Your Back is Your Support System
God made your spine in the shape of an ‘S’ – strong and bouncy, and he connected it to your brain for self preservation, so that when stressful situations come at you like a charging bull, you have a way out – although ‘pain’ isn’t really a way out of anything, it’s only a way of perpetuating a vicious circle.
When my father died end of July 2006, I woke up the very next morning with a stiff neck, frozen shoulder, and pain down one side of my body. I didn’t know at the time, that this was my way of grieving. I was surprised just how strong I was, no tears, or very few, and my heart seemed quite strong also, yet this pain consumed me 24/7 – I went to so many different types of therapists, and had X-rays and other forms of investigative processes to find out what caused this situation ‘all of a sudden’.
At the time I was assisting at Master NLP Practitioner Training, and unfortunately couldn’t continue due to the severity of the pain. I couldn’t sit, or stand, or walk, or lie, – I would wriggle and cry and scream, and curse (yep – I did that too) and yell, and not to mention bucket loads of pain killers, even morphine injections. Did any of that help? – NO – I settled on a form of treatment from a chiropractor who did other forms of treatment as well as manipulation, and every time I got off the table I felt worse than before.
Six months on, while assisting, this time in a ‘Hypnotherapy Training’ class still in pain, still believing that it will work, someone suggested I read Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by John E. Sarno M.D. – I went in search of this book. I couldn’t find it in any bookstore at the time, they either didn’t have it in store or were out of stock, so I ordered it and waited. I was good at waiting. My whole life seemed to be one of waiting. The book finally arrived, so I started reading – “what is this” thinking to myself. I was expecting some form of movement, stretching, exercise, but no – none of that. He was telling me it was all in my head. “WHAT THE” .. I thought to myself, and that was it for the book.
I was strong and patient and persevered for two long, painful, very expensive years, in the belief, that it took time to heal. With all my NLP training I should have known better, and my money would have been better spent on grief counselling. I’m not saying that it was all in my head, because it wasn’t, it was real. The muscles were in spasm, the ligaments tied up in knots, which were all pulling my spine out of alignment and putting so much pressure on the delicate nerves. It was a vicious circle. This was my form of grieving – although I didn’t know it at the time.
When you are in pain – severe pain, you go searching for answers. You want to know what it is, why it’s happening, what you did to cause it, and how you can fix it. The last thing you want is for some smart ass to tell you that it’s all in you ‘head’. You want to just thump them, because you know that the pain is real – How do you know that? Because, you are the one who is living this hell, not all the crazy, well meaning people giving you advice, and telling you how you should go about fixing it. Love them – they all mean well and just don’t know how to help you in the painful situation you are in.
A few years ago my daughter downloaded an audio version on my computer – I listened to the whole book, but it still didn’t sit well with me. When pain came up, I would tell it to go away, that it wasn’t real and was all in my head. Well it didn’t work – the pain didn’t go away, and I, with all my training still wasn’t getting it. Of course it wasn’t in my head, it was in my body, although my subconscious mind was manifesting my – anxiety, stress, dissatisfaction, money problems into body pain, so that my focus would be on the pain and not on the real issues at hand. Was I finally starting to get it? I think maybe I was, sort of.
Early this year, yes you guessed it, the second book from John E. Sarno M.D. The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain was downloaded onto my computer. I love my daughters, they all, in their way, try to help, just like mothers in their way, try to help their children.
I listened to the new book over and over. This time it sat better with me. It made good sense. With all the training I have done, I finally realised that – doctors may recommend drugs, surgeons may recommend surgery, body workers may recommend different forms of body work, psychologists may recommend counselling.
We are more than just a body, don’t you remember as a child singing the song – “the knee bone’s connected to the, thigh bone”, – well it’s true. We cannot disconnect our body from our mind, and when someone tells you that it’s all in the head, I think, what they mean is that there is something going on in your life that is so painful, confusing, outrageous, that the pain in the body, even though severe, seems easier to deal with than the root of the cause. We may not want to face or even admit that it could be something else that is triggering the pain. Been there, done that, – and would have argued with you till I was black n blue that it wasn’t true. NOW – I humbly admit that I believe it is true. I look back over my life and realise that hmmm – wish I knew then, what I know now.