Learn what to look for as signs of progress that you are changing your state of chronic pain. Quality of life will start to improve even before you sense that your pain levels have shifted.
This is the Pain Changer Podcast Episode EightAre you curious? What else is part of your experience of pain? What if I told you that dealing with the root of your issues could actually totally change your pain? What if I also told you that I have found fear at the bottom of fibromyalgia in at least one client and probably more? And that fear was also found behind severe back pain? What if I told you that feeling burdened will most likely show up in your shoulders? Stay tuned. All this is coming up next.Can you believe that as an adult, I had to be taught how to feel, not just emotionally, but also to be able to accurately describe a physical sensation. This is common with trauma, and it’s called disassociation. I wasn’t alone in this either. In the book waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, he spells a great in the book waking the Tiger by Peter Levine, he spends a great deal of time talking about the felt sense. And he offers exercises to help those with PTSD learn how to be in touch with their body again. It wasn’t until I read his book that I realized how much I had disassociated anxiety event about all I could feel for so long. I thought I was totally in touch with my body. Nope, not so much. When I read that book, I was in the middle of developing a very deep understanding about the link between emotions and physical pain. Yet, I kept trying to deny it. My dear listener, I wish there was a way you could resolve your pain without going through the pain and emotions. But that has not been my experience nor anyone else’s. Based on all the research I’ve done. The emotions must be healed in order for your body to heal. The great news is that my experience so far, it has always been worth it to acknowledge and go through the pain to relieve it. Have you ever held a cat over a bathtub? I’m not actually suggesting you do that. Please do not scare your cat like that. But if you ever do that, as a child, you may have noticed that your cat will do anything possible to keep from touching the water. It will archway thrash and contort itself, like it’s a character in The Matrix in order to avoid the water. That’s what I was like when it came to deal with my shit, aka my emotions. Do you do that to anything and everything you can think of to avoid what’s really bothering you. In my case, I also put a whole lot of substances into that equation to help me numb out. It wasn’t until my coach introduced me to Brene Brown and the idea that when we numb the pain, we also numb the pleasure. Man Did I try hard to deny that? It wasn’t until my coach introduced me to Brene Brown and the idea that when we numb the pain, we also know the pleasure then I had a little bit of a Biden. Man Did I try really hard to deny that though, just like I tried hard to deny every other negative or unplowed pleasant emotion I felt every other negative or unpleasant emotion I felt. Then I realized I hadn’t experienced much pleasure either. I was really, for the most part. Now. I was really, for the most part, numb. yet. I was also anxiety-ridden from head to toe. For the longest time. My mindset was emotions. Man who needs them? Are Only weak people get the fields. Well, you already know that led me to nowhere fun. Plus, it’s totally not true. Strong people feel that shit out of things. That’s part of why they got strong and how they got strong. That denial though, combined with a series of self-destructive decisions is how I wound up disabled. When I stopped denying those emotions, that’s when I got my life back. Actually, wait. That’s not true. I didn’t want my old life back. My old life looked like a lot of fun from the outside. But on the inside, I was lonely. Even when I was standing next to someone I loved. I couldn’t connect to anyone. I couldn’t let anyone see who I was due to all the shame I had over how I was living my life. What I wanted was a life where I wasn’t anxious. At the time, I couldn’t see beyond that, or what that could look like. What I actually got was vastly better than my old life. It is a life much better and more full than I could have ever imagined. Didn’t, even today, when I realized I’ve reached another layer to heal. Even today, when I realized that I have reached another layer, ready to heal, part of me still says, Man, another layer. But I will face it now because I know what happens if I don’t. Plus, with cognitive movement, whatever I do have to and I’m using air quotes there have to feel I don’t have to stay in it long before I feel better. I just recall the premise of cognitive movement, when I feel dread about facing something. The premise is that your body will express for you the emotion that your mind cannot. That actually made it so much easier for me to start to face my feelings and what else was linked into my physical pain. Another cool aspect of cognitive movement, you don’t have to tell me anything, you don’t want to tell me. You will still want a need to feel whatever you’re feeling. But you don’t have to tell me a word. Sometimes it’s easier to feel emotions when we don’t have to talk about it. There’s an awesome book that I use as a reference to help me with clients. And it’s called heal your body by Louise Hay. And this book, she provides a laundry list of potential issues or diagnoses and the most common emotion that is also behind it. It’s been both humbling and comical. In one session I had with a client recently, we were discussing another part of their health and a concern they had. And we had just started to dig into emotions together. Something which my client had clearly stated was off limits when we initially worked together, we could focus on their physical pain, but nothing around the accident itself. And we made good progress. Once they started touching on emotions, though, they started to make great progress, as we were chatting at the end of a session one day and they mentioned their other concern. Again, as we were chatting at the end of a session one day, and they mentioned their other concern, as well as a few potential physical things it could be I dug into my trusty book. It says here that this could be related to anger and bitterness, and potentially a desire for revenge. My clients smirked at me and said, Yeah, okay, that sounds more likely. And we both started laughing. To be clear, this is someone I knew long before they were a client, and there isn’t a vengeful bone in their body. So I have no worries about them plotting revenge, which is also part of what made the response so funny. I’ve seen others work through shoulder pain, the word burden comes up a lot in those sessions. But it feels like something is weighing on us. We tend to feel that in the shoulders. What’s really cool is when you find another perspective that allows you to feel less burdened or potentially not burdened at all, the shoulder pain will greatly ease up. And not only that, but the patterns that were feeding into the feeling of being burdened, were immediately broken. The one I experienced myself that was linked to my shoulders was codependency. My life used to be riddled with codependency. And during that time, I developed frozen shoulder surprise fries. Most of it healed even before I began cognitive movement. But when I learned the correlation with burden and shoulder pain, I could easily link the events in my life at that time to that shoulder pain. And back then, I tried to blame it on how I slept. Yeah, that wasn’t what happened. Sometimes lower back pain can be linked to a fear of financial scarcity. That was a lot of why my back was in such bad shape before cognitive movement. Focusing on financial scarcity is what broke through my back pain initially, before the 3d event that permanently broke my high pain levels and allowed me to be where I am today. I decided I wanted to look at the actual connection with emotions and damage I did to my back my head Tim Tetlock. My entire lumbar spinal discs plus my sacrum are all bulging, among other damage. In the event spinal anatomy is new to you. There are five lumbar vertebrae and one in your sacrum and a tailbone below that there’s a whole lot more to your spine to of course, your entire thoracic and cervical spine. But for the intents and purposes of this example, we’re just sticking to the lumbar spine and the sacrum. According to Louise Hay. The L one is a cry for love and a need to be lonely insecurity. Yep, that used to be me. And I still work on areas I feel insecure about. L two is stuck in childhood pain. Um, yeah, I would count that trying to run away for 40 years without acknowledging something that that would count This stock L three is about sexual abuse, guilt and self-hatred. Again, that’s accurate or it was I love myself now, l four is financial insecurity, fear of career feeling powerless. That used to be true 205 is anger. I used to joke that I was pissed off for 42 years. So yeah, that shoe also fits. And the sacrum is connected to loss of power, old stubborn anger. So you see a couple of patterns here, guys. Yeah, that’s so. So you see a couple patterns there. Yeah, but you do. And the sacrum, oops, wrong one. I would say that being assaulted made me feel pretty powerless at the time. And it certainly made me angry after the fact. This also makes sense why my back started to feel better as a heel that those emotions shame, fear and anger. In particular, I wish I could tell you that it’s a one and done to heal those emotions. And sometimes that is the case. But usually there are layers, your subconscious can only handle so much change at once you heal one layer, you will experience relief for an extended period of time, then you notice that the pain starts to come back. And that’s your clue that your subconscious is ready to heal another layer. But even as a pain comes back, he won’t be as severe. Your mind may try to tell you that it is, but it’s most likely lesser than it was before. With every layer you heal, your body and mind will feel better and better. For instance, I had one layer of fear around finances that came up as I started to even think about leaving corporate America last year. My back started to ache a little bit more earlier this winter. And I realized I had totally gotten up in my head about finances again. There was no logical reason either. I planned very well for this career transition I made, including ways to cover my expenses as my business grows. But that pain wasn’t anything like how it used to be. It was just a little annoying. I cleared out that layer, My back feels really good again, some days it doesn’t hurt at all. Most days, there’s a little bit of tightness there. But that’s it just a bit of tightness. Nowhere near neurosurgery level and fat. During that cognitive movement session around the more recent back pain. I saw that my body really wanted me to move it a lot more. I’ve been much more diligent about physical activity now and I continue to feel stronger with fewer and fewer achy parts. Yes. The more you tune in. The more in tune you get with your emotions and physical body, the better you will feel and the more quickly you can adapt. Awareness is huge. At this point, I know my body so well, that I can guess my blood pressure based on how I feel and be about 98% accurate. It blows nurses minds to which is really fun for me. My shoulders have felt a little achy again lately, which is almost an overstatement. It’s actually a very mild sensation. So I’m asking myself, what’s weighing on me right now. And as I find answers, I’ll work through them with the ball. And that mild ache will go away again. It’s not even catching my attention enough to do a cognitive movement session around it yet. So I’m simply asking myself what may be there, when I do happen to note a twinge of soreness. My hope is that this episode is helping you open up to facing any stuck emotions you may have in your body. The alternative is to keep that energy inside your body where it will keep impacting your life in negative or unwanted ways. Did you just grown? I get it, I really do. But here’s something else to keep in mind. The longer that emotional energy stays in your body, the more damage it does, there is no guarantee that it will continue to be just something that’s painful or inconvenient. There is a chance to grow into something a lot more severe. There have been so many people I’ve seen over the years who will suddenly be diagnosed with something like cancer or have a stroke or heart attack. right on the heels of an incredibly stressful or Greenfield time in their life. I’m not suggesting that these people ignored their emotions and that’s why they got sick, not at all. But there is definitely a direct correlation between those emotions and whatever health issue they had to face soon after. Look at just stress over and over you hear how much stress will damage your body. Literally every client of mine has reported that when stress goes up, so does their pain. Every single one, including me when you or stressed or depressed or grieving, you are dealing with some heavy energy that will lower your immune system, providing an opportunity to allow some disease or condition to stake its claim instead of shop inside your body. So how do you get the emotions out? The best way is to acknowledge them. The more attention you give those emotions, the smaller they will get. I recall when I was first learning about coaching, and the instructor was talking about Gremlins, those little voices you have inside your head trying to tell you BS like you aren’t good enough. They pointed out that Gremlins can’t survive when you drag them out into the sun. It’s the same thing with negative emotions, when you pay attention to them, they get smaller. Same thing with physical pain, too. That’s not the same thing as sitting around reminding yourself all day about how much you hurt that will keep you in pain. So let me make a clear distinction. When I say pay attention to pain, I mean, look down at your body. You guys have already done this with me. Keep your eyes open while you do this. If you are in a safe place to do so. Join me and walk through this with me right now. If you’re driving, please do it later. If something else is going on. That’s not safe. Please wait to do this at a later time. Okay, for those ready, thank you. Describe the emotion. What is it? Is it stress? worry, anxiety? Is it physical pain? Feel it? Where is it in your body? Scan your entire body? It can be a sensation anywhere. If you feel it in multiple places, which one feels the strongest? focus there? Describe it. Is it lighter, heavy, dull or sharp? What does it feel like? Stay in it. Describe it as vividly as you can. Take deep breaths as you do. Good. Now slowly, very slowly. Let your eyes come back up until you’re looking at the part of the wall where it meets the ceiling. Good. Let’s do that one more time. Look down at your body. Bring that feeling up inside again. Take a nice deep breath. Make it bigger. How does it feel? Describe it. Stay in it. Keep taking deep breaths. Feel it. Now, let your eyes slowly drift up the wall again to where it meets the ceiling. What happened within your body as we did that experiment? What happened within your body as we did that experiment, the sensation got lighter, didn’t it? So cool. That’s a hack you have available to you at any time to help you shift your state. There is one caveat that I have with all this. If you have experienced substantial trauma, we will go very, very slow. Your subconscious mind will need more time to trust that you are safe and to start to let go of the blocks. I’m finding that a 15 to 20 minute cognitive movement session is the most effective for those with a history of trauma or high levels of pain. And you can do those sessions a few times per week. Every session will create changes in the nervous system for the next six weeks. This allows you to more easily peel back the layers within the trauma and or physical pain. I hope this episode helped you better understand the link between physical pain in emotions. Please download my free ebook from my website to help you start to raise your awareness. I will put both the link to the Louise Hay book, as well as the link to grab my ebook into the show notes for today’s episode. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Are you a listener who doesn’t experience physical pain? But you do feel chronically anxious or stressed? Do you keep telling yourself that you’ll change your bad habits before they bite you in the ass? Here’s the thing. Everyone thinks you have time to change until you don’t. I invite you to join me again next week to get some tips and tricks to avoid the pain journey altogether.