Pesky Pain & Your Emotional Body
If you've ever lived with chronic pain, tension, constant headaches...you'd know. Chronic meaning it's continued for a long time. Sometimes chronic pain is subtle and you barely notice it but it's always there. Sometimes it comes in really bad waves and keeps you in bed for days. The most common chronic pain I see in my work include (but are certainly not limited to what you can experience) headaches, neck and shoulder pain, low back, hips, knees, hands and feet. Now I am not talking about the kind of pain that comes from an injury, accident, fall, surgery, or obvious trauma that you can recount. I am talking about the kind of pain that just showed up one day... Maybe you were doing some activity that could bring it on, but not to the degree that it exists or for how long it's been around. But sure enough, it's there.
I have chronic shoulder pain on my right side. Basically it boils down to me being overly protective of my heart emotionally, causing my shoulders to cave forward stressing and causing pain. Not all the time, but when it's there it's t-h-e-r-e. And it's pesky! How do I get rid of it? By acknowledging what is hurting me or making me feel inferior at the time and letting the story go.
I can have months between it flaring up and then it'll be there for a few days on end. But the reason it shows up is always the same. I've seen chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and more and the one healer that actually helped me move it out of my body was a friend who is also a rolfer. She identified my story and then it all made sense. I can say when pain arrives, "I am open, I am vulnerable, but I am ok.." And, I swear, it goes away. So let's talk about that...because according to modern medicine and how our physical body works a verbal affirmation shouldn't effect physical pain. Or should it? Be open to the rest of this article and see if any of this clicks for you...
We all have an emotional body. You can't see it but it's a field of energy and you're made up of it. Our emotional body has a life just like the physical body. But it carries things like our stories, fears, memories, trauma, hesitation, heartbreak, and more in it. These things effect our physical body all the time and when they are not dealt with or focused on they really effect the physical body. Enter random chronic pain.
There is another component of this and that's the Threat Matrix. You can read my article about it here: andrealeda.com/think-youre-an-emotional-eater-i-beg-to-differ but in a tiny nutshell - A very (very) long time ago threat was anything that could harm your survival, like something with fangs. A very long time ago threat was anything that could break apart the bond between people, specifically families, tribes, and new babies. Today, threat is still all these things but it shows up a little differently. We are clever story tellers. Let's say you experience a break up, the rational part of your brain tells the emotional brain that break ups are painful and to be avoided. Then that brain tells your reactionary brain, "Hey, anytime someone appears to be capable of breaking my heart react like it's a life or death situation." And it does.
Threat is still Flight, Fight, or Freeze. But not literally. Instead it looks like this:
- Loss of balance
- Feet pain or knee pain
- Pushing others away
- Upper body pain
- Hand inflammation or numbing
- Knots or trigger points
- Neck and shoulder tension
- Locked up
- Lost range of motion
- Low back pain or tension
- Hip pain
- Stuck in your life
- Feel like, "I just don't know"
Does any of this sound like you? I love doing work around the emotional body and chronic pain because there is nothing that can effect your quality of life to the degree that chronic pain does. It stops you from being active, being with friends, sometimes getting out of bed. If you've been experiencing any of the list above with no relief please reach out! Let's navigate your emotional body and see what stories need to be told.