Pain is not something you have to marry.
Matthew: Pain, like all things, can be addictive. It is a safe place to feel and yet is not ideal for functioning. Pain is a messenger that yells out something is not right. However, is it heard, or does it merely become buried in the body, and a new layer of pain becomes layered on top? Does this sound familiar?
The body is designed to survive and will sustain a lot of pain before it shuts down.
The mind is the director of these external inputs that causes pain or processes relief. The navigator to the difference between the two is, hopefully, a building awareness.
Resources for understanding Pain
We recommend meditation to start building mind-body awareness. Below, we share a resourceful book to learn the language of mind-body awareness that will help you much.
Lisa: Sometimes, we don’t realize we live in pain until we no longer have felt it. Yesterday as I woke up, this occurred to me with having a headache. In my previous life, every day, I woke with a “sinus headache.” I would feel like crap.
I would go running and then shower, and that seemed to take the pain away.
Today I know that the running produced powerful hormones, endorphins, which acted as a pain reliever. So I was treating my pain; however, never getting to the root of the pain just masking it.
A recent NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll showed “overall 18% of Americans that pain is often a problem for them, and 24% say it is sometimes the case.”
These people recognize their pain. The study also showed that more people are turning to exercise to help with the pain.
You are stretching to prevent pain.
Matthew: To stretch is to find tightness that will eventually turn into pain. Daily and preferably morning routines of stretching is a great way to create the relief needed to thrive during the day.
The mind must be in touch with the body, and the breath is the bridge to the releases stretching provides.
Among the many ways of navigating pain stretching is a master of its right.
Consider the pain in the butt. And what is in your life that is a pain in your butt? The central part of your core is in your butt.
The body is one unit; all things connect. Nothing is separate.
A lot of pain can be caused by tightness in you guessed it, your butt.
What is pain?
Dr. Lisa: According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such cost.
Interesting to note here that pain is defined not only has a physical sensation but an emotional sensation as well.
Being forced to take a look both internally and externally is the result of too much discomfort. It is a message to stop and change something. Physical pain is many times easier to deal with because it is tangible.
Knee trouble can result from an injury or mental inflammation. Emotional pain sometimes is more difficult to grasp and often harder to manage.
Louise Hayes wrote a phenomenal book called You Can Heal Your Life. An excellent resource. In this book, she has a chart of symptoms and their corresponding emotional pattern leading to the physical symptoms.
For example, the probable psychological cause for pain is guilt. She then offers a new thought pattern to retrain the mind and release the old thought pattern, which is responsible for the symptom. In the example, the original thought pattern is, “I lovingly release the past. They are free, and I am free. All is well in my heart now.”
Pain can be a bitter potion.
Khalil Gibran wrote, “Much of your pain is a bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.” A reminder that pain is an alert, a message that we need to stop and listen to our bodies. We are our healers, and we can know how to heal ourselves if we seek natural answers.
Matthew: In bodywork sessions, releasing sections of the body, it is ubiquitous to find that patterns exist relevant to personal history.
The right side of the body is often related to the male and left the female. There are exceptions; however, for the masses, it holds as so.
I often ask questions during the bodywork to help the person consider what is going on in their body.
Questions alone can spark a shift, opening, or pop as is felt to the very organ or section of muscle/band that releases. It is another tool for all people to ask when they feel pain at the moment, where is this rooted? Where does it come from, and who may it involve?
Repeating a key point about the power each person has to help themselves is supported by having the awareness necessary to ask the right questions. The unfolding process is massive. Remember, the layers of pain run deep in most people.
I always say the pains did not show up overnight, and it will take persistence to heal over time. They did not just arrive magically. They had been building for some time.
The work is not ours alone; it is yours as well. Therefore when a person is ready to take on their process of healing and willing to do the self-work required, the solutions we provide become much more effective. The same applies to all people seeking healing services everywhere.
One can not understand the healing process in depth without having participated in many healers’ services and modalities. To determine what resonates with us as the individual seeking healing, we need to experience a variety of services and many healers; it requires some semblance of saturation.
Magically from fortune, it is possible to arrive at the practitioner who can change the course of your journey for the better in your first encounter.
However, most folks find the path a little windier before coming to more definitive solutions. And this alone can be part of the painful process extending from the initial pain that started the search. Search to get relief from and solve the pain.
Causes of Pain?
Pain is caused by a myriad of things, from physical to emotional to psychological. Knowing the pathway of pain is an intricate process and requires a holistic approach.
Often the body will give pain in an area that is not the actual source of the problem. In the western model, the site of pain is treated over and over with no long term result.
What damage results from treatments to the wrong section of the body? What are the effects on the organs having to tolerate the treatments or medicines?
These are the long term questions that need to be considered before treatments using a holistic approach, mainly because new problems will be created by treating the wrong cause.
Pain Management versus the root.
Lisa: In our world today, people want the “magic pill” for pain. Whether it is an opioid for physical strain or anti-depressant for depression or anxiety, people want to feel better, and many times, this seems to be the only solution.
Like my running, these pills mask the pain instead of getting to the root of the pain. So when in pain, before we think of management, we must ask ourselves what the “root” is.
For example, with knee troubles, the following should be considered: is it my knee and not my hip? Can we find a pulled tendon or pulled muscle? Is it inflammation such as arthritis? Is it an infection? Or is it coming from my emotional body?
The questions are not mutually exclusive, and more than one answer many times exists. With reflection, the practiced and advanced healer in oneself can then decipher the cause and, therefore, the management.
Without a root cause, management is futile. Often the guidance of an experienced healer will help the individual learn to see what their reality is and avoid unnecessary control for the wrong cause.
With the advent of the opioid crisis here in the US, it is a wakeup call for us to not rely on pills and pharmaceuticals for healing. A Washington Post article, published information about “A Drug Enforcement Agency database made public July 15. A lawsuit revealed companies who inundated the nation with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills from 2006 through 2012.”
We can not trust that our pharmaceutical companies have our best interest at heart. We can, however, believe the healer within each one of us and those we find in support of self-empowerment and knowledge for natural healing.
Change the terminology.
So how do we manage this pain? First, we need to change the terminology of “managing” and think of pain as something we move through. Sitting with discomfort and pushing through pain allows physical, spiritual, and emotional healing.
Anyone who has experience sitting with pain knows that this can be excruciating.
A method for sitting with depression is to use your breath and to find meaning in pain. Our minds are so powerful, and we can lessen the pain by surrendering to the pain. The more we clench and resist, the stronger the shock.
Matthew: Not feeling comfortable is something of a tool to teach the mind. The mind of the person in pain will identify this discomfort as such or will avoid it. The person will actively seek solutions or bury the pain in one area, only to find the chess game of physical function to have it appear elsewhere, in time.
My education on healing was passed down as knowledge and then refined as an experiential skill. Various systems of the body are all affected by one another. Organs, nerves, muscle groups, the endocrine system, mental-trauma, structural integrity, and emotionally based holds are the leading causes of pain.
The body decelerates itself to protect what is overly tight or used frequently. Locking of one side of the body keeps the opposite safer from damage. It is slowing all functions down as a result.
Under these circumstances, to be easily misinterpreted are often over-diagnosed.
Remember soft and slow go the breath and hard and fast go nowhere unless the dense muscle requires so. The riddle is to say one shoe does not fit all, and no one person is the same.
However, there are relative patterns and overlays for why issues in the mind and body create pain.
From my personal experience, go natural until you cannot.
I had a rap sheet of injuries that kept me from the full function of my body. I should have been dead many times. These injuries started from young and persisted with my intensity, extreme sports activities, and other reasoning as an adult.
Then from excessive stress in my late twenties and again in my early thirties, I had two mini-strokes. I know what it is like to know the limits and functional abilities of the body because I pushed it to and beyond the limits and was in severe pain. I felt horrible for a long time.
First, I ignored discomfort, and my body found a way to compensate. Then new pains came, and the results affected my nerves. My organs took the brunt of continued impact and trauma.
Over thirty-plus years of accumulated discomfort and agony on any given day. Migraines and balance issues, and then more.
When a person is in pain, they do not act like themselves. They are surviving. To others, they have a problem and behave erratically. The reality is each day is different in what will come up in the body. Living this way is not suitable for anyone.
The pain of the heart is real. Grief and the heart are an obvious match. However, the lungs are also affected by heart pain. This topic is involved and can persist in having a heart attack, panic attack, or aneurysms. To understand how to get relief here the eastern modalities actually do this. Over time accumulated discomfort and tightness will lead to a higher probability of these conditions.
My search for healers over ten years led me to meet thousands of practitioners over the spread of hundreds of modalities.
When I met my teachers, I knew them instantly. Today that internal teacher has emerged as suggested in this blog. It is what we want for all people willing to take on their process of healing.
Heal one and heal all. This statement is profound in its own right if understood.
There are but two choices; ignore the pain you host or handle the situation to let the pain release. Your options are what you are willing to research and try.
Persistence heals the body.
“Your pain is the breaking of a shell that encloses your understanding.”- Khalil Gibran
Understanding is everything, and it comes from knowledge. Experiencing relief is a start. Knowing the layers are deep sometimes can be discouraging. However, as long as you are alive, why not go for the results of a pain-free life?
If you take anything away from this blog, let it be that pain is not something you have to live with as opposed to popular opinion. However, choosing the correct therapy is vital to removing pain versus creating more and new anxieties.
Yes, pain is a teacher, and yes, it is part of life. Depression is also like a wave that you can duck dive or get caught in that can take your life. Surfing the movement of pain in your life is much like finding life’s flow. It is possible.
We all fall. It is how many more times are you willing to get up that makes you who you are.
Knowing what you are dealing with is the first step to getting relief. The answers are available in the world.
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Peace and Love and Relief.