Pain as a Messenger

I’m really focusing on the somewhat radical belief that pain is a message, from our bodies or our spirits, indicating that something needs our attention. When we acknowledge it as such, and receive the message we can then make the appropriate adjustments. This acceptance and taking of responsibility may or may not result in the lessening or elimination of the pain, but will absolutely promote a deeper healing from within.

I’ve been working with a client who’s recovering from an auto accident. She has both good days and bad days. On the days when she’s feeling pain, she will often take a muscle relaxer. Then she says she feels better and can do the things she wants to do. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. However, then she perceives a false sense of strength and well-being and tends to overdo. She thinks she’s feeling better, but actually she’s just feeling less. She’s missing out on the message from her body to rest or slow down or take it easy. Then that sets off a whole other chain of events as her recovery is set back by harmful activity.

Over the course of the 60 minutes we spend together, she’s starting to see that overriding her body’s request to have down time for healing is actually creating a longer period of recuperation. She’s recognizing that forcing her agenda of returning to her former state of athleticism before her muscles and nervous system are ready is causing her to feel worse in the long run. She’s coming to the awareness that the pain she experiences is an important message.

By no means am I suggesting that she stop taking the meds. Really that’s her decision and it’s not for me to know whether or not they are helpful. What I’m suggesting is that if she chooses to take them, to remember that she may have shot the messenger, but that doesn’t make the message itself any less important.  As she learns to honor the input her body is readily sharing, I have no doubt that her healing will progress much more quickly. She can  choose to feel less AND honor her body’s request. It’s just a matter of being mindful.

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