Like a baby crying, pain is the cell letting you know it needs attention.
It is interesting how we have been indoctrinated into beliefs that don’t serve our highest good. Pain is a great example as we have been conditioned into viewing this signal from the body as something to mask, cover up and avoid. Obviously, avoiding pain makes sense as we don’t want to consciously add it into the body if it will cause damage to our tissue; however, when it is present, to avoid it makes us unaware of the further damage we may be creating.
I recently watched a series on Netflix called Poisoned. It was about Oxycontin and the misuse of this powerful narcotic. It shares stories of the devastating consequences to many who were prescribed this drug, as well as the abuse of the industry in getting doctors to prescribe it.
That aside, one of the main characters had broken his back, requiring surgery. He was given this drug to manage the pain. In the beginning, it did the job and for a while, he was able to live his life like he had before his injury.
The part that made me cringe (and there are many parts of this show that will make you cringe), was seeing him use his body when he was medicated. Knowing the extent of the injury he had sustained while watching him lift heavy objects and torque his body in his job, created anxiety in me. I knew what his cells would be screaming to him if he could hear them – please stop!
Of course, the medications aren’t a long-term solution. Eventually so much damage is done when we can’t feel the pain, that it’s only a matter of time until even the strongest medications can’t override the signals. The reason is that pain is the baby crying – when you ignore the signals, they scream louder, until eventually there is no life left.
The result for this man was just that – a terrible journey down a dark road to death. It didn’t only devastate him, but his whole family. Unfortunately, this is a common scenario as people are given pain medications to mask important information from the cell. I am not suggesting that there aren’t times when we need help in managing pain; however, when we ignore and suppress the signals, the consequences can be brutal.
On the flipside of this depressing message is the fact that we have other ways to handle injury, manage pain and create healing to those damaged areas. The body is resilient and strong and has an incredible capacity to heal. However, we need to support the process through conscious action, rather than muffling the cries of the cells until they are completely shut down. In doing so, we use our body as it can handle movement, and rebuild it one breath at a time.
It is a beautiful moment when someone shifts their impression of pain. When they choose to move through, rather than try to run away or hide from pain, there is peace. Like making friends with the bully that has taunted you for years, you are no longer on edge. Suddenly you can live without the fear of pain. The pain/fear cycle that most get caught in can drive you into a state of immobility as you begin to shut down movement. This can be a slow and continual process where it isn’t even evident day to day, until you find yourself not living your best life – only surviving, not thriving.
Injury can be devastating and change a person’s life. However, how you manage it is key in the resultant long-term quality of your life. When you take conscious steps, include the breath as your main healing agent and understand the value of applying pressure into pain, you have a recipe to repair the tissue and build strength back into the area. In doing so, you learn your limitations in the moment and how to respect the process of healing. Moreover, you understand when you have made those amazing gains in your healing so you can get back to living your best life.
No matter what, when you support fascia health, you turn on your body’s ability to heal. And if you have been living with chronic pain for years, you can awaken the potential energy in your body that has been suppressed and take steps to repair past wounds and trauma.
Taking one step at a time is the key, but when you haven’t been able to get out of the chair without pain, when it happens, the newfound freedom to you is huge. Then, another step forward will take place, and before long, you are doing things you wouldn’t think possible based on your past condition.
Listen to this week’s The Fascia Masters podcast episode to learn:
What is pain?
What is the difference between acute pain and chronic pain
The role of inflammation in the healing process
How we can achieve stability and mobility with fascia work
Emotional pain and trauma - how it is stored in our bodies
How do we release or prevent emotional trauma?
The importance of changing our mindset towards pain and our body
Breathe & Believe,
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