Today I am sharing the Bible verse that guides my physical therapy practice. While I do not regularly share my faith with those I work with, my faith is weaved into who I am and what I do for my patients. I feel a great privilege and responsibility in caring for my patients. I take their healing seriously and for many years, at the beginning of my practice, I bore more of the burden of their pain than I could carry.
Since this revelation and an overwhelming feeling of burn out, I have been practicing separating caring for their pain from carrying it around with me. This practice is ever-evolving but is necessary for me to pursue so that I may continue to provide unbiased, quality care to my current and future patients and clients while protecting myself from unwanted emotional stress.
While learning to separate my treatment and emotions from my patients’ current status and pain level, God led me to a verse that helps me stay focused on my mission as a physical therapist.
As I turn to God to comfort me in my troubles, He relieves my concerns and provides me so much comfort that it flows out of me and into the care of my patients! I use this overflow of comfort to continue to comfort those still experiencing trouble, in this case, my patients who are stressed and in pain. I use my position as a physical therapist to provide peace, hope, improved function, and many time, pain relief to my patients.
This overabundance of comfort from God to myself, necessary for me to continually provide comfort to my patients reminds me of a phenomenon in the body called motor overflow. Physical therapists use overflow in treatment to improve the activation of a weakened muscle. I first learned this technique with a post-stroke patient with right-sided hemiplegia. The patient was unable to generate muscle activation in his right adductors, resulting in the right leg continually falling to the side when his knees were bent and feet were placed on the ground. To improve activation of his right side, we enlisted the same muscle on the left side of his body. When he contracted his left adductor, his right adductor fired as well. Continual strength training with the concept of motor overflow helped the brain rewire and return muscle activation to his right adductor.
God designed the body to function with motor overflow, giving more than enough strength on one side of the body to share with the other when in a weakened state. He also designed our hearts to share in the suffering, but also the comfort of others, when we use Him as the source of our comfort. This understanding is at the root of my practice and continually helps me guide my patients out of their suffering and into God’s comfort.
“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”-1 Corinthians 1:3-5
Do you find yourself suffering from burn out in taking on other’s pain or life situation? Turn to God for comfort.
Do you have a Bible verse that resonates with you and your career choice?