© Dane Roubos, D.C. GracefulWayHealingArts.com
Questions and Answers
Q: Pain Sucks – How Could it Be My “Teacher?”
A: I agree that pain sucks, and I’m not going to try to convince you that it’s wonderful. Of course there some people who really like pain, but that’s another story . . . Pain does perform some useful functions, however.
In addition to letting us know when our bodies need attention, pain serves as a catalyst to action and exploration. It can open doors we wouldn’t have seen, and bring us to people or inner places we wouldn’t have ventured to otherwise.
Pain can help us learn the futility of holding on, and discover how to let go. We can see how we try to control situations and people in our lives. We eventually discover that the only thing we really have much control over is how we respond to what's going on within and around us. With practice, our responses become less reactive and we feel more peaceful, even though the pain or outside circumstances havn't changed much.
Over time, pain can teach us something. What we eventually realize is that we do have the gift of choice. We can choose how we respond to life’s sorrows, joys, surprises and pain. We can accept “what is” as students with open hearts, or we can spend our precious life energy resenting the unfairness of it all, shaking our fist at the heavens and shouting, “Why me?”
It doesn’t matter if we’re dealing with a health issue or a recurring problem in our personal lives; the spiritual approach to bringing healing to the situation is basically the same. The healing process begins with awareness and acceptance.
Pain can be a “wake-up call,” prompting us to slow down and pay attention to the message our bodies are giving us. Sometimes the message is simply “Slow Down!” Physical pain may also be a reflection of the emotional pain we’ve bottled up inside that’s now wanting to be set free. Now that pain has alerted us, we can explore the "message," follow the "clues," and discover something that could change our lives for the better.
Q: This is pretty complicated. Isn't it easier just to take an aspirin?
A: It seems easier at first, but over time you could get yourself in a heap of trouble by blissfully popping painkillers and ignoring what is going on in there. Extended usage of aspirin and its relatives often results in intestinal bleeding, along with liver or kidney damage. There will also be damage from the causes of the pain, whatever they are, when left alone to do their thing.
Here's another aspect. If your Inner Wisdom (or God) is trying to get a message to you, and you're ignoring it, what do you think is likely to happen next? Yes, the Cosmic ping-pong paddle might be replaced by a 2×4, which you won't be able to ignore so easily. Is that what you want?
This article will suggests a different way to look at your life challenges, which is much more empowering: Is Your Health Challenge Actually a Gift?
Way back at the beginning of this article (Overeview), I mentioned the four famous factors – you remember them don’t you? No? OK, here they are again:
- Structure & Function
- Mental, Emotional & Spiritual
- Chemical & Nutritional
Four different categories, but really eight different factors all together. Each has had zillions of books written about it, and its own authentic or self-proclaimed experts. If we line up eight experts, one for each category, would any single one of them have the “answer” for chronic pain?
Knowing what you know now, that would be rather silly, wouldn’t it? Doctors get lucky occasionally, even if they only have one approach. Generally, those who combine more than one or two approaches can offer better results.
Since no one can be an expert in everything, you may need to have two or more providers on your “team.” This is more likely to be true if you have a complicated case, with lots of factors involved.
Pain can be a sign that any of the things we’ve discussed in this article is out of balance, and needs attention. There are usually a few factors creating the disturbance, like some stuck joints or fascia, decreased lymph flow in a muscle, and a restricted organ. It's common to find some blocked energy somewhere, too. It may also be more complicated than that.
Either way, there is almost always an answer, or at least a partial one, that offers some relief. So listen to your body as best you can, get some help when you need it, and take good care of yourself!
“I see!” will become more of a reality when you recognize how some of the choices you make every day have been contributing to your stress instead of nurturing your spirit. With this new awareness, you can begin to make new choices, and gradually aim your ship in the direction you really want to go.
CranioSacral Therapy & Related Disciplines
If you have chronic pain, I recommend getting an evaluation with someone experienced in at least two of these techniques: CranioSacral Therapy, Lymph Drainage Therapy, or Visceral Mobilization. Please see the Resource List below for how to find a practitioner in your area.
A good chiropractor can be very helpful for pain. My personal rule of thumb is this: In most cases, if I don’t see notable improvement (compared to my initial tests) in two or three visits, I suspect I’ve missed something. Most commonly, something is stuck, or there's old blocked energy stored in the tissues, or there's inflammation that we're not aware of. Either can be explored, and often cleared, using modalities like CranioSacral Therapy, Chiropractic or testing for food allergies.
Be wary of treatment plans that read, “Three times a week for a month, then twice a week for two months . . . ” This is most likely a "cookbook approach," doing the same thing each visit, and you will probably be disappointed in the outcome.
How to find experienced practitioners of CranioSacral Therapy, Visceral Mobilization and Lymph Drainage Therapy:
Visit the International Association of HealthCare Practitioners website. Choose your modality and enter your full zip, or the first three digits. I’d suggest you look for people with three or four courses in that curriculum, but two will usually do nicely if more advanced practitioners aren’t available.
Links to Other Articles on this Site
The Art of Being Your Own Best Friend