever changing and a place we can choose to return to when we move too far away, which we will as it’s part of being human. Our natural automatic reactions will trigger automatic protection responses sometimes, for example over control, withdrawal, self-criticism and disconnection. If we get too far away from the in-between place suffering tends to increase. Compassionate awareness is our inner guide through which we can notice that we’ve strayed to a less helpful place. Compassionate action can keep steering us back to the in-between place that supports healing.

It’s a place where we know we are ok exactly as we are, know we are enough, a place where we can find freedom from our suffering and rest in peacefulness, compassion & love.

Do you know this in-between place? Is it familiar to you?


This post originally appeared on the Unity Physiotherapy and Wellbeing Facebook page and is reproduced for the community blog with the kind permission of Ann.


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