Dealing with Physical Pain

A different sort of pain scale
source: Maureen Johnson
Everyone experiences physical pain at some point, to varying degrees. Our instinctual reaction to pain is one of alarm or fear, and a desire to get away from it. It makes sense – pain is supposed to be a danger signal in the body that says “STOP DOING THAT!”

Energetically, we try to push it away, either because we want to keep doing what we’re doing, or because it is unpleasant (at best). If you can envision the act of trying to push something away, you can see how that actually pushes energy towards it, feeding it. When we have a chronic pain condition, this is incredibly unhelpful. Chronic pain is defined as something that continues for at least 3 months. In such cases, the body chemistry has started to shift, and after a while, we can even start interpreting other signals as pain signals. We are in a state of constant stress, so increasing the pain is incredibly taxing on all physical systems.

As counter-intuitive as it might seem, focusing into the pain will help release the stress and even dial back the sensations of pain. That area of the body is trying to get our attention. When we try to ignore it, it just gets louder. By focusing into it, we give it a chance to quiet down. Imagining breathing into that space can help to bring relaxation to the area and create more flow (both energetic and physical), which will alleviate pain and tension. My weekly meditation from July 9th is designed to help with this.

I live with several chronic health conditions, two of which produce of considerable amount of pain. In addition to using the above technique, as well as some of the other meditative tools on the website (and nutrition, herbalism, aromatherapy, sound therapy, and various types of bodywork), I also try to keep in mind that some Indigenous North American Nations believe that pain feeds spirits that are helpful to us. When the pain is bad, I consciously offer it up to those beings in my entourage who might benefit from its energy. At the very least, it makes me less resentful about my body. I also know that, at least some of the time, my pain is a result of my actions, usually because I am trying to do too much and not giving myself space to just be, or because I have eaten something that lowers my vibration and interferes with the proper functioning of my physical systems; in that way, I seem to have set up an impetus to stay on my path. There is also trauma woven through my pain, so when I focus into those spaces in the body, I give my physical form a chance to tell me what it is holding on to, so I can process it and release it. And, as the pain scale I’ve attached to this post reminds me, a sense of humor is super helpful.

One of the blessings of having the physical limitations that I do, is that I can share my experience and my solutions with others, and help them work through their own pain. I am putting together an online group coaching program (I refuse to use the term “master class”) for people with chronic pain, but it may not be ready to launch for a little while. Limitations and all that. In the meantime, if you are feeling overwhelmed by your pain experience, I am available for video and in-person sessions. Feel free to contact me to talk about scheduling an appointment. An edited video of my most recent Managing Chronic Health Concerns webinar is also available.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Norma says:

    You are amazing!!

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