The Reluctant Traveller – A Journey Back to Health

Posted: 27th October 2015

Recovering from pain by Hefina Evans Bowen Therapist

Many of us can appreciate a wise bear when we meet one and the wisest of them all, Winnie The Pooh, once said…”Life is a journey to be experienced not a problem to be solved”. (Soren Kierkegaard also said something similar I believe but personally, I prefer this honey loving bear’s version).

We all have our own life journeys to manoeuvre on a daily basis and some days, the road ahead is far reaching, straight, easy; akin to an American Highway – something that would indicate you’re on holiday perhaps. Other days, there’s nothing to see but high, rocky mountains either side, in front and behind with a winding, twisting, narrow road snaking its way very slowly through the middle; imagine the heart of Snowdonia here; roads I’m personally well accustomed to. Beautiful scenery all around whilst concentrating on navigating the difficult path ahead; something that’s ‘home’, something you know will and deal with on a daily basis.

When clients contact me to see if Bowen Therapy can help them, they very often see me as a last resort….”I’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t worked so thought I’d give this a go!” They are often people experiencing long term, chronic pain in some form and nothing seems to work for them. They’ve tried ‘all’ other types of therapies over many years, many different, colourful pills and potions and conventional and highly unconventional methods often with very few or no positive outcomes. You would perhaps suggest that by asking for help, it indicates that they are ready to make a change, to try another way to help ease their pain. But is it actually that easy and simple for them?

For them, their life becomes The Snowdonia Road; the road they know well, the safety net, the road they rarely veer away from, the ‘norm’, the road that’s understood. They know it and although it’s a painful and difficult route, it’s a road they’re somewhat comfortable with as it is what they have started measuring themselves by – this is who they are and what their world has become.

When they identify so strongly with the person they see themselves to be, it’s often very difficult for them to let go of that person because they have no idea of who they’ll be without that pain. That would be The American Highway, the road rarely, if ever, travelled. It is unknown, a stranger they’ve never met and to make that massive change is a huge leap of faith for them, both to their present and future selves. “Who will I be if I’m not in pain? I can’t imagine being without it!”

It takes a very brave person to finally choose to look at that pain squarely in the face, to start the healing process and to even consider that The American Highway is even a possibility, to fill the fuel tank to the top so that they can travel as far as they possibly can on that road once they get there.

More often than not, it’s not a matter of ‘Oh, they just try everything and if nothing works, it means that nothing’s actually wrong with them”.

The more likely scenario might be that they have much deeper issues surrounding self confidence, emotional distress, lack of support and fear – the abject fear of becoming a completely different person if they allow themselves to travel that American Highway.

Perhaps a mixture of both roads with the correct support structure is the best solution and the acceptance that sometimes, a fabulous scenery along a Snowdonia Road with the odd hiatus of an American Highway and finding the balance between the length of each is the way forward with a little patience, referral support and confidence building.