Today’s topic is tricky; I want to talk about pain.
I want to talk about pain – specifically, one of the causes of body pain that many people aren’t aware of, but in my experience can often be the missing key when people are trying so many things and not quite getting there.
First, a very emphatic caveat:
Pain is a very complex, multi-layered thing.
Before I started helping people release emotional legacies from their body, I developed a system for musculoskeletal pain that helped a huge number of people by taking a structural approach.
Sometimes, the solution to body pain is realigning the mechanistic nature of our bones, joints, muscles, and fascia.
Then, I studied visceral manipulation and found that often muscles are tight because of mobility or motility issues around specific organs.
So that can be a factor.
Of course, there are auto-immune diseases like lupus and multiple-sclerosis that cause pain that may be manageable or minimise-able but unlikely to completely resolve.
And there are mystery diseases like IBS and fibromyalgia that don’t really have a clear explanation but are a description of symptoms that again – may not be ‘curable’ but may be manageable with the right plans. Only time will tell if that changes.
Pain might not be any ONE of those things – it’s often a combination.
You may have:
- IBS that creates inflammation in the gut,
- creating stickiness in the fascia/drying out of the serous fluid, and
- poor posture as a result of your discomfort from your stomach that leads to lower back pain.
In that case:
- addressing the muscles helps the posture/muscle-related pain,
- the visceral manipulation may support your digestion to feel easier when you’re not having a significant flare and could reduce the frequency of your flares, and
- the IBS – could be helped with managing with stress and diet.
Given all this, what am I talking about today?
Emotional Energy as a Very Specific Cause of Pain
One cause of body pain that I don’t see mentioned much – if at all – is emotions / experiences / events being stored in very specific places in the body.
This can be everything from a minor up to a very major (and possibly main) factor in body pain, our energy/fatigue levels, and even our ability to focus.
The idea that our physical body is affected by the emotional experiences we have in life isn’t new.
You may be familiar with book, ‘the Body Keeps the Score’ which dives into the link between psychological/emotional issues and physical health.
The idea of energy healing, that energy has an effect on the health of the body, is also not new.
Practices like reiki or acupuncture or other energy-based work look at balancing energy to help with issues – whether it’s checking the flow of energy along meridians as in acupuncture (each meridian being ruled by an organ) or within the chakras as in reiki.
I’ve had both acupuncture and reiki, and the way I experienced energy healing in those contexts is very different to how this shows up in sessions.
The reason I call what I’m talking about ’emotional energy’ is because this seems different to what we would generally think of as ‘energy’ (or qi, or life force), from my clinical observations.
It appears that certain events – like memories, events with emotional charge, and in some people past life or ancestral/generational events – creates an energetic byproduct or, some type of substance that becomes stored in specific places in the body, and appears to affect its function.
(If you wonder what I mean by ‘some type of substance’, one of my upcoming articles is ‘Why I believe emotional energy has a physical substance’ that will go into more detail.)
If you’re asking ‘What do you mean by it appears to affect its function?’
Here are a few brief examples, followed by a specific story (and slight content warning – the story describes a narcissistic parent relationship, and is shared anonymously with permission):
20-year old left shoulder pain that, after countless physios, massages, etc, was resolved by releasing the emotion stored there (mainly lungs)
IBS symptoms decreased by 90% after intensive emotional release in the small intestines, large intestine, kidney, stomach and duodenum (after having tests from a GI specialist confirming there was nothing wrong there)
10-year-old right shoulder/upper back pain that never responded even temporarily to massage, occupational or physical therapy resolved when we connected with and released the emotion held in the gall bladder, liver and spleen from a few specific life events
Chronic pre-menstrual anxiety resolved after letting the body guide us through what needed to be released
This just a small sample – at some point I’ll be adding more client stories on miscellany as well.
Here’s a more detailed example:
During a client video session we were working with the goal of reducing headaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain.
As we worked through the chest stretch, (which is fantastic for improving posture and making it easier to have the head over the shoulders) no matter the visualisation I suggested to ‘let go’, her shoulders could NOT.
I felt something in the chest – specifically, the collarbone, was pulling the chest tight and preventing it from opening/stopping the shoulders from dropping back.
With guidance, the client connected to that specific area and opened her mind to what the body wanted to show her.
A memory came to her that she had never thought about since it had happened.
When she was a child, she’d fallen over and hurt her collarbone. She couldn’t remember whether it was bruised or just painful.
Running to her mother for help, the mother berated her for moaning about a collarbone that ‘wasn’t even broken’.
The client remembered her mother talking about when the mother was a child, SHE had BROKEN her shoulder, which is much worse than a bruised collarbone – basically competing instead of comforting.
There hadn’t really been an injury there – yes, it was painful, but not broken or damaged.
BUT — this memory and those emotions were stored there.
All the feelings from that memory came up and through – the shame, the embarrassment.
The wanting to receive love and support from her mother, the feeling stupid for expecting it since at this point in her childhood this type of behaviour wasn’t unusual from her mother.
The grief of not feeling loved, the feeling of confusion knowing instinctively at that age that this wasn’t how mothers were supposed to behave.
As she shared this with me, and felt the emotions, I watched her collarbone relax and lengthen, her shoulder blades drop on the floor, and a huge sigh leave her body.
When I asked how she felt, she felt spaciousness in the collarbone – it hadn’t felt crowded before, but now it felt spacious.
She felt a ‘cool wind’ feeling come through (which is not unusual after releases) and she felt lighter in her chest, collarbone & upper ribs.
When we re-assessed her posture, her shoulders had dropped down & back, her chest was open, and it was easier to keep her head over her shoulders.
By releasing the memory and the emotions held there by her body, she experienced an immediate change in the way she could hold herself, the way she stood, and had a lot of relief of her symptoms as a result.
This story, and these examples, are just a small sample of the experiences I’ve seen in client sessions that bring me to the conclusion:
That our experiences can end up being stored in our body and can then cause or be a factor in pain until it’s processed and released or integrated.
Why am I writing about this now?
You may wonder, okay, so emotional energy can be a part of pain – so what? Why are you telling me?
First, something you should know about me is that I care very, VERY much about getting rid of as much pain in the world as possible.
I see so many people sharing posts about how much pain they’re in, physical pain, and they’re not getting answers as to what might be causing it.
All I can think is ‘Emotional energy! Maybe it’s emotional energy!! Talk to your body!’
If you don’t know that this *could* be a factor, you’d never even know to check it.
You don’t even know to LOOK in that direction.
I want to raise awareness that if you’ve tried other routes and can’t get answers, there’s a chance that it’s emotional energy that your body wants you to process and let go of.
I want you to not have pain
If you have pain,
I want you to not have pain.
I want you to know why you have that pain
And be able to either get rid of it completely, or significantly reduce it.
I don’t want you to have to live in pain, always wondering why your body is doing this.
IF the reason you’re in pain is because your body is carrying emotional energy, in various places, that it needs to release, then I want you to be able to know about it.
How Do You Know if Emotional Energy is One of the Causes of YOUR Pain?
From what I can tell, there is no guaranteed way to tell if your pain is definitely, or partially or mostly caused by the energy of your experiences being held in your body & disrupting the physiology/physicality of your body.
One sign is that you’ve gone through all the traditional routes, and there’s something deep inside you that says ‘it’s something else. There IS an answer, but I haven’t found it yet.’
Of course, that’s not completely foolproof – we all have wishful thinking in dire prognoses.
In my experience, though, if it’s your intuition (and not wishful thinking) telling you there’s something else going on, you may want to explore that.
The best way, I would say is:
Ask. Your. Body.
By now, you probably know the work I do IS helping people learn to talk to and HEAR what their body is telling them.
You can, simply, ask your body.
If you don’t know how, that’s why I created the body connecting audio. You can download it for free below.
The Body Connecting Audio will walk you through the beginner steps of talking to your body.
Not talking *at* it, but talking to it and listening to it, and starting to hear what it says.
You can start with ‘Body, is there an emotion, or an experience, that you’re holding that is causing or part-causing this pain?’
And listen – do you hear ‘yes’ or ‘no’? Or, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘partly’ or ‘maybe’?
(the Body Connecting Audio explains this in more detail, about the hearing yes or no thing from your body).
If your body says ‘yes’ that there is energetic causes for your pain, you can ask it what it needs.
Yes and no questions are easiest for people who are learning to listen to their body, so you may want to go one step at a time:
‘Working with a specific practitioner?’
(note: if there’s a specific person your body wants you to work with, you’ll feel it perk up like a puppy dog when you say that practitioner’s name).
What I am NOT saying
Let me be really, really clear here.
I am NOT saying that the work of releasing the emotional energy from your body, by connecting to your body and it guiding you where to go, is the cure-all.
I don’t want you to ask your body if there’s emotional energy to release INSTEAD of other, regular medical care.
I’m recommending you to ask your body if there’s emotional energy to release AS WELL AS getting all the tests and assessments from other doctors and specialists in THEIR fields.
Don’t ignore a diagnosis from a doctor or other qualified health care provider. (With the exception of course of the very real experience of medical gaslighting)
I’m not telling you to not follow instructions from practitioners like doctors and consultants who are experts in THEIR fields.
As I said at the beginning, pain is complex and layered.
What will resolve your pain is dependent on what is causing your pain.
If your pain is 80% posture and 20% emotional energy, the emotional energy work will only help 20% of your pain (luckily, I also work with posture, too, haha – but seriously, you can switch out 80% for any other cause and you get what I mean).
Your pain might be completely caused by a tumor, and 0% emotional energy, and the emotional energy work won’t help you.
I hope that in, 10 or 15 years, I’ll have a much broader sample size and be able to have an easier way to identify if the cause of a person’s pain has an emotional energetic component.
It’s not going to fix everything.
But so far, it HAS helped a LOT of things in ways I wouldn’t have predicted when I started working with the body in this specific way.
All I hope is that this article plants a seed so if the next time you experience a pain that doesn’t have a super obvious cause, or that you suspect might be layered,
That you remember there could be something your body wants you to release,
And that, if that happens, you connect to it, ask it, and listen to it so you can address THAT part of the cause of your pain.
if you'd like more help...
I’ve written this because I want more people to be aware that there is another factor that *could* be causing their pain.
If you walk away with just this awareness, and maybe the Body Connecting Audio to start facilitating your own improved connection to your body then I’m a happy camper.
But, this is also what I do, which includes helping people:
- connect to their body,
- learn to hear what their body is telling them, and
- release the stuff their body is carrying that is stopping them from being who they want to be in the world.
If you’d like one to one support in being able to connect with / talk to / listen to your body, you may want to try an Initial Session.
My Initial Session is a perfect introduction to learning this skill – you get a 90 minute session, journal prompts and reflection practies to integrate what came up, and a week of voxer support for post-session integration. (Click on the button below if you’d like more details)