Pain, as we all know, is not to be denied. It is insistent. It is calling for our attention. Heed the call.
Pain has a purpose. It has a message. It is telling us, insistently, that something needs to be changed. It could be your diet, your lifestyle, your job, your relationship, your state of mind . . . .
Ignore pain at your peril. The result will be more pain. Why? Because pain is your body’s way of getting your attention.
Sure, you can mask pain with pain killers. But pain killers will not address the underlying reasons behind the pain.
Did you know that the Navajo have no word for pain? I wonder what this means?
So listen to your pain. Investigate it. Give it the attention it is asking for. Discover what needs to be changed, change it and the pain will disappear. With acute pain this can be almost immediate. With chronic pain, the complete cessation of pain may take some time. The habits of mind and body that led to the pain have been in place for some time so it may take considerable time to make the necessary adjustments the body is asking for.
There is a book I read years ago titled, Your Body Never Lies. Its overarching message was simple. The body is an outward manifestation of the thoughts, emotions and expectations that we carry within us. We have, in other words, created a physical state which reflects precisely our inner state of spirit/mind/emotion over a period of time. If the results are less than what you would like, try changing the messages you are sending your body through your thoughts, emotions and beliefs.
Dr. Bruce Lipton writes in The Biology of Belief that we are not the victims of our genes. Dr Lipton and other progressive-thinking scientists such as Rupert Sheldrake are paving the way with their investigations and writings for a revolution in human consciousness. They are showing us through science what the mystics have been telling us since time immemorial: We are far more powerful than we think we are. We are unlimited in our ability to heal. We are not the sum total of our DNA. We can in fact change our DNA by the deliberate adjustment of our beliefs and expectations.
I injured one of my shoulders last summer while tramping. The ground gave way near a river bank and I managed to arrest my fall by grabbing a tree with my left hand. I twisted my left shoulder badly. Over time pain crept in and eventually both shoulders hurt so much that my sleep was disturbed. I couldn’t lie on either side without pain. I began research through books and via the internet. I used anti-inflammatory herbs such as boswellia, liquorice, ashwaganda, turmeric, nettles, gingko, horsetail and my old standby, kumarahou. I applied tupakihi (tutu) and other oils to my shoulders.
I completely eliminated the nightshade family from my diet. This was a big ask for someone who absolutely loves tomatoes.
I began using tapping several times a day. This was a new technique for me. It involved setting a healing statement and then identifying underlying thoughts and expectations while gently tapping a prescribed set of points.
I also began to use yoga nidra (a form of deep relaxation) in earnest.
One morning, while in deep relaxation I suddenly realised why the pain which began from an injury to one shoulder was now manifest in both shoulders. There are heavy sliding security doors at Te Ahu which, over time, had become stiff and increasingly difficult to move. I had been helping to open and close these, to help my female colleagues. The morning of my sudden realisation I queried the three other people who regularly operated these security doors. It turned out that all of them had injuries to arms or shoulders of some kind. One had already missed work because of this. I immediately reported my findings and, just as quickly, our Council health and safety specialist took it on board. The security doors are now repaired. The moment I came to the realisation that this was one of the causes of the, by now, chronic pain in both shoulders, I experienced a marked lessening of pain. It was almost as though the moment I shifted the focus on healing from ‘I’ to ‘we’ the ‘I’ in illness became the ‘we’ in wellness.
Some pain persisted. I continued with my herbal regime yet pain, now less, remained. I became somewhat frustrated. I am not accustomed to things taking so long to heal. I began to have doubts that this pain would ever go away.
Then, while tapping, I had an ‘aha’ moment. In a moment of insight I understood what was stopping the final and complete healing of the pain. Me. I was stopping it. I had lost faith in the body’s innate ability to heal. I thought about what happens when I cut my skin while working in the garden. There is never any doubt that the cut would heal. I had developed doubts that my shoulders would ever heal. I came up with a slogan: If you can feel it, you can heal it. This was the beginning of the final stage of healing.
Healing is not linear. It sometimes stagnates and at other times it jumps to a new level. Each jump is a reflection of an inner change and expectation. First, I listened to the pain by doing research and then by applying my findings. This was the beginning of the healing process. But I didn’t experience significant healing until I took steps to have the security doors repaired. This not only helped me. It helped everyone who opened and closed those doors. Clearly, some of my pain was telling me to fix those doors.
The complete healing took place when I suddenly became aware that my underlying expectations of healing were flawed. I had doubts and these needed to deeply change. This was the beginning of the end of pain. What a relief and what a journey. Pain has a reason. It also has a season. Heed the message. Heal the pain. I hope I’ve inspired you to begin your journey of healing.
Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com In Search of Simplicity is now available as an eBook here.
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