Rest, Restore, Rebuild, Remember
some point in our lives, many of us will experience a serious health
event. This may be physical, mental, or
spiritual or a combination. Often these
events are brought on by stress or eventually cause stress related health
challenges including depression, indigestion, inflammation, insomnia, weakened
immune system and so on.
Inevitably, this cycle
activates the stress response in our bodies.
When stress has no where to go, it develops into chronic stress which
has serious health consequences. Many of
us are interested in this topic, because we are there, we have experienced serious
health consequences, or because we can see writing on the walls that a change
So, the first stage is Rest, especially if our bodies have
broken down enough that the energy body has no get up and go left. What are we resting? All the systems of the body, especially:
Cardiovascular / Circulatory – stress raises blood pressure and heart rate, increases risk of heart attack and stroke
Digestive – stress increases digestive disorder
Endocrine – stress increases stress hormones cortisol, adrenaline
Integumentary – stress decreases nutrient flow to skin, hair and nail cells
Lymphatic / Immune – stress decreases immunity, increases risk of illness and dis-ease
Muscular – stress increases muscle tension, puts pressure on the circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous system tissues
Nervous – stress increases sympathetic response (fight, flight, and freeze)
Reproductive – stress decreases sexual function
Respiratory – stress decreases oxygen flow in the body
Skeletal – stress causes bone marrow to develop inflammatory cells – white blood cells
Urinary – stress increases urinary output
Rest is the first stage of healing.
And not just any rest, but the kind of rest that allows the body, mind,
and senses to relax and let go.
Why? By relaxing all the systems
of the body, you create the right conditions for the body to restore itself.
The second stage is Restore. When you feel stronger and more vital, the
second principle in this healing continuum, restore, gradually increases movement activities with gentle
joint movements, stretching and breathwork with the intention of moving toward
health and well-being on all levels.
The third stage, Rebuild, continues with gentle yoga,
stretching and strengthening poses, as well as lifestyle modifications to
support your growing strength and overall well-being. This includes creating a vision of wellness
for yourself and your intention for health and wellness.
Rebuild includes all of the
activities from Rest and Restore as appropriate. The 4 Stages of Healing is a natural cycle
that we experience many times in our lives.
The key, when moving from one stage into another, is a gradual approach
that will allow you to recognize unhealthy patterns of thoughts and behaviors
that tend to increase stress and disconnection that lead to illness.
The fourth stage, Remember, is a commitment to your well-being. Feeling well is a
lifelong pursuit. When you feel well, you
have energy to participate and contribute beyond the bounds of your body. Remember, is the freedom principle. Freedom to be who you are truly meant to
be: loving, generous, involved with your
family and friends, and active in your community.
The 4 Stages of Healing is a healing continuum that we cycle through many times during our lives. Yoga offers tools for every stage of this continuum.