There are few things that we all have in common. One of these things is pain. Pain is largely defined as an unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of intensity as a consequence of injury, disease, and/or mental and emotional suffering. Some synonyms are anguish, annoyance, irritation, vexation, and discomfort. With pain our ability to thrive is somehow hampered. And most people will say that if they are experiencing significant pain, it very quickly becomes the focus of their life.
Pain, in the body, is a method of communication. It’s a subtle to extreme alarm system. Most children born with congenital insensitivity to pain, a condition where the brain is indifferent to pain stimuli coming in through the peripheral nerves, don’t live very long. This is often due to an infection they get and are not aware of because they cannot feel pain. As a result a small infection, caused by something like a splinter that goes unnoticed and untreated, leads to a larger systemic infection and death.
Pain warns us, teaches us, and keeps us alive. It is a clear sign that something is wrong and it is time to place our attention on our body. Without pain our survival is threatened, and yet we do not accept pain as an effective method of communication from our body. We experience it as burdensome, something that often gets in our way, and so we ignore it or medicate to eliminate the pain.
Consider this: if a person who had the ability to influence the success or failure of a dream or goal in your life, like a boss, a potential costumer/client, a critic, a loved one, or an institution reviewing your proposal/case, came to talk to you about something very important, would you ignore them? Probably not.
Pain is the body’s way of saying there’s something important that it needs to talk to you about. If you ignore the pain then the body has no choice but to send stronger messages to get your attention. If you still chose to not listen, the body may decide to send paralyzing physical, mental, or emotional pain to force you to listen.
The body’s first priority is your (its) health. Pain is not meant to limit your ability to thrive, it’s actually meant to sustain and promote your long-term ability to thrive. Pay attention to the pain. Let it be your focus for a while. Ask others who know more than you about the pain your are experiencing for help because the body is asking you to use your knowledge and resources to get it the help it needs. With the appropriate resources and conditions the body can then effectively fight off or fix the problem it is facing and return you to a normal state of health.
Begin managing your pain with a simple, step-by-step pain management exercise you can do at home or when you have free time. Click here to begin.
Samantha Lotti is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist, acupuncturist and herbalist in Chicago, Illinois. For more information: www.biodynamichealth.com.