Thursday, February 4, 2010

What’s causing my pain and how can I heal it?

Looking beneath the radar for answers….

We all suffer from pain. Maybe it’s a sore shoulder that’s got your attention, a gut ache, or an all-consuming sadness. Whether physical or emotional, pain can keep us from living our lives to the fullest and experiencing our innate sense of wholeness and feeling of well-being.

Sometimes we are in pain for obvious reasons like stubbing our toe, getting a paper cut, or having a loved one pass away. But the source of our pain can also be elusive or what I like to call “beneath the radar”. As a yoga teacher, I often hear from students about their physical aches and pains. Yet, almost always, there is no knowledge of why they are hurting. They may guess it to be the result of an old injury, general weakness, or simply getting old. But, when I tune into their pain, another story is revealed. You could say that I’m seeing “beneath their radar” and what I often discover is that the root of their pain is patterns of negative thinking and feeling.

This, of course, makes complete sense when you understand that the body and the mind are intimately woven together. The body is tangible, physical, and easy to touch, feel, and see. The mind, on the other hand, which encompasses our feelings and thoughts, is much more subtle. Because of this, the body often becomes the messenger of bad news. That is, the news our minds have selectively attempted to forget, ignore, repress, or hide.

Amazingly, I have watched chronic pain, both in myself and my students and clients, disappear for good when the underlying emotional-mental fracture has been brought into the light.

Do you have a nagging pain that limits you in some way? Let me walk you through some simple steps that you can do to get in touch with the source of your pain and create true healing on all levels. Incorporate these suggestions during your next yoga practice and let me know what you discover.

1. Realize that your body and mind are connected.
If you are not convinced of this, it will obviously be difficult to uncover the underlying negative emotions or thought patterns wreaking havoc on your health.

2. Consciously make a body-mind connection
Lucky you, every yoga class facilitates this! All you need to do to make a body-mind connection is to bring your attention and/or awareness to your body. Bringing awareness to your breath as it moves in and out of your body is also useful. As you do so, tune into any sensations occurring and feelings that are flowing.

Some people will have an easier time doing this than others. If you struggle connecting to your feelings or sensing your body, be patient with yourself and keep practicing. Yoga asana is a superb tool for increasing body awareness. With consistent practice you will “thaw out” your numb spots and begin to feel more and more alive and connected to your body.

The ultimate aim is to be able to “live from your center”. This means you are engaged with the outer environment but deeply tuned in to your inner environment at the same time. You maintain your body-mind connection throughout all aspects of your life.

3. Shine the light of your awareness upon your pain
While you are practicing maintain an awareness of the part of your body in pain. Breathe into it and observe how it is impacted by the different postures. Realize at first glance, you’re not seeing the whole picture. There may be a blind-spot obstructing your line of vision and keeping you from discovering the source of your pain.

The light of your consciousness, however, can illuminate those dark areas to help you see more clearly. Go into the pain, let yourself feel it, accept it, be curious about it, and interested in it. Notice what you are telling yourself about the pain. Understand that the story is not the result of the pain; the pain is the result of the story (I guarantee, some rendition of it has been around for a long, long time). It is our minds that program the physical body. Most importantly, maintain your body-mind connection and be open to realizing the truth.

4. Accept and then eliminate any negative energies you discover
As you penetrate your pain with your awareness you may discover tremendous feelings of sadness or anger. You may even remember an old traumatic experience and realize you do not feel resolved about it. Accept what is. It is our tendency to push away what doesn’t feel good, but as you’ve learned, this does not “fix” any problems. Sooner or later, the body will express any old hurts so they can be addressed. With acceptance, most emotions will run their course unimpeded and simply release. This happens fairly quickly. However, when extreme amounts of negativity have been accumulated (which is not uncommon) I recommend utilizing a clearing technique to help eliminate the excess. One really effective approach that I use can be read about here.

5. Seek further assistance. Sometimes we need a guide to show us the way
If after exploring the above steps you have no “break-throughs” I highly recommend seeking the help of a healer and/or guide of some sort. It is no easy task to see through your own blind-spots (they’re called this for a reason!).

If you live in the Minneapolis area feel free to contact me to learn more about my Energy Work sessions. I specialize in uncovering people’s blind-spots and have over 10 years of experience working in-depth with the physical and energetic bodies. Read more here.

We are meant to live joyfully in our bodies. When this is not the case, we don’t have to accept it and just settle for a life of pain. The body never lies. It is always communicating to us whether we are living in alignment with our essential state of wholeness or not. When we feel pain, the body is simply saying, “You’ve disconnected from your state of wholeness, please look at this so it can be resolved and you can come back into alignment.” Making a body-mind connection is crucial. Listening is key. From there, the truth will unfold and you can once again experience your innate sense of well-being: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Thanks for reading! Please leave any comments and/or questions.
In light,
Amy Patee

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