I have been working with people with Diastasis Recti and core instability long enough to see the client journey pretty well.
We all go through phases, and I think it’s important to just recognize where we are and continue to honor that, and move forward when appropriate.
Phase One: What is wrong with me?
In phase one, most people have no idea that Diastasis Recti is a thing or that it is a normal adaptation of pregnancy and several other muscular-skeletal issues. So when the person appears abnormal to themselves in the mirror, they experience a bit of a trauma.
They will ask “What is wrong with me?” and not assume there is an immediate answer. They might freeze in this zone for a while and experience a brain-body disconnect that can get them stuck in this phase and severely impact their connection with their bodies.
This sense of disconnection can lead to inaction or denial.
Phase Two: THAT is what is wrong with me?
In phase two, the client is starting to get frustrated with the state of things. She starts googling or searching social media for answers. She might ask for answers from her doctor, and depending on the doctor, she could get answers such as:
- you had a baby; what do you expect?
- you are fat and need to lose weight
- the only answer to this problem is surgery
The other advice from google or instagram may lead to ill responses such as:
- you’re fat. Lose weight.
- do more ab work
- you’re weak.
- join my bootcamp
None of these responses are helpful, but she is likely to follow someone’s advice; someone who has built trust with her or that has marketed their solution well.
She may have discovered the words “Diastasis Recti” along the way, and the media she experiences around it may make it feel like a death sentence.
Phase Three: Over / Under Compensation
Next, she will take advice to the extreme and try everything, or get overwhelmed and try nothing. Either way, she is likely to get frustrated, upset, and possibly more injured.
Phase Four: Apathy
In phase four, the client believes nothing can be done. Maybe nothing at all or maybe nothing except surgery. Either way, she feels out of control with the situation.
She may start seeking out support groups. In these support groups, she may find just a series of complaining over issues and symptoms. She will see more marketing on “solutions” and stay stuck.
Phase Five: Acceptance
Phase five sometimes takes years to get to. In the acceptance phase, the client has reclaimed her role in self healing and loves her body enough to do something healthy for it.
Her acceptance is a place of self love, not a place of self hatred or apathy.
From phase five, she can search better answers from professionals or other holistic providers. She may discover physical therapy, chiropractic therapy, massage therapy, an ABC Method trainer, or other way to find help, hope, and a way forward.
In the end, it is only through acceptance and self love that we indeed get well. There is no shame in going through the phases. This is how body trauma can work its way through the body. But know that wherever you are and however you got here, there is a way to help your body be the healthiest version of itself.