Every day, I have clients coming into my office imploring me to “fix” them. This always makes me uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable for the same reason it makes me uncomfortable when therapists of any stripe refer to themselves as “healers”. Both suggest that the work of healing is the purview and responsibility of the therapist, not the client. Ultimately, it’s a question of power. It’s not as if there were something in the healer that allowed the healing to occur. As a therapist, I can all manner of interventions. I can assist the body in freeing restrictions both physical and non. I can bring awareness to problems, enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. There’s a quote I love that sums this up well.
“A healer is not someone that you go to for healing. A healer is someone that triggers within you your own ability to heal.”- Unknown
To ask someone to fix you suggests that you are broken, that you lack the ability to heal yourself. In fact, you are the only one with the ability to do so. I can create and hold a space for this to happen and I can help in myriad ways. I’ve built a career out of helping people feel and move better, and I’m good at it. Positive outcomes are consistent and reliable. Relief often comes in minutes, not years.
That said, there are many aspects of a client’s healing process that are simply out of my hands. That’s why I can use similar techniques on two similar clients and get variable outcomes. People show up at my office at various stages of their healing journey, and I’m not just referring to the body. I’m including the mind and spirit as well. Sometimes people show up with other healing work that needs to be done first, with me or someone else. Sometimes people simply aren’t ready (though few would ever recognize this at the time).
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.”- Hippocrates
Healing goes beyond tissue repair or reduction/elimination of pain. Most pain, even that associated with recent injuries, either has roots in prior trauma (physical or non-physical) or has become linked to it in some way. To truly heal means to accept what has happened to us and discover our true selves through the healing process. This journey is unique for everyone. Different starting points, different paths, different destinations, different timelines. That all is certainly not something I can do for another. With all that in mind, it’s important to be clear that no one is being BLAMED for their pain. Your pain is not your fault… but your healing IS your responsibility.