When Rehab Alone Is Not Enough

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Full Spectrum Hope and Healing

Dr. Joyce Mikal-Flynn was told she would never run again after suffering a severe near death experience in 1990 when her heart stopped for 22 minutes. She proved her doctor wrong.

In the book Turning Tragedy into Triumph, Mikal-Flynn, an associate professor of nursing at Sacramento State University, provides an account of her experience with rehabilitation and healing after what she refers to as “the event.” Her story is accompanied by the stories of others who shared a similar experience.

Each story details the trials and tribulations of those who lived through a traumatic event and consequently saw their world turned upside down. The recovery after an event that turns daily tasks into overwhelming challenges, obliterates one’s sense of self, and deteriorates relationships is incredibly tasking on a physical, mental, and emotional level. Those who manage to overcome their traumatic events and grow as a direct result of their tragedy share certain characteristics and experiences in their journey of healing.

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MetaHabilitation highlights these experiences and proposes a new model for rehabilitation and healing.

What Is MetaHabilitation?

The term MetaHabilitation is derived from the Greek root meta, meaning “the beyond” and rehabilitation, meaning “the ability to restore.”

The traditional understanding of rehabilitation has only dealt with the psychical problems and harmful aspects of crisis. Mikal-Flynn takes a more holistic approach to rehabilitation by focusing on the full spectrum of physical, psychological and spiritual pain associated with an event.

MetaHabilitation recognizes our ability as humans to endure and find meaning in the worst of circumstances. The model places an emphasis on accepting and achieving positive growth as a direct result of an event, not in spite of it. The model recognizes our ability as humans to endure and find meaning in the worst of circumstances.

Mikal-Flynn proposes a sequence of six stages that are necessary in achieving the ability to accept, reflect, and focus on the positive outcomes of a traumatic event. Hope and positivity guide this contemporary model of rehabilitation.

Six Stages of MetaHabilitation

    • Stage One: Acute Recovery
    • Stage Two: Turning Point – saying ‘yes’ to life
    • Stage Three: Focus on Treatment – conventional and complementary
    • Stage Four: Acceptance and Adaptation – a time to reflect
    • Stage Five: Reintegration – returning to life; introspection on life’s journey
    • Stage Six: MetaHabilitation – beyond integration and taking on the future

MetaHabilitation emphasizes a need for physicians to instill a sense of hope into their patients, rather than take it away. No one can determine what your future holds, and taking away the hope for an unlikely outcome is detrimental. There is always hope for a wonderful life. With a sense of hope, people who have suffered severe life events have a chance to gain tremendous personal growth in the face of trauma.

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MetaHabilitation & Anchor OP

Here at Anchor Orthotics & Prosthetics, we fully embrace this philosophy when it comes to rehabilitation. We acknowledge the full spectrum of healing, not just the physical pain. We know healing must take place at many levels, and support you during each step of your journey. We can adapt and grow stronger as a direct result of tragedy. There is something positive to take away from every situation, and we strive to help you realize that and achieve personal growth through your difficult situation. We know there is always hope to live a wonderful life. We want to make sure you not only fully embrace that hope and positive mentality, but live it to the fullest.

If you are facing a difficult recovery from a serious injury or the recent amputation of a limb, we would love to discuss our holistic approach to recovery with you. Please call our office at (877) 977-0448 to arrange a consultation.

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