Monday, October 25, 2010

Intense Back & Shoulder Pain, Part 1

In the middle of the night, I woke up with some intense back and shoulder pain. It is a burning pain that feels like prickly needles are stabbing me one right after another. It is pain that hurts so badly and actually made it very difficult to lay in the bed or sleep. I have not experienced pain this intensely or this hurtful for a long time.

For anyone that knows me, I no longer reach for pain pills or pain relievers to deal with pain such as this. I now realize in my life that doing so will not really take "the pain" away, it will just mask it. Yes, there are times when I just want to say, I don't want to feel the pain but I know deep down that this is misleading. I'm sure there are many that are reading this that what I am saying makes absolutely no sense. There are others reading this that some of what I am saying makes sense.

One of the things that I have learned is that pain is a messenger in our body. It is a connection to something that is trying to get our attention. Attempting to determine what that is may not always be easy and in fact it often seems more difficult than we want it to be.

Usually when pain comes up, our first reaction is oh my gawd, what is wrong with me? We may answer it in ways such as "I slept wrong last night", "I worked out at the fitness center too much", "I did to much physical work" or a number of other explanations. You can probably come up with a million more that fit for your own life. Remember, pain is a messenger in our body and is a connection to something that is trying to get our attention.

After we have gone through the first reaction, we normally start looking for things to relieve the pain. It may be through pain relievers, pain pills like Oxycondone, Darvocet and others. It may be through various forms of body work that only focus on "relieving" the pain rather than going into it. We might even turn towards alcohol and other drugs to numb ourselves from the pain.

Who can blame anyone though for reaching for something to try and numb the pain especially if it in the back, shoulders and neck. These pains feel debilitating and paralyzing. They are scary and they limit our functions in life. Many times they are also exhausting. There is nothing like back, shoulder or neck pain to stop you dead in your tracks. However, if you understand that pain is a messenger, than an episode like this does not have to keep you down.

One of the biggest things that keeps us down is the fear that comes up with these episodes of pain. Fear disguises itself in many ways from the misdirected actions in what may start the pain or what actually relieve the pain. Instead of stopping and listening to what is the underlying message to the pain, we turn to things to numb ourselves from the pain. While that is a short term fix, it will not ultimately connect us to that which the body is trying to tell us. We may believe it does and we may feel "healed" in the moment, but this is a false illusion. At some point in the future, the message will come back until we listen, heed its purpose and release whatever is stored in our body.

Before anyone thinks that I'm just being strange or radical in how I view this, I have been through moments where I had to go to the Emergency Room to get injections so that the pain and muscle stiffness would subside. I've been through moments where my body shut down so badly because I wouldn't listen to it and I was paralyzed to the point of almost breathing my last breath. I know first hand what can happen to a body and I know first hand the pain pills, pain relievers and other methods I used to numb myself from the pain.

I see so many healing bodywork modalities that focus on telling people they "relieve pain". As well intentioned as these people are, they are missing something. I do understand that people go through these things and the pain or situation "disappears". It may disappear for a long time but that does not mean it is gone. If you have not listened to or dealt with the message, it still has residence in your body. It is still stored energy that is locked within your body and your mind. To just relieve the pain, is an illusion. I realize that many do not like to hear this said but it is the truth and there are many people including myself that can give evidence to this. It is not some new age thought. It is a real concept based upon science.

So, lets get back to my situation for a moment. As I write this, I feel the intense pain in my body. It is consuming my energy and I feel miserable at this moment. However, I know that I need to stop today and listen to the pain. I need to allow myself to not go into the fear but to just connect with whatever it is that is coming up through my body. I have an idea of what it may be but I will be in the moment, just allowing it to shine through. For I know from my past experience, that if I allow myself to connect with it, I can move through it. Any other method of numbing the pain is not going to make this happen. I can try to fool myself like our society is so trained to do or I can look past the illusion and really bring forward some deep healing.

Stay tuned of course for the follow up to this. As this unfolds, I will write more about what came up and what I did to allow that to happen. Most likely, I will get on my massage table today and just allow myself to go into some of this to bring it on through my body and release it. Numbing myself or going into fear by trying to just relieve the pain is not going to get me to that point. Sure, I could do those things but at some point, these messages from within will get my attention.

Further Reading: Intense Back & Shoulder Pain, Part 2

(Above Picture taken Chiacgo, IL - (c) 10/19/10)

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