"All is Coming"
This Easter Sunday will be the 6th year anniversary since suffering multiple fractures to my right femur during a vacation to the North Shore of Oahu. Since that experience I have noticed how that injury has helped to shape the yoga practice I continue today. One of my students recently shared the mantra, "What you go through leads you to the path you go to." Over a lifetime I have had several careers, taken falls, been adventurous and even been sedentary. All of these phases and experiences have culminated to shape my physical condition today. Understanding this history better underscores the importance of moving and unwinding events of the past. Knee pain, low back pain, a pulled muscle or instability that appears to come on suddenly is often just a reminder of the past.
The work to keep that past from overwhelming the present takes some discipline and patience. It never seems to end and can at times feel futile to even try. One of the doctrines of yoga is to just practice consistently. Yoga Guru Pattabhi Jois said "Practice and all is coming." I feel like this quote says it all in terms of doing the work and everything you are working for will be realized
I went to surf and visit with an old friend on the North Shore of Oahu this past March and the second to last day of the trip I suffered a commuted femur fracture close to the head of the femur. I had surgery on the island and came back to heal 5 days later.
You could say the healing process started on the island. That part was more emotional. Coming to terms with my circumstances, denial, blame, pity, anger to some extent came out pretty quickly. Reality forces you to look down the road a ways and visualize where you want to be in the next year. It is a very cold feeling not being able to just wake up or walk off a bruised hip.
My injury required a titanium rod be inserted the length of my femur and another the length of my greater trocanter to the ball joint. The doctor did a great job on the surgery and prognosis is so far so good. I am taking a personal look at what I can do as an herbalist to enhance the healing process though. Dealing with the reality of the injury by being proactive in the healing process may also help give a sense of having control over my outcome.
The first stage of healing is inflammation at the site of the injury. According to herbalist Matthew Wood, the purpose of inflammation is to send blood to the area to feed and strengthen wounded, distressed tissue as well as to send white blood cells to fight off bacteria and consume waste products resulting from tissue breakdown. There are 3 major components of inflammation.
1) Changes in caliber of blood vessels & rate of blood flowing through them. 2) Increased capillary permeability. 3) Leukocytic exudation(neutralizing foreign particles by phagocytosis.
The endocrine system has a system of balancing the inflammatory response and where so the body can maximize the healing process. Taking into consideration will help not get in the way of the body's natural responses. I am looking at three prolonged areas for rehabilitating this injury. First with herbs, second with diet, and thirdly with exercise. For the purpose of this blog I am going to look at a few herbs I have chosen to use both internally and topically.