We all hate pain, but what if we approached pain differently by considering it as an old and knowledgeable friend? Your body is your oldest companion, the one that knows you best and has been there through all the good times and the bad times. If we treat our old pal like a sacred temple that we grow up in, then we would honor the messages it sends us. Pain is the messenger that signifies our nervous system that there is a problem. These problems are energy disturbances and when we ignore messages our body screams even louder trying to get our attention.
So why do we ignore these signals? It’s natural to avoid something that doesn’t feel good. Naturally we follow the path of least resistance and pain is altogether uncomfortable and exhausting. It’s just easier to not feel than to feel. However when we ignore these cues and pain is left unattended to, it turns into chronic pain and chronic pain eventually turns into disease. Dis-ease can be defined as lack of ease in the body or a disturbance in the energy flow.
In yoga this vital energy flow is called Prana and in Asian traditions it’s called Ch’i or Qi. This life force is described as a flowing river and when rocks and debris get thrown into our river it gets clogged up. These clogs are referred to as energy blocks and energy depletion. When our energy is blocked or depleted it cannot flow freely to nourish organs, bones, and tissue. When our body does not get the oxygen and circulation it needs to maintain homeostasis, pain signals are sent out via the nervous system.
So where did the rocks and debris come from? Body, mind, and spirit are intertwined and connected energetically and with that every single thing that has ever happened to you, positive or negative, shows up somewhere in your body. If we ignore emotions and feelings and stuff them down in order not to feel, they inevitably fester into deep energetic wounds.
How do we keep our river free flowing? For starters we need to listen and become aware of what we are experiencing in our body from moment to moment. Acknowledging both positive and negative feelings brings awareness to energy disturbances before they become chronic. By addressing the physical feelings we in turn process the emotions and thoughts that are intertwined within. With awareness, patience, and loving kindness, we have the ability to clear the rocks and debris to maintain our free flowing river.
The next step is to take action on what you notice. Ask yourself; am I tensing my body? If the answer is yes, then look at where and why you are tensing. Is it in response to something you’re looking at? Something you’re listening to?
Once you notice what you’re noticing you are empowered to break old habits and reverse the negative affects. Self-care is key in this process; yoga, energy healing, a relaxing bath, walking in nature, are all positive self-care techniques to release and reverse the negative affects of stress and tension.
When you’ve changed the old patterns you can start to be proactive by not allowing them to resurface. Pain signals become an old friend tapping you on the shoulder to remind you it’s time to pay attention. Eventually you will notice the signal from your nervous system immediately and take proactive action before the pain arises. Every case is unique and pain levels are varying, however if pain is approached as a friend that is signaling to you that something needs to be addressed you can lessen your pain and give the intelligence of your body the chance to heal on it’s own.