Each week from July 10 - August 14, we will be sharing a new post from a 6-part series about Ayurvedic practices and TBI. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic health systems. Our contributor, Bethany Cantin, is an ayurvedic practitioner and yoga therapist, who has integrated ayurvedic practices into her life and has found these to be essential throughout her healing journey following a TBI.

Understanding Change

My once vibrant, multitasking and energetic self disappeared in a flash after my car accident.  I was bedridden, with the exception of doctors, physical therapy and an occasional family meal, for the better part of a year.

In the early months of my healing I thought that because I was a healthy, kale-smoothie drinking, yoga practitioner, I would heal my TBI in a few weeks. I believed that an agonizingly long, multi-year-long recovery was for someone else.

This foolish mindset went completely against everything I had been teaching for 17 years. Sure, it was optimistic to believe in recovering quickly, but it was not respectful of the magnitude of the injury itself and only led to great despair when I was not better after a week or a month, or even a year.  

Embracing Patience

Healing after a TBI can be likened to planting a tiny seed in order to grow an apple tree. That small seed is vulnerable. It needs to be tended to daily, with nourishment and love. It needs  to be protected from bad weather and drought, and above all it needs trusted routines, consistency and a great deal of kind-hearted patience.

If at the first sign of growth we pull on the sprout, we will only harm it. If we shout at it to hurry up, it will only wither from the impossibility of the demand. It takes nourishment and a commitment to growth for such a tree to bear fruit. The same is true for healing a TBI.

We are all unique and each TBI is different. We all heal at our own pace, but one thing is true for each of us, we need to respect the speed of Mother Nature.  She knows you want to heal and she is on top of it. What she asks of you is to respect her speed, wisdom and grace and to be as committed to optimal health along the path as best you possibly can be. I encourage you to look at your TBI in the very same light, with patience, unwavering commitment and tenderness.

Please follow our tips over the next several weeks to learn a variety of practices that honor the pace of Mother Nature through ayurvedic principles. We begin with patience and continue with healthy tips to move forward on the healing journey.