Have you ever tried lifting a heavy suitcase and having to walk…. and walk…. and walk. When it finally feels like your forearms are pumped up like balloons and your arms are 5 inches longer than when you started, you rest it down, destination reached.

Imagine the above scenario minus the destination and the ability to rest your burden down and you have chronic pain. What if chronic pain was the body crying out, asking for help and permission to let go of the suitcase? What if chronic pain was a flare being sent up by the mind saying look past my achy shoulder or longstanding sciatica, the problem is in here.

Mind Body Spirit and chronic pain

love to watch people walk as I believe this is the ultimate assessment. It tells us not only about an individual’s structure but reflects everything from their viscera within to their emotional state.

I am a great believer that the body is a complete unit of function. Remove one part and the whole thing will suffer.

My case history

It was only recently while on a course in deepest darkest Bristol that I realised the power of the mind. While being interrogated about my fear of commitment (this wasn’t just any course) I felt my buddy squirm and my posture become nearly foetal, my left shoulder began to rise up towards my ears and my left hamstring contracted pulling me deep into my seat. My unconscious mind was suddenly there for all to see. A switch flicked and a light bulb went off in my head. My background musculoskeletal pain of some 10 years had been in my left hip and my left shoulder and my walking phases reflected this. What if my emotional compensations were there for all to see in my movement. What if every step I took revealed my inner most fears, my prejudices, my laughter and my aspirations. What if the predisposing factors behind my long term injuries were not, as I believed, from the over use of dancing for all those years, but from the fear of being too old to continue. What if they had given me a reason to have to stop. Heavy stuff for a rainy afternoon in Bristol.

Needless to say I have a new found respect for the subconscious mind and how looking at the space between the pieces might actually be the missing parts of the puzzle. I now listen to the the words of the case history while being aware that the spaces between them might actually be telling the story. I am aware of that little voice saying “dig a little deeper, the reason for my pain might just be something other than a sore muscle or joint.”

Food for thought.

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