Did you see the movie, "Cake"?This movie stars Jennifer Aniston as a woman suffering from chronic pain due to a horrific accident. It is not an easy movie to watch due to the amount of pain she is in emotionally and physically and how she punishes the world around her as a way to cope.
As a massage therapist and someone that has "been there, done that", I thought this movie was right on in depicting the mind/body connection. In the end she is able to accept her life and how to work with the pain. If you get a chance, see it. It didn't get the best reviews because this was such a different role for Aniston, but I think she nailed the role and the script was good too.
Why am I telling you about this movie? Her thoughts are full of anger, rage, grief and frustration. Yes, she was severely injured, but the pain her body is in goes deeper than just the physical. There is emotion buried in there too. Shame, guilt, fear and internal conflict are emotions that can be conscious or unconscious feelings no one wants to acknowledge. As a result, our unconscious mind creates distraction in the form of pain to avoid the discomfort of these kinds of feelings. The body then has a physiological response; lack of blood flow to an area, accumulation of waste product which creates pain and trigger points.
So now let's talk about those thoughts in your head. Thoughts are energy, positive or negative, they create an outcome in the body. Whether you create the thoughts yourself or someone directs negative words at you, you will feel a drop in energy and might even feel a twinge of discomfort in some area of your body.
As a child I witnessed this in an older couple. The husband was upset with his wife and let her know it in front of several people and he had no problem continuing to embarrass her. Not long after his tongue lashing, she started to experience chest pain and needed to take some medication and go home to rest.
At some time maybe you have experienced a negative situation and felt your body respond. Or maybe you experienced something positive when you felt low and it made a change for the better. Either way, this is reinforcement that thoughts are energy and have an effect.
So many times when someone comes in for bodywork because of discomfort and pain it has an emotional component. I am not talking about injury. I am talking about pain that comes and goes or is always there, sometimes worse, sometimes less.
Dr. John Sarno wrote a great book, "The Mindbody Prescription" that talks about unconscious emotions and the effects on the body and how to make changes. Meditation and mindfulness have made big differences for me and are part of many chronic pain programs. Not any one thing will solve everyone's issues, so it takes some exploring to find what works for you, but I encourage you to make the effort.
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