Can Emotional Stress Cause Body Pain?
June 15, 2009
We are shaped by the things we do… even our feelings shape us. Especially the feelings we do not resolve.
We hold patterns of tension that show our incomplete movements or inability to accept what is happening around us. In an emotional situation, the body has a reflection to the emotion. When we have a feeling that moves us, it is a physical and mental happening. If we keep it in our body and don’t allow the feelings to manifest on an emotional level, we can become tense, shut down, and ultimately, sick or riddled with chronic body pain.
Every time there is an incomplete motion, somewhere within the body there is an “accelerator and brake on at the same time”. Living in this state is common. The feelings that shape us can develop over time. We are in a perpetual state of inefficiency without even knowing it. We learn to adapt to this state, revving our engines whether we need to or not.
It’s tough for many people to grasp this reality of the body. Its ability to manage our stress by becoming a cesspool for our waste, un-managed emotions, and mismanaged tensional and emotional demands is a true happening of all living organisms.
I have seen many, many times in my years of private practice that people make themselves sick or cause pain simply by suppressing primary emotions like anger and sadness. Although some may argue, “No Sue. My shoulder pain is very real. It just started hurting. I think I slept wrong…” but why would sleeping in the same bed that you do every night with the same pillow, in the same position “suddenly” out of nowhere cause a shoulder to freeze to the point where movement is no longer possible?
Is it so hard to believe that “sudden” shoulder pain was the end result of a years worth of emotional stress from a divorce, a heart that is broken, a liver full of rage that has become fixated on the rib wall altering the suspensor ligaments of the liver that connect to the tissues surrounding the shoulder blade and last night, the stress of the day was just the straw that broke the camels back?
And this is a reality. I have helped people who have shoulder pain eliminate their pain simply by mobilizing the liver and having a dialogue with my client about their history. As the session continues and some of the rage finally comes out of the body it allows the body to reclaim some much need space. This allows healing time, recognition, inner focus, and ultimately the cure for the frozen shoulder.
Your emotions are not just happening in your mind. “Forgiving and forgetting” may suit the immediate needs of moving on and getting over some issue, but unless the body is able to “let go” of the suppressed stress over time emotional issues can become body pain and dysfunction.
I’ve seen physically abused girls turn into 40-year-old women with fibroids, chronic low back pain, heavy periods, incontinence, and a load of emotional suppression to the point they have managed to go their entire life up to that point never addressing the emotional angst of a step father raping them over and over in their early adolescents.
Suddenly giving a body the opportunity to bring the memories to the conscious mind by manipulating pelvic restrictions is not only a profound experience, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Tears from 30 years of abuse suddenly coming up to the adult mind that can hold the space of the inner child whose best option was to shut down, take the abuse and get out alive is a profound moment. Although the violence is far removed from their current life, it sits within us until we are ready to move the energy out of the body and reassert the power of deep anger.
So if you ever just suddenly are hit with a massive body pain, don’t be surprised if simply going inward and addressing some emotions trapped within the body makes your pains ease up. If you clear out some space in the body, the body can reorganize and ease compression and a build up of nothing more than trapped stress looking for a way out.
Bottom line, your emotional state and your body sense are inherently linked. The mind body connection isn’t a hypothetical idea… it’s a reality. This is the foundation of MELT.
Assessing your body before and after you MELT allows you time to reconnect to your body with your body sense. Going inward and sensing yourself truly reconnects you to your emotional body and can change the most important relationship you have… the one that connects you to your body and your body to you.