We, as humans, have used symbols to understand broader or deeper concepts for the majority of history. A simple religious image is used to communicate a story or a tenant of the ideology. A flag can represent the culture of millions of people. A map can show terrain in a way we can digest before we ever even see the area. Our bodies do so as well.
Sometimes it is hard to understand our own emotions (ask just about any 16-year-old). Our bodies help relay the messages that our mind/soul is expressing but that our consciousness does not understand. More often than many would believe, I have seen clients experiencing back pain that is in similar situations in life. These patients use expressions and sayings that indicate this mind/body/soul relationship that we use daily but don’t think about on a deeper level. ‘I just don’t feel supported by …’, ’I don’t know where to turn to find…’, ‘ I feel bent out of shape ever since this person…’ Or someone experiencing knee pain that says ‘I don’t know how to move forward…’, ‘I’m having a hard time standing up to this…’.
Our bodies and minds have an amazingly powerful connection that can be explored once one understands the two are not dichotomous in nature, but somewhat symbiotic. We put food or a drug in our body, and it can affect our mood, not just the soft tissue or organ it came into direct contact with. There are representations of pain that can be representational of themes that run throughout the Human experience: Feminine and Masculine, Id and Ego, dark and light, freedom, and fear.
I have heard a metaphor to make things a little clear if this seems too vague. Most of us have phones that have apps. We can see the bright buttons. We push the symbols. Things typically work. When they don’t, however, we have to seek out help from someone or have it plugged in to something that can work directly with the code. This code has limitless possibilities, whereas the app has a few. Getting the two to work together is empowering. The mind (the code in this) is so vast that the limits of discovery and creativity have never been found. It can make the body (the app) do amazing things — the better the programming, the better the body functions. The connection has to run unimpeded.
If you are experiencing a pain that is not changing, try listening to your body. Ask these simple questions for increasing clarity about what your body is trying to communicate.
What area of the body is the sensation located? What is the function of this area of the body? For example, with uterine pain, the purpose of the uterus is creation, growth, love, relationships, sex, abundance. Does one of these areas in your life feel blocked or need attention?
Is the pain on the right or left of the body? There is a general teaching that the right side of the body is associated with masculinity. This may be your own relationship with your masculine side, or perhaps there was a male figure in your life that inflicted wounds or traumas during your life. The left side of the body is considered the feminine side of the body, whether our femininity or from interactions with feminine caregivers.
Take a moment to close your eyes, connect to the area of pain or discomfort. Does it have a shape, a color, a texture? Does this bring up a specific experience or emotion that needs to be addressed? How does this area of the body making you feel? Once the feeling is identified try saying this out loud, “I feel _______ (scared, angry, hurt, not good enough).” Allow yourself to connect to these emotions, breathe through the feeling that comes up. Reevaluate the area of the body. Has any sensation changed? Is there anything else that needs to be addressed? If so, repeat the process when you feel ready.
At Root and Restore, we facilitate this connection through work on the body and on the mind. Through guidance and understanding of the entire person and their situation as they come into our clinic, we can give them the best tools to facilitate their healing process.