Pain and tension anywhere in the body is uncomfortable and debilitating. There are many causes of pain – injury, accident, strain, sprain; but I also believe pain can have a metaphysical cause as well. By metaphysical I mean a mind-body relationship which I will talk about in this blog.
When we think about pain and illness, most of us are primarily concerned with the condition of our physical body and fixing that. So, what do we do?
We go to the doctor, get medicines like pain killers or anti-inflammatory creams or even steroids and hope for the best. Great, that works for a time and then something else happens (which might be related to the medicine you took, or not), but things generally are not getting any better.
How about thinking about things differently?
I believe origins of pain, illness and the process of healing extend far beyond the confines of what we perceive as our physical body. This is where our thoughts-mind come in.
The way we identify ourselves, our life experiences and beliefs, every word, every thought, every feeling, every emotion is constantly creating chemical changes via our central nervous system flowing into our tissues, our cells, our organs and this is recorded in how we physically feel.
This flow is what I call energy, others call it life force, or prana, or chi. Whatever you want to call it, when this energy is flowing beautifully then all is good, however, we live in a world with stresses and bumps in the road to navigate through, and so our flow or energy can become compromised and sometimes even gets blocked.
The result – pain, tension or illness.
Our bodies don’t get sick or have aches and pains without a reason. It’s not something that just happens. Stress is usually the biggest culprit with a lot of us not even knowing we are stressed or feeling run down. We actually think of it as normal (“everyone is stressed aren’t they?”) until the effects of it catches up with us in some form or other and we break down with illness or pain.
But surely we can deal with the stress and just let it go or process it?
Under normal circumstances, our bodies are able to process and let go of a certain amount of stress, or emotions, or traumas, just like it is able to digest and get rid of a certain amount of junky food. But as we know, if we continue eating too much junky food, our bodies can’t keep up with processing it all, so the remainder of it gets sent to other parts of the body for storage – in other words it stores it as FAT.
It is the same with unprocessed stress, energy, emotions, and traumas. The body stores these excesses as energy blockages in parts of the body.
We can only process, or let go, or burn off so much.
What happens to the rest?
This is what I call an energy malfunction or even a BLOCK. And normally we make the conscious decision not to take action and address the blockage. Or, we deny, or cut off from an emotion or feeling thinking if we suppress it, it will disappear. It gets pushed down and stored in some part of your body, and, as this builds up inside you year after year, it starts to manifest itself in different ways: you start noticing that you can’t sleep, you get agitated more easily, quick tempered, shoulder tightness, headaches, neck problems, breathing problems, digestive issues, food sensitivities and other illnesses. We may ask the Doctor to give us a tablet for the symptoms but we are not dealing with the causes.
However, what if we were to take action through the mind body connection?
Could this work?
How do we do this?
I believe it’s about turning inward and honestly looking at yourself. It’s about reflecting on the story of your life. It’s about Self Awareness – not just awareness of you but also the way people and the world around you impacts on you. Once you learn to become aware, your world opens a little wider. You start to see connections between the physical and spiritual world and discover why things happen to us.
Since becoming an Intuitive Therapist I have delved deeper into myself and my awareness has grown. This takes time and practise, but it has been well worth it.
You are probably wondering when is she going to get to the shoulder part?
Well I’m nearly there. I just wanted to give you a brief description of how I think when it comes to us and how we work, and how healing the energy body works. This is how I work with everything relating to our bodies so I will refer to this information often in other blogs to come.
What is awareness when it comes to pain and tension?
Awareness is listening to your body and letting it tell you where it needs help. Our bodies have an inner wisdom that tells us when to take a break and rest, when and what to eat, when to sleep and so on. If we pay attention to this inner wisdom, we can learn to become more aware of ourselves, more in touch with life. However, we have to be ready to hear the information it tells us. A lot of us fear what will be said, so we become defensive and make up excuses as to why we have an ailment and blame others or a situation for it. “I can’t help it, it’s not my fault”, “I’m just blocked”, “it’s just old age”, “these things happen”. AHH, not really. This to me is resistance. I’ve been very resistant in my life so I recognise it. I come from a background of resistance and excuses. I thought it was normal. I thought it made me strong, in control. One thing for sure was, it didn’t benefit my body which brings me to my shoulders.
I have had shoulder tension and pain on and off for many years. When I was singing it was mainly my right shoulder. Since I gave that up, the right shoulder has calmed down a bit. Now I have become aware of my left shoulder problems and it fascinates me, just like every client that I see with pain or illness fascinates me.
I have been to Osteopaths, Chiropractors, had Acupuncture, Massage and all the rest. I’ve taken all sorts of herbal medicines and supplements. I’ve been to the gym and done exercises and stretching. The list goes on. Did any of this help? Kind off, but only in a superficial way.
Whilst my shoulder problems are nowhere near what they used to be I still feel there is something not right, a block, a lack of freedom and even pain every now and then, so I am now dealing with them through Energy Release, which has been very interesting and I am putting into practise what I do with my clients.
When I work with any client, I work with their unique energy field. This energy field surrounds and protects us from lots of things such as bacteria, germs, environmental issues. This energy field mirrors our physical energy system which I believe is made up of energy centres. I like the word Chakras to describe them but you can call them whatever you want.
Our chakras circulate life force, chi, prana around the body and the mind. In these energy centres there are rivers or channels that flow from one chakra to another carrying prana, life force, chi throughout the whole body. This is your flow that I talked about earlier. We are just energy. Chakras are not solid. You can’t physically see them (even though some people can) or hold them, but you can feel them. We each feel them differently. I feel a buzz, a hum, an aliveness. I also feel a numbness or non-movement, a nothing in some areas as well.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the channels are called Meridians, Ayurvedic Medicine has a similar system called Nadis. It so happens that meridians run close to nerves and arteries, even tendons in the body, so is there a connection? I like to think so.
I will refer to chakras and meridians as I talk about pain and illness in my blogs, so you will get used to my terminology.
My Shoulder tension
Like I said, the tension and pain in my shoulders is nowhere as bad as it used to be, however, by working through energy release on them I am finally fixing the issues.
Here is what I have discovered. Maybe this information might help you.
The energies of the solar plexus chakra and the heart chakra can manifest in the shoulders. Makes sense doesn’t it? These 2 muscles are in the vicinity of the shoulders. In my case, these are the areas that have definitely contributed to the stiffness and pain in my shoulders.
The solar plexus energy area is the centre of our will. It is our learning area. It is where we start to make decisions about what we are going to do in life, which direction we will take, it’s where we make gut decisions. The solar plexus reacts to our social life. On a physical level this area reacts to situations we are going through at home, at work, school, social events. It is the area where we feel self-esteem. If we have uncomfortable situations happening at home, at work etc, we feel it in the solar plexus area. From this centre our energy is concerned with whether we are liked or disliked.
The heart chakra is obvious, it’s to do with love. The giving and receiving of it to be precise. When these energies are flowing beautifully you will have confidence, feel strong, have powerful feelings of achievement. You can forgive and love.
Sounds great doesn’t it? Well that’s what I am working towards, but first I need to deal with the Resistance/Blocks.
My shoulders were the worst was when I was a singer. You could say that the physicality of singing could have put a strain on them, but I know plenty of singers who don’t have shoulder problems. So isn’t it interesting that as soon as I made the decision to give up, my shoulder pain subsided.
Stiffness in the shoulder area can reveal that you are going in the wrong direction in life, that you are doing something in life that isn’t serving your Highest Purpose. In my case that was for sure. I had to let go of my identity as a singer, which wasn’t very easy, and, let go of certain ways of thinking, which I am still trying to do.
Shoulder pain is quite complicated. There are six different meridians or channels moving through this area. All of these contain quite a mixture of emotional, mental and behaviour energies which show themselves as different types of pain. In my case, this was mainly tightness and heaviness. Also a feeling of stagnation in the shoulders. That buzz that I mentioned earlier wasn’t buzzing. Stagnated energy becomes a protective barrier mainly from hurtful feelings. Again, this has to do with the heart.
Rotator cuff tightness has a lot to do with holding hurt feelings as well, and not forgiving.
Shoulder pain can also be caused by being set in your ways. Resisting new possibilities. Tensing the upper body is normal when we resist, it’s a way of maintaining control. Wanting control of things, people, events, causes tightness in the body especially the shoulders, arms and hands. Negative self-talk also causes tightness in the body especially the shoulders.
So that’s a description of the realisations I have had of myself. I could go on but I need to give a bit of background.
When I was singing, the main area of tension and pain for me was in the Trapezius area.
This area has an acupressure point relating to the gallbladder GB21. It is the point on the gallbladder meridian that carries the energy of our belief in our own limitations. As a result of this, the energy of frustration can arise from here. This point can become very sensitive and very painful when touched or massaged. Do you feel frustrated by not having the confidence to ask for something like a pay rise, or more attention, acknowledgment, love?
When clients refer to neck and shoulder pain, a lot of the time they point to this area.
In my case, I always believed I wasn’t good enough to justify asking for a better fee for singing, or even being ready to go for an audition or putting my price up for teaching singing lessons. I felt I wasn’t qualified enough, good enough. Imposter syndrome?? And, I didn’t enjoy the study part, the learning part associated with the job.
When I gave up singing and started on the therapeutic route these feelings would sometimes well up again, but never as bad. These feelings are actually quite normal. That’s why we study and learn, to feel comfortable through our knowledge. But something is different now. I am much more confident being a therapist than being a singer. I believe in myself. I enjoy the study, the learning. Am I finally serving my Highest Purpose?
As a result, my trapezius muscles are softening. If they do get a bit tight, I am aware and I can work through what the issue might be related to, so the tightness goes very quickly.
Another interesting area that I am working on is under the shoulder blade of my left shoulder. There is a particular trigger point that gets painful and then radiates out into my arm.
In my case, and in most clients I see, this point relates to the heart chakra. It is directly behind the heart. Arms are the energetic extensions of the heart. If your heart is weak or closed or resisting then your arms will feel the same and vice versa. For the heart to be free, the arms need to be free, so I will talk about them together.
In my case it’s my resistance to show love and particularly in my early life, being open to receiving it. I have become aware that I get this pain when I shut off to some people and some situations. I shut off and hold my ability to love and receive love mainly because of previous belief systems and hurts.
While I have been trying to release this area I have been having a few dreams about my father. He was a stubborn man. He couldn’t really do emotions. Well, actually, he could do anger very well. He was always frustrated. Everything was a drama with him. And of course my mum, myself and my brother never did anything right. I think that’s where I learnt how to shut off to people and also not believing in myself. You know what it’s like, if you get criticised enough you start to believe it. I thought that when my dad died, I had accepted him for who he was and that would be the end of it, but I hadn’t really forgiven him. Maybe I didn’t think it was necessary because he was dead. Sometimes I wish he was around so that we could have conversations that I would approach differently now about our relationship, which may help with forgiveness (or because of his stubbornness may not). Shutting off from someone, especially our parents or a spouse etc, doesn’t fix anything as I have found out. All this does is block our hearts from opening. Blaming your parents/spouse means not forgiving them. By not forgiving them we are not loving them. How can your heart be truly open?
Opening my heart is definitely work in progress for me. Being generous in spirit and open with love. It’s not something I was brought up to do. My dad never trusted anybody, he was suspicious of everyone. I had this belief system for a very long time. No wonder I had resistance in my shoulders. Another interesting thing to mention while I think of it is, the shoulders can also store energies of your parents. If your parents were unhappy together or if either or both of them experienced little or no love in their lives, sometimes a second generation copy of these energies is passed into you at the time of conception and it is stored in the upper arms and shoulders. Now that’s a bit out there – but have a think about it.
An emotion I have felt while working on energy release in my shoulders is sadness. I stifled sadness for a long time. I never liked it. I never liked the feeling. I always equated it to a negative emotion. But now I believe that every emotion is positive….positive if you process it rather than stifle it. If we let ourselves feel, we have many emotions in a day. Sadness energy can be found close to the heart, mainly on the breast bone. I have been trying to open and release that area and as a result I have been releasing sadness. Not really attached to an event, just sadness. Interesting isn’t it?
Healing by energy release can happen through many healing forms. It could be through myofascial release, therapeutic massage, pressure points, Amnanda Process, Shiatsu, the list goes on. When you work with a great practitioner that you trust, guidance and support will always be there. Opening the heart will help the channels in your shoulders and upper arms open as well. Sometimes opening these areas will release intense discomfort and trigger other areas of discomfort in the body. In my case that has been in the deltoid muscles, the rotator cuff and under my left shoulder blade. But it’s all good because I am releasing the blocked energy and feeling so much better.
How do I release??
Everybody is unique. Unique in pain and illness and unique in healing.
My job as an Intuitive Therapist is to work with my clients’ uniqueness, so every treatment is different. I work with you to find your bespoke solution. Therefore, what I do for myself may not be for everybody. You need to find what is right for you.
My main form of healing myself was initially through the Amnanda Process and now I use Meditation, or Prayer, or Mindfulness, whatever you want to call it.
By meditating I am able to become more aware. Aware of my energy flow, and as a result, aware of other people’s energy and the energy that surrounds us all.
During my meditations I can concentrate on releasing resistance, stiffness, dispersing pain, and helping my flow. I do this through breath and visualisation. This has taken a lot of practise but the results have been well worth it. I use this method with my clients as well.
On a physical level a very enjoyable session I go to is with my Shiatsu practitioner. I love Shiatsu. It’s a physical therapy and the underlying principle is pressure. Different stretching techniques are part of the treatment and I find this very beneficial for me. As my practitioner stretches my body he will also apply pressure to certain points (meridians) and I get feedback from my body. My awareness picks up lack of flow and through my breath I can try to work through it. I like this therapy because I am not reneging my responsibility for my own healing by wanting him to fix me. We have an understanding, we work together. From my shiatsu session I am then able to work on the physical blocks I have felt, and then I meditate and work on energy release myself.
That’s how I work with my clients when we have a treatment, building their awareness and working with them towards their unique self-healing journey.
Before I end, I would just like to say that all of this information is totally my opinion. If you have found it interesting then great. If you haven’t that’s fine.
In all of this we need to find our own truth and what works for us.
Enjoy finding yours.
Until next time.