Pain is a signal, a warning from the body that something is not quite right. You might think you got that kink in your neck from the car accident from sleeping funny during the night; or the slow burn in your lower back from sitting all day in front of the computer. But when you look into that pain you slowly uncover something even bigger: The truth about your life, your relationships, your work, and your state of mind.
All pain, every single kind, is both physical and emotional. And all pain, when you learn how to face it, understand it, and let it go, can help clear your path to a better life.
Here are some common questions Manjot hears regarding pain management from her patients.
What role do emotions play in pain?
All emotions are normal. They’re neither good nor bad—they simply are.
Problems don’t start because of emotions themselves. The trouble comes in when you don’t express them, release them or deal with them. Then layers of buried emotion or emotional traumas build up like scar tissue, causing adhesions in your fascia, the layer of tissue that envelops and stretches around all your muscles and organs. The function of fascia is for this fluid and flexible tissue to allow your body to move with pain-free natural freedom. These festering, unprocessed, unreleased emotions clog up your circulation, fluidity and generally create disharmony within your body. Once you actually really see and feel it, and can pinpoint where the pain is actually coming from, you can consciously begin to increase the flow of your body’s natural painkillers and anti-inflammatory chemicals to help you release the pain and start to heal.
We experience all of our feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions through connections between our nervous system and our muscular-skeletal system. Check out all the parts of the brain that intersect together with the musculoskeletal system when we experience strong emotions:
- The limbic system: the site of our instinctual emotional reactions
- The hypothalamus: which connects up with the endocrine system and the gut organs
- The amygdala: where we process sensory information into memory and learning
- The cortex: where we regulate emotion
Every emotion we experience leaves a trace throughout these areas of the brain. Those same exact feelings can be re-triggered by anything we experience, whether in the real world, through our senses, or purely in our own minds. When we experience the same thought patterns, they form neuropaths in our brains, so if the same route is always taken to deal with a negative emotion; this can be dysfunctional and lead to further problems in our mind, body and life.
What role does sleep play in pain management?
Sleep is the most regenerative, restorative; automatic biological process humans have—so why on earth do we skimp? Many people pretend they can get by on 5 or 6 hours a night – but nothing could be further from the truth. We need at least 7 hours of solid sleep a night in order to stay out of sleep deficit. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to horrible consequences: memory loss (and eventually brain damage); excess pounds; increased insulin; increased hunger and stress hormone levels; increased blood pressure; and decreased immunity. Without enough high quality sleep, your body does not have time to rest and regenerate, and your tissues age, literally, overnight. But improving sleep may nudge you out of negative feedback all by itself. A study of patients with chronic sleep deficits found that just one month of improved sleep significantly reduced their levels of tumour necrosis factor and C-reactive protein, both markers for systemic inflammation in the body.
How do I locate where my pain is really coming from?
Consider these common areas of pain, and their potential physical and emotional sources:
|Site of Pain||Possible Physical Cause||Possible Emotional Cause|
|Low back pain (in women)||Ovaries, pelvic disorder,
adrenal fatigue, post-pregnancy recovery, endometriosis,
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,
|Loss of power; buried emotions,
lack of emotional support, feeling unloved,
holding back love, guilt, stuck in the past,
“get off my back”, fear of money,
lack of financial support
|Low back pain (in men)||Sciatica, prostate or
kidney stones, colon conditions
|Anger issues; stress of unsatisfying job/home life|
|Acute mid-back pain/shoulder level||Poor circulation,
liver condition, anemia,
low blood pressure,
|Feeling anxious; palpitations; difficulty sleeping;
fear of the future
|Hip pain||Arthritis, infection, hernia,
|Fear of going forward in major decision,
Nothing to move forward to
|Knee pain||Joint involvement, cyst,
deep vein thrombosis
(poor circulation), arthritis
|Stubborn pride and ego,
Inability to bend, fear, inflexibility,
won’t give in
|Ankle & Foot pain||Ligament sprain, arthritis, gout||Inflexibility and guilt.
Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure,
Lack of joy in meeting new experiences
|Rigid, stiff thinking, inflexibility in life|
Our body movement is reflective of our inner world. It’s important to understand how live inside your body, to keep your body aligned and work towards living pain-free. This allows you to become conscious in your body while instinctively bringing awareness to your life. This is when your body and mind connect. In my experience I see this automatically benefit the lives of my patients by helping them make decisions that are in their best interest of their health, from choosing better foods to choosing a career that suits them better because a clearer mind helps you to expend less energy everyday and sue that energy to towards a body and life that you love!
What are some common ways that people hide from their pain?
Consider the ways you might be hiding from your pain:
Do you eat your emotions?
Do you drink them?
Do you spend all day working, working, working – never taking time to take care of yourself or your body, to rest and replenish?
Do you spend the night awake, staring at the ceiling—and then use caffeine to get through the next day?
Do you use your phone as a shield from the world—constantly checking email, Facebook, Twitter? Does it feel like a crutch? An addiction? A lifeline?
Do you stay away from the gym or the yoga class, blaming your bad back or your injured shoulder—when you know that movement and exercise is actually exactly what you need?
Do you feel shame about your body and hide yourself inside, away from the sun and the fresh air?
Do you deny yourself the joy and the pleasure of being alive—and you’re not even sure why?
If you yourself or anyone you know experiences pain in a way that has become frustrating and destructive to your body, your self-esteem and emotions, your relationships and your life, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would love to hear from you and learn about your story and struggles; so I can support you to make changes in freeing yourself from pain to regain control and power of your body, and not let pain run you and your life.
I look forward to serving you!
Wishing you good health and all my best,