Body-Mind-Spirit: A Holistic Perspective on Pain
by Pamela Hipp, for the Shuttle
Pain can be a message indicating that we are out of balance in some area of life.
Being willing to receive this message can allow us to heal the root cause rather than merely suppressing symptoms. Much of what has been written about pain is from a Western medicine pain-management orientation; I’d like to offer a different perspective based on my own healing journey and those that I’ve witnessed in clients — one that honors the interconnectivity of body, mind and spirit
I’ve spent years mastering the art of avoiding and numbing pain. The amount of time, money and energy I’ve spent on this strategy is staggering! Worse yet, decades later, I have only experienced more pain. The lesson I’ve learned is that ignoring pain doesn’t make it vanish— it simply festers under the surface waiting for an opportunity to emerge.
I eventually reached a tipping point where I became unwilling to continue needless suffering. I recognized that often the pain I experienced was a message that I was off track. Spirit, the sacred, wise and eternal essence within, was trying to communicate with me. I finally decided to listen.
It’s not difficult to see how the body can become unbalanced through an overload of toxins, poor posture or lack of sleep, water, nutrition or movement Unpleasant sensations are often a helpful reminder that I need to take better care of myself and not treat my body like an inconvenience.
Science is only beginning to understand the body-mind connection. It’s clear that habitual stressful thoughts can trigger the fight-flight-or-freeze mechanism and activate a physiological response that includes the tensing of muscles. In this same way, mentally revisiting old wounds or harboring resentment or anger can also cause tension that can contribute to pain. Discomfort can inform me when I’m investing my mental energy in destructive ways
Equally potent, although perhaps less obvious, are messages regarding unexpressed emotions, unhealed trauma and fractured self-esteem. These imbalances are quite capable of wreaking havoc from the shadows. I believe pain can be a message from spirit asking me to reclaim wholeness, worthiness and self-expression.
Cultivating mindfulness and the willingness to experience ALL of my feelings, especially those I’d rather avoid, seems to be the only way to become free of the painful effects of carrying them. Sometimes choosing to sit and feel whatever is true in the moment is enough to shift a pain pattern. Professional guidance might be necessary, especially if trauma is involved; counseling, Reiki, EFT somatic therapy and EMDR are some of the techniques that can help release stuck emotions.
If you’re interested in exploring this topic further, check out the events calendar for my upcoming workshop regarding the body-mind-spirit perspective on minimizing headaches.
I’d love to see you there!
Sharing the gift of healing touch through therapeutic massage and Reiki energy healing has been a great joy for Pamela Hipp for the past 15 years She offers sessions and Reiki classes in her office in Mt. Airy. More information may be found at pamelahipp.com
Views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily the Health & Wellness Committee, and are not a substitute for talking to your own doctor.