Three Days of Stabbing Pain and My Mind-Body Connection
Oh, Universe, you are too clever!
A client of mine who has fibromyalgia recently asked me this question.
“Do you ever fear that the pain will return?”
“Not really”, I replied. And that’s the truth.
It’s been years since those days of Pain All Over and I look back on them with that odd gratitude that happens when something painful and difficult ends up changing your life for the better.
But, in spite of not fearing its return, I will admit to trying to recall the kind of pain it was, and how it affected my day-to-day, and more importantly my night-to-night life.
Because it lasted almost eight years. That’s a really long time, but not nearly as long as many of the people who contact me in desperation have suffered.
Ten years. Fifteen years. Twenty years. Or more.
I work with a lot of people who are in pain, and it’s in my thoughts a great deal.
Three days ago I felt a dull pain rising in my, well, I’ll just say it – my right cheek (as in bottom). By bedtime, it was stabbing and now running from my lower back, down my right side, into my thigh.
Yup. Piriformis muscle/sciatica.
I know this because decades ago I bent over from the waist and attempted to pick up our Labrador Retriever. The same pain had ripped into me then. I dropped poor Morgan and collapsed in a heap.
That time, being the Western medicine follower I was, I ended up in physical therapy and swallowing prescription-strength Motrin for weeks.
A side note is that years later when I began a yoga practice, I realized that every single exercise the physical therapist had given me was a yoga posture!
I credit my decades-long gentle yoga and qigong practice with the fact that sciatica did not become a chronic problem for me.
But what was chronic for me during a good deal of my lifetime, starting as a teenager, were issues with my second chakra (Swadhisthana/Sacral/Sexual).
Located below the navel in the area of the sexual organs. Its color is orange. Swadhisthana means “one’s own abode” or “dwelling place of the self”. It is the pleasure chakra – the chakra of sensuality, sexuality, desire, our emotions. Here lie our emotional connections with others. It is the seat of our creativity. The element associated with the sacral chakra is water. A person with a functional sacral chakra has a healthy way of expressing emotions and sexuality, both with self and others. Creativity flows in all aspects of his/her life.
Now, of course, I knew nothing back then about chakras, but in my fifties when I started studying energy medicine, lightbulbs went off like crazy.
Just about every second chakra imbalance had plagued me.
I’d had almost every gynecological issue in the book, including infertility.
Huge, painful blocks in my creativity as an artist that lasted months and sometimes years.
Issues with money.
I even hated the color orange for no apparent reason.
Well, when you start studying energy healing, the first person you work on is yourself.
And slowly, I began healing this tender chakra.
It was the most miraculous thing to witness.
When I began to actually like the color Orange, I knew I’d made significant progress.
And then the pain in my butt happened three days ago.
A sensitive energy healer friend all the way in Australia (gotta love Facebook for these connections!) sent me a note about the energetic message behind sciatica, a la Louise Hay, one of the founders of the self-help movement.
Only I think she candy-coated it for me. Because when I looked up sciatica in Louise’s book, “Heal Your Body“, here’s what it said:
“Being hypocritical. Fear of money and the future.”
Ouch. Hypocritical is such a harsh word.
My first reaction was “Couldn’t this just be from sitting too long in front of the computer?”
Yes, certainly I need to change that new bad habit.
But it didn’t take me long to find the message there. It made perfect sense to me. I won’t bore you with the details because it would take another whole post for that.
If there is one thing I’ve learned with conviction from all of my years studying energy healing and Ayurveda, it’s that
there is no denying the mind-body connection.
Sometimes those of us who write about this stuff need a knockdown to make us pay attention to our own needs.
It’s hard for me to slow down.
Sometimes what’s really happening is that I shove aside deep issues that need addressing by busying myself. Sound familiar?
Well, I got that knockdown or smackdown last Wednesday. I couldn’t sit, stand, or lie down without being in excruciating pain.
And I couldn’t sleep a wink.
It was a completely different kind of pain, but when it interferes with your sleep, let me tell you, it can make you crazy.
Just one night and it upset my whole system.
Imagine years of that.
It was torture.
This time, however, I had my holistic health arsenal.
I never took drugs for the pain. Here’s a good explanation why.
Instead, I used Arnica gel, St. John’s Wort Oil (I would have taken the tincture orally, but I was out of it so instead I took Yarrow), Peppermint and Lavender essential oils, and I drank volumes of ginger (fresh and dried)), lemon, and honey tea, and upped my daily dose of turmeric.
I dug out my hot water bottle and freezer pack and alternated them. I took an Epsom salt bath.
Friday, I walked like a turtle for acupuncture. There was no way I could make it on the train to my acupuncturist in the city, so I visited someone locally.
In addition to needling me for the pain, she did something that put me in a Dorothy-in-the-poppies-like sleep.
I woke up yesterday morning feeling 75% better.
Please know that I’m not suggesting you don’t see a doctor if you’re in pain. Especially a severe pain or one you can’t identify.
These days, unlike in the past, I put a lot of faith in the healing power of food, herbs, and ancient healing sciences such as Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.
I am comfortable in this world, but for many people reading this post, Western medicine might still be best for you.
Ultimately, you are in charge of your own body, and who you trust to help you heal it.
When I wrote my first article on fibromyalgia, I included what Louise Hay had to say about this debilitating chronic pain condition. It’s not in the main list of patterns but so many people had written to her about it that she later added a notation.
“Fibromyalgia is fear showing up as extreme tension due to stress.”
What is on the list, however, is Epstein-Barr Virus. And I believe, as others do, that there is a definite link between EBV and fibromyalgia.
Louise Hay on Epstein-Barr Virus:
“Pushing beyond one’s limits. Fear of not being good enough. Draining all inner support. Stress virus.”
I know this to be true not only from my own experience with fibromyalgia but every single person I’ve worked with.
You may think this is all hogwash. But I believe in my very being that it’s true.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again –
My body has been my greatest teacher in this lifetime.
What has changed is my awareness. Now, when something physical happens, I ask myself the hard questions. And fortunately, I have wise friends to remind me.
It can be the difference between an acute condition (three days of sciatica pain) or years of chronic pain like fibromyalgia.
Louise’s list covers everything from bad breath to cancer. It’s absolutely fascinating.
And yes, the queen of affirmations offers wise words to create new thought patterns for every condition under the sun.
For Epstein-Barr Virus:
“I relax and recognize my self-worth. I am good enough. Life is easy and joyful.”
And for Sciatica (my new mantra):
“I move into my greater good. My good is everywhere, and I am secure and safe.”
We are humans and we fall in and out of habits, both good and bad.
But this was a wake-up call for me. I think I paid attention and got the message. Made the connection between my body and my mind.
I write these articles for myself as much as for you.
To remind me to put into practice what I’ve learned all these years.
I sincerely hope this will resonate and help you to look deeper for your own answers, especially if you’re suffering from a chronic condition.