I was in a head-on collision & what I learned after healing myself.
I was in a head-on motor vehicle accident the winter before the pandemic started. The accident could have been worse but thankfully we weren’t going too fast because it was a smaller neighborhood street nevertheless, it was still traumatic. Truth be told, I had no idea what happened but all I remember was going around a curve on a road I’ve driven by for more than a decade near my parent’s house and seeing a car driving towards me (they cut the curve).
Symptoms didn’t really show up until the summer of 2020 after starting an online business, ending a toxic relationship, and of course, a dispiriting pandemic. This is when I learned how bad chronic stress and negative emotions have on your body. It is so true when they say your body keeps score.
Since then, I’ve been busy with treatments for my back and shoulders that have heavily affected my life — I put in the least kilometers in 2021 since I started my bike life over a decade ago, my gut shut down due to stress (and that affects your entire body), and I’ve been living in chronic pain since then.
It wasn’t all that bad because after a decade of “mindset training”, I reframed the situation and told myself, “I am going to make the most out of this and learn how to heal myself.”
I never experienced “anxiety” was until my first serious cycling accident in 2017 when I was 30. When accidents happen, they tend to be a spiritual awakening for many.
I’ve been exploring my spirituality much longer than that but for me, it was a sign to reevaluate my life and the people in it. I truly believe everything happens for a reason.
The last 2 years have been a strange yet enlightening journey. It hasn’t been easy but I learned so much about my body, and the knowledge, increased resilience, and pain tolerance were worth the journey.
I consider myself a pretty strong and resilient person, and happy most of the time (thank you, exercise!). If there’s one thing I can say I am good at, it’s reframing situations, and seeing the positive in everything.
However, I do have my bad days because I’m human.
When my symptoms were at their peak, I was still showing up every day (work + fitness + diet) but I would have random breakdowns. When I am stressed, I have a tendency to go-go-GO and I don’t take breaks aka stay productive to avoid dealing with the situation. It worked for a while but I had to learn the hard way what happens if you don’t prioritize self-care.
My entire digestive system shut down, my hormones are all over the place, and nothing was working properly. This was a huge wake-up call for me because I’ve had optimal health and digestion in the last decade.
There were a few months where I would show up at treatment like a basket-case — if I was late or missed an appointment, I would literally break down crying. Fortunately, I had a very good team and everyone was so kind. I got through this because I KNEW I was going to be okay and I always see stressors as a sign that I need to improve. Having faith and confidence in yourself is extremely important.
I had relentless focus on progress, knowing the solution will manifest itself when it was time.
What I learned about healing after the accident:
- Healing is mostly mental regeneration. It is soooo important to take care of your mental health after any accident. A majority of your healing may be related to reducing stress and anxiety so prioritize self-care, being with friends, therapy, breathwork, meditation, journaling, sunlight, exercise, and quality sleep.
- Stay positive and optimistic and tell yourself that you ARE going to heal. Countless studies have supported the importance of staying positive and being aware of your mind-body connection when it comes to healing and wellness. Not one day has passed by that the thought of not being able to heal has crossed my mind.
- DON’T PLAY VICTIM!!! Victim mentality is a pattern you never want to get stuck in — being in a loop of feeling bad for yourself, negative self-talk, blaming, making excuses, and thinking you will never heal — because your brain is listening to everything you say. If you focus on the negative, you WILL manifest it into reality. It’s okay to feel frustrated in the beginning but the faster you switch your mindset, the less you will suffer.
- Fear is normal and FEAR IS YOUR BFF! The fear is there to force you to face it and learn from it so you can level up. Overcoming the fear of getting on a bike again, or driving again is a part of healing. Don’t let it hold you back — instead, use it to your advantage!
- Even if it seems like you’ve physically recovered, trauma from an accident can linger and be more severe than you think. From my experience, your body truly keeps score, and all your experiences are buried deeply in your cells and your DNA. Sometimes my symptoms would come up of nowhere (after thinking I was healed) just by re-entering a place that brought back negative memories. Hence the importance of inner work.
- It doesn’t matter how big or small your accident was. PTSD is real and even though it may show up later, it needs to be addressed.
- Look at your body as a whole when it comes to healing because it is an intricately connected system. Conventional medicine definitely has a place in society but it must be paired with holistic healing that involves your emotional / spiritual / energetic / moving body all as one.
- Implement different modalities of healing, lifestyle changes, and try all treatments available to you. There is no one size fits all solution and not one miracle treatment.
- Choose your health practitioners carefully. Don’t be afraid to try different ones because everyone has different methods.
- A part of healing is asking the right questions. As your interoception, you will feel what your body needs at the moment. You should let your practitioner know, allow them to do their own assessment, and then work together to make the most out of a session.
- Your healing journey may be slow and frustrating depending on the severity of your accident. Sometimes it seems like you take two steps forward and one step back but never give up! As with anything, consistency and momentum is the key!
- Come to terms with the fact that sometimes healing may be a long journey. If you are mentally prepared, you will get over the walls and blocks much easier.
- Different stages of healing may require different forms of assistance. It may take a lot of time to go to all these treatments and prioritizing what you need will help. I had to heal emotionally first so I gravitated toward friends, therapists, meditation, etc. When I achieved that and my body was ready for physical healing, I amped up my treatment sessions. You may bounce back and forth between treatments but it’s all a part of the process.
- Get the most out of all your treatments. All these appointments disrupt my day so I always make sure I made the most out of them. I’m not afraid to ask questions because I want to learn more about my body + healing, and my amazing health practitioners are always helpful. Hence the importance of building a relationship with all of them.
- Explore any possible emotional trauma. If you don’t heal from the emotional trauma that came from your accident, it may start to affect other systems in your body.
- Visit a functional medicine doctor. Navigating the allopathic healthcare system during the pandemic was stressful. The entire situation caused my entire digestive system to shut down and I was losing vision in my right eye. I suffered from chronic pain and bloating from ANYTHING I ate but later, my TCM/acupuncturist began working on my back because it was so tight — which was most likely from the accident. If your back is tight, you can imagine it restricting your stomach and organs from producing enough stomach acid and enzymes to digest your food properly. I have seen significant improvement in my digestive health with acupuncture and supplements.
- Nurture your gut-brain connection. Since many illnesses begin in your gut and 90% of your body’s serotonin is made in your gut, I was also able to ease my mind …the rest of my body began healing. Due to an imbalanced microbiome, I was in a state of chronic anxiety and it was a constant challenge to keep my mind at peace. When your mind isn’t right, your body can’t heal properly because everything begins with your thoughts.
- Increase fish oil intake if you suffered from a concussion. Omega-3 fatty acids from supplements, wild fish and seafood, nuts, seeds, etc. are shown to enhance long-term tissue restoration and cognitive recovery. Note: not all fish oil supplements are equal.
- Stay confident. Confidence and having relentless faith in yourself are the foundation for healing.
- Genuinely tell yourself that it WILL get better. Everything has a weird way of working out — you just have to stay positive and stay committed.
Having the best healthcare professionals is important in your healing journey.
It may be difficult navigating the system and you may have to go through a few different ones but don’t give up! It’s almost like dating — never settle, as I like to say!
How to Choose the Right Health Practitioners:
- Not all health practitioners are equal! There are professionals who are far better than others — you just have to find one that you like the best.
- Ask for recommendations from your friends and family. However, those who worked for them may not work for you because you have may have different injuries.
- If your health practitioner doesn’t feel right, keep on searching. You don’t have to stick with the first person you see. I’m energy-sensitive and we have to be on the same frequency.
- Find a good chiropractor. People often complain about chiropractors because sometimes they are greedy and you are literally in their office for 30 seconds but trust me, there ARE good ones out there.
- It’s good to get different opinions. Don’t feel like this search is a waste of time because you can often gather good insights from all of them.
- You should feel comfortable enough to ask all the questions you want. The quality of your life is based on the quality of the questions you ask. You can learn a lot if you have a good practitioner because of their clinical experience.
- They should encourage you to consider different types of treatments, not just their own specialty.
- I personally like to choose practitioners whose energy matches mine. When I go to treatment, I’m also getting a “therapy session” because we vibe so well together. I feel comfortable and safe, and my sessions are always enlightening and insightful.
- Choose someone open-minded. Most importantly, I like to choose practitioners who are half conventional + half woo-hoo (holistic)! From my experience, holistic practitioners are more caring… and we have such stimulating conversations! Since I spend so much time in treatment, I make sure I make the most out of it! If they use energy healing and do biofeedback, we are already best friends. 😉
Treatments to Consider for Healing:
Your body is a complex system and you must implement multiple modalities of healing.
- Craniosacral Therapy
- Reiki Healing
- RMT (Massage)
- Natural supplements (especially those that reduce stress)
Acupuncture has been a game changer for me in healing my mind + body + soul & I am obsessed!
Many insurance companies have finally realized the benefits of acupuncture and the effects of energy healing, and if your coverage doesn’t, you should try to petition them.
Want to learn more about acupuncture? Click here!