The other day I was sitting in my living room watching TV when I heard a very strange sound. You know you get used to the sounds you hear in and around the house. But this sounded different than anything I had heard before. And I noticed it got me anxious. I wanted to know what it was. Many thoughts went through my head. “Oh it’s probably the neighbor working on something” (trying to reassure myself). But it was not. “I hope it’s not a mouse!” (I hate them!) or worse… Feelings of annoyance, fear and intrigue were coming up.
We fear what we don’t understand
Then it occurred to me that it’s the same with the (pain) signals our bodies send us. If we don’t know what the body is trying to tell us, it can be pretty scary. What’s that tingling feeling in the top of my finger? What’s that nagging pain in my shoulder? What’s that sharp pain in my right hip? If you get these pains it can feel as if your body has betrayed you. But in reality it is helping you. You just have to (learn to) decipher the signals. Once you know what it is and what you can do about it, it’s not so scary anymore.
The body’s signals often start as a whisper, for example a tingling sensation at the tip of your finger. That is your body’s way of telling you something. If you don’t understand the signal, or don’t respond, the body steps up the volume and starts speaking and eventually screaming to you, so that you can no longer ignore it. But still you have to decipher the signal in order to be able to do something about it.
Silencing the signal or doing something about it
Often it is easier to numb the pain, to silence the body. But that, in the above example, would be similar to turning up the TV, putting on headphones or inserting earplugs. The result would be that I would no longer be confronted with the strange sound. Would that give peace of mind? I don’t think so because in the back of my head would still be the thought of it, and the realization that the moment I would switch off the TV the sound would probably come back. So the only real solution would be to play detective, to go after the source of the strange sound. And then do something about it.
It is the same with pain. Are you taking pain killers to mask the signal? How does pain make you feel? Scared? Annoyed? Anxious? Are you thinking “Oh that back pain again.. does it ever stop?” or “I wonder how this pain will develop as I get older” or “I am too young to be in this kind of pain”? These are all things I have heard from my clients. I have helped them decipher their body’s signals, and relate it to their posture and function. I showed them where and how they were off balance and helped them improve their balance, function and posture. As a result they not only got rid of the pain, but they were also reassured. They have a better understanding of their body.
Getting rid of the fear of the pain
As a result, they are not afraid of the pain anymore, as they know what their body is telling them, and also know what to do about it. That gives them a lot more energy to do the things they love. Because worrying about things costs a lot of energy.
And the sound? It turned out to be a valve of the extractor hood in my kitchen that was making a noise due to a specific direction of the wind.. phew, mystery solved! So next time I hear the sound I won’t become anxious, afraid or annoyed!
If you want me to help you translate your body’s signals and pains, let me know. I’m here for you!