WHY PAIN? Notes on Pain, Awareness & Denial,
© Chris Pringer 1993, ed. 1995, 2000, 2010-15
Links to Essay Sections:
Aspects in Developing a Practical Approach with Compassion
Intro & Notes on Pain, Pain Reduction, Pain Elimination, Pain Desensitization [Rev'd Aug 2011]
A List Of Factors In The Perception Of Pain More On Referral Of Pain Delayed Healing
Why Deep Massage/Bodywork?
"Should A Massage Be Painful?" & "Touch-Sensivity of Muscles ..." [latter added Aug 2011]
Pain, Relative to "True Courage vs Toughness" [added Nov 2014]
"Anger - Modes & Complexities" & "Jack, Smack, & Del" - a metaphor [added Aug 2016]
Stress & Energy Related Pains [added Aug 2011]
Pain Management & Body Parenting
Notes On Pain From Gestalt Perspective
Internal Separation And Healing
Heart's Desire, Ideals, & Accomplishment (and Healing the Pain) [added Aug 2011]
A Metaphysician's Perspective On Pain, Emotion, & Change
Final Note Reference Section
The "About" page - Author/Artist Contact Info, Copyright, Disclaimer
Site Search Engine & link to "Chalice Bridge Update Page"
(chronology of edits, additions, etc for last few years or more)
In footer of most pages of this site
Intro & Notes on Pain Reduction, Pain Elimination, Pain Desensitization
Pain is the primary mechanism in our bodies that tells us that something is wrong and/or that something needs be corrected or changed in some way. If you are seeking pain-desensitization methodology:
*) Pain Desensitization Control: advantages and disadvantages
"Reading the signs" - Speaking of those that are there to warn us, BEFORE the pain, certainly before considerable or lasting pain. With sufficient body-mind awareness based instruction, one can facilitate re-establishing resource supply to the cells, to the organs and systems, which full re-establishment will alleviate most of the pain most of the time.
This writing -this particular page- is not *so much* about how to make pain go away. However, a) pain reduction, pain elimination (if related to most kinds of connective tissue injuries), is one great benefit of Energy-Bodywork (including massage therapy), and/or guided imagery or focus, hynotherapy, and/or a great delayed effect of certain kinds of yoga (particularly mind-body integrative Tensing Yoga) including as offered by myself; and b) I do instruct or coach in mind-body integrative methods of variable regulation of pain -- via self-massage, yoga, or other techniques, autohypnosis or self-induced light trance. And/or I may provide references or assistance in finding same to those who request hynotherapy specializing in pain elimination more advanced than I can offer.
Neither is this writing for the purpose of encouraging over-sensitization. While a good number of pages at this site are for increasing body-mind awareness for preventive health maintenance and overall well-being, I do not consider healthy awareness to include being "sensitive" to the point of not being able to function in the society one must live in. On the other hand, I am thankful for the clarity and insights of those who chose to be hyper-aware of their mind and body while living away from the noise of "civilization." Even more so of those who know both worlds.
Attitude generally has great deal to do with self-healing and/or pain management, and while I may refer to spiritual aspects of things, a healing attitude and a "Gestalt Positivity" (and using "Gestalt Affirmations") does not necessarily require what many people would define as a spiritual approach.
About Pain Reduction Techniques: Ok, it's already there, and it's intense, and you need to do something about it. There is a great report on teaching marshall arts techniques to children for eliminating the pain, and/or the existence itself of chronic, potentially terminal disease (ie: cancer). "A rabbi whose daughter died of cancer teaches martial arts to young patients, helping them find inner strength." See the Reference section on "The Power of Belief".
Considerations About Pain Addressed Here To One Degree Or Another Include:
*) Pain Variable Regulation Control: how, when, why, how much, mechanisms
*) Physical Pain, Emotional Pain; Societal Pain, Spiritual Pain
*) Ramifications of overuse of pain avoidance - individually and societally
*) Ramifications of overuse of physical or emotional sensitivity - individually and societally
*) "Psychophysiology" - the field most commonly known as "Bio-Feedback" - and pain regulation.
I begin with basic, more physical-level concepts, and extend into other dimensions from there. My purpose here is to try to explain a complex - but common experience in an understandable fashion. A few sections here can be somewhat technical in nature, although I try to make the terms and concepts understandable to the average self-help oriented/ experienced person. I very much appreciate feedback from experts and laypersons alike.
NOTE: Many of the terms in "A LIST of FACTORS in the PERCEPTION of PAIN" (just below) are my own. There may be more proper medical terms for most of the dynamics I describe below. However, I suspect that if there were, not all of them would be found in the same reference, or with the same context as I present them here.
Later in this collection of notes, I strongly suggest -- based on my belief that such factors, to the degree they are valid -- that pain is rarely a uni-dimensional experience (as in only physical or emotional or mental, etc). Also... that Pain is one internal, subjective "reality." What one perceives as pain, as well as what one perceives to be the cause of it -- consciously or unconsciously -- is generally relative to that individual. That is not to invalidate feelings of pain, but to explain why perception can be altered so as to decrease the feeling of pain (physical or otherwise), and why that may vary from individual to individual, depending on what method of pain reduction is tried.
First to follow are some factors that effect how, whether, and why we perceive pain on various levels and presents this to conscious self and/or to others.
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A LIST of FACTORS in the PERCEPTION of PAIN
- Stimulus response - how many stimuli is required before pain is felt, or defined by self as "pain".
- Stimulus Awareness - Accuracy" as to physical level cause/effect dynamics.
- Other Sensory Accessory - other kinds of sensory perceptions accompanying experience of pain, which kinds and degree of variety, how often.
- "Wall" Depth - regarding amount of pressure received (in massage therapy, for instance) relative to pain perception. The wall is that line, which when "crossed" by applying an excess of pressure, causes excess pain to be felt and/or causes the muscles to contract and "protect," either of which can interfere with personal safety and comfort, let alone with the capacity to relax.
- "Wall" Depth Shift Capacity - capacity to increase the "wall" depth with increased experience of physiotherapy [or life experience], including textural changes in musculature.
- "Wall" Area Difference - degree of relative difference in different areas of body [or of life experience], maximum and average (in the above "Wall" factors).
- Referred Pain (R.P.) -- the locational displacement of pain; distance is not so much a factor as is the degree of pain existing in one area and the fact that another area is communicating that pain. Sub-factors include:
- R.P. Degree - regard how much pain can be referred for how long before the origin of the pain begins to be subjectively realized - before the person feels the pain at its origin.
- R.P. Comparative Association - which area(s) are chosen to communicate the pain relative to how the person associates the referred to/from areas of his/her body.
- R.P. Comparative Awareness - comparative degree of sensate awareness in the referred to/from areas of the body and in the body in general.
- Body-Mind Awareness - amount of "accuracy/acceptance" regarding relationship of physical situation to mental/emotional and/or other cause/effect dynamics. This includes knowledge of ones beliefs, "issues", motivations, response patterns, etc.
- Emotional/Mental/other level correlates to the "Wall" and massage related factors above. [EG: put into a general situation context, noting references to "life experience," etc. The same can be applied as necessary to any aspect covered in this essay, actually.]
- Social Expression Guilt - degree of discomfort around admitting to feeling pain and/or denying pain.
- Social Expression Shift - difference in perception and expression between times when alone versus when (all or specific) others present.
- Bargain Threshold - how much pain is required in order to feel "worthy" of receiving something otherwise *felt not worthy of.
- Desire/Abhorrence/Need for pain - from the masochistic self-infliction (with or without 'assistance' of others) of pain to the opposite side of this scale, that of having negative self-judgment for experiencing even the least amount of pain. Note that both of these could happen in an individual for the same event, consciously or unconsciously, simultaneously or otherwise.
- Factor Shift Range - how much one shifts (in amount or degree) in any one factor over a period of time or from one kind of experience relative to another. (e.g.: from low stimulus response to high, depending on...)
- Situational Factors - what kinds of situations turn on/off or vary degree of factor range/ applicability /shifting.
- Conscious/Unconscious Schism - difference/contradiction between conscious & unconscious beliefs/needs in regard to "pain factors". Unconscious = *Lack of Awareness of* but does not necessarily equate to *denial of*. Things that are *known* may vary in their accessibility, and only one factor has to do with how much protection is in place to keep one from consciously accessing that information, under what circumstance, etc. IE: Memory, related to trauma or long term but painful conditions, can be locked away to some degree due to the apprehension of resumed pain, upon its retrieval (usually emotional, but not always). This (denial of pain) can relate directly to tension that is referred to and stored in the musculature as a means of coping with the emotional pain. Tension can be so intense as to cause physical pain, but that is usually a more socially acceptable pain, and so it is very common. More on those dynamics in the Body-Mind Integration essay (via Reference Section). Memory of something can also be contextual - related by degree to situations or conditions, feelings, other associations).
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More on REFERRAL of PAIN:
As a massage therapist, I have a good idea that there is some degree of pain referral going on when 1) I see/feel contracted muscle but pain isn't there, and then I find nearby healthfully textured muscle and pain is there, or 2) when I find the pain-complaining area not in the most contracted areas of a muscle but in a fairly textured area of that same muscle. In general people tend to be much more body-aware in the upper and frontal areas of their body vs the lower and rear areas. The upper back and neck can be quite "awake" relative to the lower back, and especially the buttocks. Referred pain is affected by one's "awareness predisposition."
A few of the considerations in regard to this aspect are noted in the section on "Pain Factors in Perception." Is the pain felt only where we are used to looking and feeling? This "looking and feeling" refers also to what kind of awareness we regard an area with (e.g.: with varying degrees of acceptance or liking), relative to other areas of the body. How does one relate to the areas referring pain compared to how one relates to the areas to where pain is referred? If one tends to look and hear in certain directions, then the most effective way to communicate with him/her is to present information in the places s/he looks and hears. Likewise, the area in pain needs to get attention, and if it can't get it directly, it uses another area to communicate for it.
This is especially so when the 1st area has been trained (associated with strong positive or negative incentive) not to complain, and when the 2nd area is generally given permission to do so. The body-mind will do its best to get important messages across (e.g.: "we need your attention here in order to maintain equilibrium/homeostasis"), and it is up to the person to listen. The fact that we can sometimes observe and feel signs and textures in another's body better than in our own, speaks to me of the lack of objectivity in and the interdependence of people. At our best, we keep each other awake to reality or at least to the most pertinent reality for the moment at hand.
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DELAYED HEALING & NEUROPLASTICITY
It is not uncommon that with traumatic pain certain nervous and/or proprioreceptor systems in areas of the body specific to the event in question become "switched off" by the brain. This may happen when one decides -- usually unconsciously -- that one doesn't want to be aware of what's happening in a specific muscle area or in any number and size of body areas. The muscle(s) then go into a "holding pattern."
Excerpted from "Body-Mind Integration in the Personal Growth Process":
The nervous system, upon command of the mind, reacts to its initial impressions of the experience and locks up the area(s) associated (by the mind) with the event. It does this to varying degrees, and it may also do this very gradually as conditioning is experienced over a period of days or even years. The emotional component plays an essential role in this process, especially in holding patterns initiated in early childhood. During this period of our growth, our mental apparatus is not sufficiently developed to resolve complex situations or provide understanding of parents' and others' interactions. At this time we may take everything much more intensely personal, including many things that may not have been so intended at all by others. Hence, we may, for example, associate being left alone with the idea that there is something wrong with us. This can actually be stored in the musculature in the form of grief, anger, powerlessness, fear or other feelings that were not okay to feel and/or express in or childhood. (More on this example later.) And that is precisely why the storage happens. A judgment was felt on that feeling or expression as coming from an authority (parent or role model) to us. So the emotion "gets stuck with judgment," to put it in short. ...
Excerpted from "Body-Mind Integration in the Personal Growth Process":
Neuroplasticity apparently requires a certain amount of "motivation" to kick start it. And perhaps it requires a little faith in our self-healing capacities, to light up -the DNA of- areas and processes that have been dormant, to create "work-arounds", to organically retrofit, if you will. And to maintain that motivation even through the cycles of our sometimes painful learning process. After All, it is said that cells renew themselves; that, in effect, that we have "a totally new body every seven years". It's true: while some cells take more or less time, the cycles eventually overlap. And, in my view, they pass on the beliefs or attitudes they have been programmed with - prior to and/or during those cycles. So we want our patience and hard-kept self-motivation to have done it's work when that "cycle high" comes around. And, in some circumstances, it may NOT make the difference we want on the physical level. But knowing what we do know about the above noted potentials (provided you believe what I'm saying here), why not project the best onto our cells' circumstances? In other words: There is much more to faith, persistance, and positive messages to our cells than we may have thought - it's far more than just placebo effect.
And if we say this capacity applies to the cellular re-organization of those cells in ALL of the neural networks - including in the connective tissues, bodily organs, and systems (considering the interfaces in the tension storage/release process: proprio-neuro/ connective tissue/ motor management centers and adrenal/ emotional body/ inner-child persona aspects), may we could broaden the term and call it "psycho-somatic" or "mind-body" neuroplasticity.
As muscles or muscle groups heal, they and their component systems recover awareness and then assume new positions, functions, and working relationships with other parts/systems of the body. The person may eventually drop the physical and other related habit patterns. Notice any analogy(s) between the concept of muscles "waking up" and "re-organizing" and the concepts pointed out in the essay, "Seven Phases of Personal Growth," and "The Body Pattern Assessment/Reading and Understanding the Pattern Triad" -About Mind-Body Relationships, (from) coping mechanisms, (to) skills, (to) gifts through challenges on one's Life Path.
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"WHY DEEP MASSAGE/BODYWORK?"
The following reasons may explain why Deep Tissue Work is often desired:
- for change and the evolving capacity to translate/transmute the otherwise painful experience into release of energy, physical and or emotional habit patterns. Ways of either holding or moving body parts can become a habit pattern.
- due to the lack of sensitivity to anything but relatively painful or intensely exciting experiences.
- due to the (conscious or unconscious) need to feel and be felt deeply and/or intimately.
- due to other reasons for which massage is generally desired/indicated, but felt more intensely.
Any of the above may or may not be known by the person consciously. The third reason can be due to masochistic tendencies or to proving one's ability to take pain. It can also result from abandonment -- or lack of early childhood bonding or its healthy completion -- and the desire to feel understood at intimate levels, along with ignorance about any other way to go about getting that need met safely.
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"SHOULD A MASSAGE BE PAINFUL?"
No, except to the degree that you feel you need to feel it in order to release tension. That is, therapy may locate, or bring awareness to, what is already there, but should not add to it. What? Really... On the one hand, many people seem to actually need to feel pain to some degree for effective release. "Feel-good-pain" is what a lot of people call it when they feel tension releasing from the body with massage. And there is the "old school" of practitioners, especially in Shiatsu, Reflexology, and Rolfing - who will claim that time is wasting unless you (as client) are practically clamping the sides of the table and biting wood!"
Excerpts from "BODY, MIND, ATTITUDES, AND HEALTH," an article published in Sports & Adventure Magazine Dec'92-Jan'93 by the author:
I've found that many (other) therapists look for a certain zone in the outer layers enveloping the body, wherein is located (what I call) "The Wall." The Wall is located by feel and pressure. (You might have guessed.) It is differently located for each individual with respect to depth into the tissues, and the depth may even vary somewhat among muscles/groups within the same person. EG: the calves are often very sensitive to the same pressure that feels great to the mid-back. In any case the "wall" is relatively easy to recognise since going beyond it causes the client's muscles to contract and protect, and this negates the purpose of the massage. An experienced massage therapist will usually kinesthetically and/or intuitively sense this reaction is close to happening before the client will (consciously or unconsciously) feel threatened enough to begin the actual muscle contraction-protection."
And yet the pain gradient is not directly tied to where the wall is. (Uh oh! I thought you said ...) Some patients actually demand a certain amount of pain in order to feel anything is happening. Others are totally the opposite.
The common denominator has to do with what the individual does and needs for Balance with respect to where s/he is (in life) and where s/he feels and/or thinks s/he is going. "The only constant in the Universe is change," it is said, and pain is what we experience when we feel forced in ways or directions we don't feel are appropriate at that time (or ever). This is true for any boundary we have. The subjective aspect of the experience of the recipient is paramount in these considerations, whether or not any stated rule or guideline has been abridged.
So, should a massage be painful? On the on hand, there's what I noted above. On the other, the pain needs to be felt only to the degree it feels (to the recipient) appropriate at the time, such that it is part of the healing process and no more (and perhaps no less). It is important that to the degree that you are unfamiliar with this variable within yourself, you communicate with the practitioner what feels good and what doesn't.
It's not a difficult thing to learn so long as there is communication to facilitate respect of needs and boundaries. If the client is "into Sadism & Masochism," then there may be different considerations, but about those I don't feel capable to answer at this writing. And if the client came to receive relief from pain, then we're pretty much back to the original considerations anyway. And if, for various reasons the client tends to attract/create victimizing experiences, then we can at least hope that this is communicated (or somehow "picked-up on" by the therapist) before the client opens inappropriately to pressures that are not healthful.
NOTE: That was one of many statements here that might be applied to psycho-emotional level (or even spiritual) interaction as well as to physical level interaction. In application, I've rarely had complaints of too much pressure, let alone pain, and most of those few were in my early years in the profession, and/or early on in the session. And yes, I check in during the 1st session or two anyway, and my clients almost always say something like, "Oh yes, I will definitely let you know [if I work too suddenly and/or deeply]".
Touch-Sensivity of Muscles - and Cell Congestion
I want to add something now (Aug 2011) that I took for granted in my early days of writing. I guess I figured it was either already known by most folks that I hung out with, or else considered "too much info" for most non-health oriented folks. Athletes are learning more about this just from the experts in their own circles. But I include this for people who are picking up an increased interest in why and how their muscles behave as they do over time, perhaps becoming curious about getting massage, especially those in their 30's & 40's.
So... I'm talking about the muscle pain that you notice, ONLY (or primarily) when your muscles are massaged or just touched - with more than the slightest amount of pressure, and the amount of pain can really be surprising. It's a bruise kind of pain, not a traveling pain. That pain is due to "plain old" cellular storage of waste material. I know, that phrase sounds terrible, but given a little patience, knowing it will feel better soon, after a little of the right pressure of massage, which might hurt a little at first... often, within 5 minutes or less, it will be far less sensitive.
But why the pain when you didn't injure it and it works just fine? Cells are like households or factories, they take in resources, they work, they create waste products which need to be taken out. Which means taken out into the intercellular spaces (between the cells), and eventually out of there via blood and lymph vessels to the organs/systems that will process them and/or eliminate them from the body. If the circulation is sluggish around a given set of cells (including fibers of muscles and tendons), then they can become congested over time.
It is the job of the nervous system to complain, to motivate us to remedy this. After a period of time, depending on various factors, the body's priority or focus may shift so that these complaints aren't "heard" by the brain. And for many people, this "sore muscle complaint system" (to put it in lay person's terms) has become virtually ignored, marginalized relative to other systems and conditions in the body far more critical to basic health.
This is common, actually, especially for those who don't exercise or receive massage therapy. But, surprisingly, it's also common for many who do exercise, and even for many who do receive massage therapy. And for different and specific reasons.
For those who do exercise, the congestion has to do with a limited degree of tension range. That is, given the maximum optimal range of tension between fully relaxed and fully contracted, there can be a habitually limited range between that degree one can actually relax and that degree one can contract a given muscle, the muscle might not be able to fully relax, and might even be limited to a range much closer to maximum contraction. That might appear to the average person as highly toned, but in truth, it is lacking texture, and therefore lacks optimal circulation, and is much more prone to injury as a result.
This relates to what I refer to as the *Work/Rest Ratio*, to resulting *energy efficiency*, which is different from simply over-working the muscles. Common areas for this are the hamstrings, quadriceps, upper calves, and upper wrists. More on this at the "Tensing Yoga" page (in Reference Section).
For those who do receive massage therapy, the congestion may be due to the therapy not being focused on these particular areas since the cells became congested. It may be due to the client's desire for a very light touch, or the therapist's style, approach, or techniques that work geared toward other purposes, or the therapist is just not sensitive to varying textures of muscle tissue. Also to consider: the health of the blood vessels, especially the capillaries, especially in the case of certain systemic conditions; ie: blood vessels in the legs in the case of diabetes.
Old injuries can also be, often are, the dynamic focus of habitually contracted muscles and movement patterns, thence the adhesions (from adhearing fascia, the connective tissue around muscles, tendons, ligaments), the scar tissue and often times chronic pain. These can also be areas where congested muscles and tenden cells are found. Much much more about muscles and tension can be found via "Body-Mind Integration... The Basic How's And Why's Of Storage of Tension and Memory in the bodily tissues" ("normal" and otherwise): When, how and why it is stored and released; communication between body and mind, benefits; proprioreceptors, personal growth, massage/bodywork, therapist's approach, etc. Published in Massage Magazine, July-Aug 1992.
This page includes many supporting essays, including "Muscle Q & A" - a Kind of overview of the core topics, Reviews for two articles "on Massage, Alternative Therapies, & Pain, with "Study: Massages really can make pain go away"; & Sept 2011 Consumer Report; quotes, commentary & charts, and a number of other short addendum essays for making these topics more easily understandable for *common sense* preventative maintenance application (much of which many therapists will enjoy teaching you how to apply, if you like), as well as further completing the context and clarifying the dynamics and processes involved.
Also, the "Core Body-Mind Integration Concepts in Context Chart" is now (10/10/11) at the Organization Chart page. It compacts the key points into a relatively small visual space, and provides a summary of them and their implications relative to body-mind preventative maintenance, pain management, other aspects, as well as links to their respective essays or sections. [Note: Keywords referring to, or related to, the phenomenon of body memory: somatic memory, tissue memory, muscle memory, somatic experience, somatic healing, somatic therapy, body-mind split, mind-body split]
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Pain, Relative to "True Courage vs Toughness"
...relative to the various characteristics of muscles, and all that composes that which is reflected in the muscles - referring to the emotional body - including capacity to recover from injury...
Starting with the basics... Pain sensors in the body are designed to inform you when you're doing something wrong, something that goes against the basic nature of equilibrium in the system.
Moving on... Crying is only the most outward form of communicating that -- WITHOUT intent to manipulate, and yes, there is the question of whether, when, and how to express that to others, or only in therapy -- whether it's about emotions or muscles or organs- or a perceived threat to any of that. But under a confused system of governance - within our mental-emotional beings within our mental-emotional family within our mental emotional society... well, there are those rules, and for some, games, relative to the communication of pain...
As the "Conquer the West" mode took full advantage of others' learning through pain, even as they denied their own. "The Winner" says, "That's how the West was won - by persevering our toughness through the Indian lands - even made the Indians feel shame for ever complaining - after we couldn't shoot them anymore. Now they are just playing the game - made them tough like us but they actually want to change the laws that stem from the very values and attitudes that founded this nation's economic system. And whine so they can get it all for free. Attitudinal healing? What's that?!"
But that "Conquer the West" mode has "worked" for the one-up/one-down style leaders, as societies have created the worth factors based on comparison and jealousy, beliefs about who is worth more love from God or "the authority." Which relates to distribution of resources (thence the current state of the economy, etc). And in any case, it [the basis of that game] is usually unconscious, certainly unwritten, yet taken for granted in any confrontive situation, therefore virtually undefined.
Thence the (conscious and unconscious) shame factors as the power behind that punch that the powers-that-be have not been blind to. Thus the knowledge of that unconsciousness has been used. And such has been created the blind self-destructiveness from too many generations of parenting by cultures that have been geared for conquering and occupying, genocide and slavery, very selectively directed empathy, and competition for everything, including (as if for) God's Love.
More insidiously, as one result, it re-defines courage as all that! Relative to "True Courage" vs "Toughness" ...
The basic function of crying is essential. "Civilization" has complicated the issue deep into the tissues -- with rules and judgments from sectarian and non, that flag therapy as a loser's waste of time, etc. Whereas, from a Gestalt therapist's point of view, there is a pragmatic balance between "realism" and "positive thinking." Which includes employment of constructive release of emotion, and other tools in our kits lying dormant, awaiting our individual and social development.
| IE: Anger is about Loss: Ideally, we deal with loss directly. Our earliest role models may have too often went from loss immediately to anger. That may also move into or manifest as jealousy, per similar reaction to fear of loss or of having "less than". Which relates to that question about when there is enough of something, and is someone else worth more or less of God's love. And comparisons about that. Dealing with the loss aspect keeps it simple, although it's difficult. But since it doesn't inflate or spread the energy among others so dramatically, it may feel like less is happening, like no problem is being solved.
But dealing directly with the loss not only heals the condition, but maintains integrity far better than spilling it outward. Constructive anger works well, but that is also kept "at home" or employed creatively for others and/or self. On the other hand, when there's no other way to fix a problem that effects many, and if they are getting the wrong message by the cover-up of wrong-doing, sometimes exposure of that wrong-doing may be the only way to fix it... [-last two paragraphs from a facebook post by the author, 6/24/13]
||Another way to say it:
"...Communication of pain eventually became judged as "manipulation" for the purpose of getting something desired (and not necessarily "needed"). Soon enough, standards of "toughness" and "courage" became based on how one communicated pain - or rather, how one did not. ...As we know, what is supressed and held sub-conscious has its ways of getting out in some form or another - often in very unwanted ways. ...
"Note: Beneath anger is loss or the fear of loss. Loss is essentially about sources of true happiness: love, respect, and/or companionship. Although one common neurosis is about 'things' - projecting supressed feelings onto things - feelings about persons or other perceived sources of happiness that are no longer present - much like with an addiction; or it can be an addiction. Healing takes time, and denial is a means of postponing the healing until one is ready to deal with the pain - with various factors determining how long a time that may take ...None of that is to provide "an excuse" for anyone for whatever - those are just some cause-effect basics if/as/when needed to begin with."
[ Excerpts from "The Lords of Culture' and Listening - A story about Language, Relationship, and the Body-Mind Split" (July 31, 2010) at the Chalice Art page. ]
As Related to Definitions of Caring: Where it gets complex, however, may be at what we might consider the very basis of empathy, in reference to the definition of *caring*. There are also the many different perspectives, most primarily centered around the various religions, and while there are many similar views, there are many quite different ones. And it doesn't stop with the definition of caring, of course - each creed has it's own set of systems for managing a) ones emotional body in general, and specifically, often particular to ones gender, including how to manage the hormones (roles & rules), b) psychic phenomenon (including ignorance/ denial) and differentiating that from "gut feelings", and any of that from heart-centered empathy (or not). ...
In real life, it is culture that determines [so much about the above]. However, given so much diversity in that regard, throughout current times, let alone through history, we can not even agree steadfastly on specific definitions of what caring and empathy is, let alone which gender should serve as the placeholder for most any given attribute that truly matters from a spiritual perspective, let alone just exactly what is a "spiritual" perspective. And yet, most all cultures agree that love, compassion, and some generally similar equivalent of "the Golden Rule" rank at the top of what brings us together in spite of conflict. [-last two paragragraphs excerpted from the "Pragmatic Balance" and "Empathy & Co-Existence" sections of the Chalice Art Page]
And how does this relate to and among these five key sets of factors: a) muscles, as relative to their strength, flexibility, and tone, tension range and work/rest ratio (working efficiency and capacity to actually rest [ie: how, how much, when, and where] relative to the degree they not actually working), and b) their use in work in building society (including movement of the body), in their protection via "armoring" (whether defensively or as weapons or for facilitating intimidation, whether in sports, business, or warfare), their employment for procreation via attracting mates, and any or all of that to c) their storage of tension (emotion), and all that as related to d) their resilience vs injury-proneness and to their capacity to heal from injury in the short term, and e) any or all of that over time - in youth, middle, and older age? [You might picture all that or those in a circle of interrelational factors.]
Those are the kinds of questions discussed at the "Body Mind Integration in the Personal Growth Process" & other core topic essays, including how to understand the physiology that frames or infrastructures the body's relationship with, and reflection of, the emotional body.
[Added November 21-25, 2014]
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"Chalice Vortex &HorizVortex9 Flower-Of-Life Yin-Yang3 On PiSc &Chalice2B Back", sig'd" cp, July'09
"Anger - Some Modes & Complexities"
There's generally a lot of confusion about when anger is appropriate and isn't. Certain religious or spiritual perspectives, or misunderstandings, have been at the heart of this, but so also have various social mores through history. This has resulted in a kind of polarization between "Group A", those who have little or no control over their anger, are generally violence-prone, and have little or no knowedge or skills at "appropriate and constructive expression" of anger; and "Group B", those who were trained from infancy (by influence of role models, events, etc) to feel ashamed of anger (no matter what caused it), leading to repression, leading to unconscious projection (unconscious passive aggression).
"Group C" is mix of the above, at times conscious and other times unconscious of their anger and its causes, growing more concerned about it as they both realize and feel it's damage, at least until they learn to utilize that confusion, to realize the need for something more healthy for their relationships. Which may lead to their (Group C's) learning the true value and purpose of anger, and thus how to manage it and/or appropriately express it. Some would say that Group C is more likely to do that than groups A & B.
Some would also say that "Group B" is the more dangerous (in the power position), and certainly the more psychologically complex. That is, since they would seem to be more likely to wear the cloth of spiritual authority (officially or not), and convince their flock or student body or clients/patients --whether through "simple" evangelism or with metaphysical fundamentalism, or something else-- that the anger of their listeners --even for having been invalidated, marginalized, or even victimized-- is wrong. They might do this sometimes to the extent that they accuse them of having "created the reality" of their victimization, and therefore need and must only irradicate their anger. The more common members of "Group B" might be respresented by the metaphor below.
And actually, what a "Group B" member may (unconsciously) project the most anger about, is not someone else's actual anger itself, but someone's communication of anger, not to mention self-concern about pain, and especially if that even hints of the self-pity. That is, self-pity that the "Group A" member is so hateful of and disgusted by, and which, to a large degree, led to the repression of the anger in the first place - due to training and/or traumatic experiences in infancy or childhood. More on that in the "Pain, Relative to 'True Courage vs Toughness'" section of the "Why Pain" page. Related expressions in political realms are considered in the essay, "Spiritual Battles & Wars &/or Systems of Structure & Effects on Learning" including sidebar note, "Emotional Avoidance & Cause-Effect Relationship with Fundamentalist Extremism." [January 2015]
||"Jack, Smack, and Del"
Jack, with his monkey, Smack, on his back, was talking with his best pal, Del. Jack gazed away for a moment as Smack wacked Del with a sack of poop. When Jack looked Back, Del, now with a strange smell, said "Jack, you need to fix Smack, or dump the poop out of that sack." Jack says, "I don't know what you're saying, Del." Each time Jack looks away, Del gets another weighlay as Jack, looking back, says "Del, you kinda smell." Three more wacks with the sack later, Jack sees Smack lean in, swing that sack, and Del ducks better - well, by a hair, though now wetter. Del says, "Jack, like I've told ya for weeks back, if you don't get that sack from Smack, that's gonna be it for our pack." Says Jack: "But I tried that once, and Smack opened the sack all over my back, and I wreaked for weeks. And besides, what's the problem, Del - other than, well, you kind of smell. When was the last time you took a bath really well?! But our talks are killer, Del, 'til tomorrow, be swell."
[A new version of an old metaphor; cp, 1/'15; pics by Serif]
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Stress and Energy Related Pains
Chris Pringer, July'11 & Feb'12
If pain is a message demanding one to "do something different", then excess tension is the initial polite request. It's this that keeps us from flowing with circumstances, rolling with the punches - like old stiff branches on a tree - they break off when they're not flexing with the wind.
The following may be considered basic to "troubleshooting" by those who facilitate health care on a regular basis, or even those who repair various kinds of devices, and may initiate a slight learning curve for others:
Excess tension is the physical source (Manifested in the physical anatomy), the beginning point, of many kinds of pain, probably most, possibly all - aside from those of genetic origins. Learning to become aware of the specific excess tension, in & of itself, before or soon after it leads to pain, is the 1st step, which in modern life can require some effort. Next one can learn if the tension is a) truly relatively new in one's life, or b) is long-held chronic tension. Knowing which can usually make a difference in how one goes about most effectively (permanently) reducing or eliminating pain. In any case, from there it is a matter of determining the source(s) of the tension, and responding to it appropriately. Which may include separating oneself from it's source, if not eliminating the source. With the later accomplished, reducing or eliminating the tension is generally easy, if not already taken care of by dealing with the source.
Beliefs, Tension, and Chronic Pain: What I am going to say next will be easier to digest and implement the related approach if is a muscle injury and not something like fibromyalgia or chronic pain syndrome, and may sound simplistic or bombastic if you have certain kinds of chronic pain: *How we originally responded to a source of tension, often has relationship to certain beliefs about relations, communications, and what or whom we are responsible for or to and in what way(s).*
| To restate a point from the above "A List Of Factors In The Perception Of Pain": Memory, related to trauma or long term but painful conditions, can be locked away to some degree due to the apprehension of resumed pain, upon its retrieval (usually emotional, but not always). This (denial of pain) can relate directly to tension that is referred to and stored in the musculature as a means of coping with the emotional pain. Tension can be so intense as to cause physical pain, but that is usually a more socially acceptable pain, and so it is very common. More on those dynamics in the Body-Mind Integration essay (via Reference Section).
ie: "If I'm not hurting, then I don't care about..." And there are many variations of that as related to *caring*, and how the *caring* word is actually, and in some ways covertly, defined in one's conscious and unconscious mind. Yes, "Co-dependence" enters in here, as does the martyr syndrome - the THREE rotating roles of which being 1) victim, 2) persecutor, and 3) rescuer.
Energy Related Keywords & References (for now or after reading further below):
* "Burnout" (Elaboration via Compassion, Healing, and the Practice -- and Detouring 'Burn-out', Published July'88)
* "Cording" & "Warding", including sections on *As Relates to Health Care And Other Service Trades; *Chakra Relationships, *Psychological, Ethical, Or "Attitudinal" Considerations; *Empathy, Caring, Codependance, Mirrors & "Points Of Resonance;" *Physical Ramifications Of Emotionally Toxic Relationships; Power of Spoken Word & "Gestalt Positivity" as related to Pain; "Energy Redistribution", "Qigong" with Basic Exercises; and various resource links. (via WARDING[CordRemoval]-2.Txt [for text files, can use "right-click, save as" to download]
* Also on clearing/Cutting/Attenuating Cords: Acknowledging (and affirming) you are responsible *only* for those people and situations you consciously want to be. A special section on that has been added to the "Q's for Boundaries" web page.
* "Questions for Empowerment": Positive Response Questions (PRQ affirmations) designed specifically for Personal Empowerment through re-defining one's values and beliefs.
* "Energy Redistribution", "Qigong" (Basic Exercises for now) also included in WARDING[CordRemoval]-2.Txt (Text file)
With pain related to muscle or the connective tissues, the approach and basis for it is laid out via the "Body-Mind Integration..." and "Understanding the Pattern Triad" pages.
I have mainly put aside for now the discussion of the fascia around internal organs in what I have written about these dynamics at my site. Many of the same kinds of relationships and considerations apply, but require a more complex approach.
If your pain is spread throughout your body, knowing this, or applying this idea requires a much more complex approach to implement any effective remedy, which would be an involved process, to say the least. You may be interested in a theory about fibromyalgia and similar kinds of chronic pain at the Fascia Memory Theory page. Including (but definitely not limited to) if you feel you might have extra body fat due to balming of cells with extra fluid, diluting the stored toxins in the interstitial spaces, possibly eating for emotions not dealt with.
There is a great deal to contemplate or unpack in the above, unless you're already a student of psychology. Please notice the emphesis on conscious vs unconscious beliefs. BELIEFS relate to emotions, including DESIRE, to EXPECTATION, and to SUFFERING. If this sounds very Buddhist, then you're hearing is fine, AND there are quite logical dot-connection paths explaining why and how those relationships exist in the essay page, "Attainment And Achievement -- The Alignment Of Beliefs, Desires, And Needs"
Considering that many things work for many people, yet everyone requires and individual approach and different things work for different people...
If you feel a more eclectic approach to self-healing might work for you (especially if well-backed by scientific research), you might enjoy the page, "Notes on Beliefs, Healing, and Prayer". (Page description reference section.) For pain you might try a creative combo of things mentioned there, particularly Dr. Emoto's "water charging" with the "celldren" attitudinal communicative approach. Along with more conventional treatments, of course. Be well! -cp
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Pain Management & Body Parenting
(One Healing Approach with Body-Parenting)
For most folks, this "advanced protocol" is best if initiated AFTER you have begun a new chosen healing regimen, and *not* initiated as THE healing regimen. That is, for those somewhat experienced in or with self-healing, this simply summarizes a useful approach. The inclusion of the Body Parenting approach as part of it is the "extra," so to speak. It also assumes a certain amount of recognition of, and learning from, the less than functional approach to dealing with stress, disease, and/or painful conditions. And that may be whether in process of learning that, or after having been convinced of that difficult process. If all this just sounds strange to you, then the following likely may not seem very useful to you. Again, here's where that need for *context* comes in - as in with regard to the other sections on this page.
The first step, perhaps the most difficult sometimes, is to "simply" and
- a) Honestly own up to your own part
- in creating or adding to your health condition and /or your circumstance about which you are presently concerned. That includes your means of, perhaps not so wisely, self-nurturing yourself (via food, other intake, activities or lack there of, communications to self or others or lack there of, etc), however dysfunctional that was in the past. Since that was likely the only thing you could *feel* you could do (for those intakes or activities) at that time, and for a time. Thus coming to understand yourself somewhat, and at least beginning
- b) the process of forgiving yourself,
- as you also begin choosing more healthy ways to proceed from this point. And thus
- c) determine that you would do much better
- by nurturing yourself in the selected much more healthy ways. The next step then is to
- d) make the decision
- that you will do the best you can to live up to that determination based on your self-understanding. And in that light…
- e) consider going into as deep a meditation as necessary
- to sit with your cells and insure them that they've done no wrong, that you love them, and will begin doing your best to listen to them, and
- f) do that listening
- IE: just sitting with them, focusing, while not making any promises you can not keep, because cells respond to such messages just like kids respond to the messages of their parents - and broken promises break their trust a little each time - unless and until you convince them otherwise - which we know gets harder each time if not impossible after enough times.
- g) And remember, it's about "quality time"
- - the cells, the kids know what loving attention is when they get it. And if they don't, well, maybe is about time, right?
Ok, so how or why consider all this?
- a) the nervous system is designed to get our attention
- when the cells need us to do something different and will continue as necessary until we do the necessary different thing (or until we interfere with that system, whether with adrenaline or with drugs that interfere with those signals or their receptors). But…
- b) often times, once we get in touch with our cells
- and to the degree we do the above (and it might require more than once, to say the least), depending on how sincere we are with our "turn around," and to the degree we are "on track" with the new habits or diet or supplement, etc that we are using, to that degree they will begin to lessen the use of the nervous system cells to get our attention.
- c) Consistency and sincerity
- with the good parenting of our cells, like with our kids, can be everything.
Related Resources at ChaliceBridge
- * "'Body-Parenting' Approach for Body-Mind Awareness” at the "Inner-Communications" page
- * “Optimizing Results via Rapport with Muscles/OtherCells” at the "Tensing Yoga" page
- * “My Cells, My Children” at the "Inner-Communications" page
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NOTES ON PAIN FROM A GESTALT PERSPECTIVE
Excerpted from "'My Cells - My Children' ...'Inner Communications' and the 'Body-Parenting' Approach":
When an infant or very young child hurts himself in play, he calls out for or runs to his mother or father and "lets it all out" as the parent listens without judgement, knowing that his/her listening unconditionally loving and accepting presence is what does most if not all of the healing. The wounds are taken care of, of course, but the presence is the balm that makes the pain better. Sometimes the wound was not physical at all, but a need to make sure the presence is there. And this is what happens when things are going well, developmentally, for the child. Total acceptance and love, no judgement, no shame, no reason to store emotion, thence tension. Hence in a short amount of time all is let go, yet the learning is retained, the memory is stored naturally for future use as/when/to the degree needed, and it's "time to move on" into the next thing. And to be as fully present with it as with the time he was learning. This is how parent and child interract optimally. However, few people have all of their early childhood experiences looking like that, and some people have very few of them like that..."
Excerpts from "Body-Mind Integration in the Personal Growth Process":
It gets stuck, in fact, in the past. It can get stuck to the extent that we can react to present experience as if we felt that the (past's) painful experience is about to happen. This unconscious preoccupation of muscle areas protecting against past fears will cause, among other effects, aging due to lack of circulation. You might say that our "present awareness is not circulating" in that area.
...The body's cells respond to our individual thoughts and beliefs ("solidified thoughts" attached to the body-mind by an emotional charge). Each cell carries a memory of the time in the womb, and maybe for a while afterwards, when there was a very high degree of safety, warmth, spontaneity, and intimacy. For cells to remember that, they need the mind's permission to release all subsequent programming that negates that feeling/memory. The emotional component needs permission to be experienced and/or accepted. [End of excerpts]
Put in personal growth terms, a person may feel dis-connected and without a role separated from love and acceptance. It's easy sometimes to feel that some parts of us certain recurring thoughts or feelings just don't belong in us. In that case it's not uncommon to want to separate such parts of ourselves dis-own them. Just having this experience creates pain, and we may believe that cutting out the thought or feeling will heal the condition. Pain is one (part of an) experience that we may not want to believe has a place in the gestalt puzzle. Pain results from feeling separated from (whom one feels is) one's source of love and acceptance. The core of the pain may have originated in his/her infancy, when the child felt cut-off in certain situations from his/her parents' needed attention. Feeling separate results from feeling judged as unwanted, undeserving, not enough, etc. From this particular gestalt perspective, physical pain (whether from a fall, a blow, or a disease) is a result of not paying attention to some need to do something physically different, and/or to some pain, inconsistency, and/or disconnectedness that exists on the mental or emotional level. But then one usually doesn't just start out in life with the abilities ready at hand to do that unless one is quite unusually evolved.
The belief that "everything has its place in the world" is probably the basis for Gestalt Psychology. Among other things, that says that a newborn baby seeks only to love and be loved. That is its total underlying intention and motivation for coming into and staying in the world. I do not believe in the (puritanical) idea that underneath all the stuff of a person is a sinful being that needs to be forced into submission by a "vengeful God" and his "fearful servants". I do believe that all we have ever experienced has a purpose in our lives, regardless of how little we would want some of it repeated by anyone. [from essay,
"A Gestalt Perspective," , by the author ]
|Relevant excerpts from " 'The Lords of Culture' and Listening - A story about Language, Relationship, and the Body-Mind Split - An Anthropology of Intelligence & Paradigms in Context":
... Communication of pain eventually became judged as "manipulation" for the purpose of getting something desired (and not necessarily "needed"). Soon enough, standards of "toughness" and "courage" became based on how one communicated pain - or rather how one did not. Only among family and intimates could this code be broken, though not in every family or relationship. Parents had begun to admonish their children, "Cry and I'll give you something to cry about." However, within any one given culture, non-intimates could often enough (?) gauge one another's current feelings by what we called "gut feeling," without words or overt gesture.
But what about those feelings that had come to be increasingly stuffed away, suppressed, sub-conscious? As we know, what is supressed and held sub-conscious has its ways of getting out in some form or another - often in very unwanted ways. As it happened, Diseases came about - due to the suppression of emotion, particularly the communication of pain, and the stresses around that. Adding insult to injury, eventually guilt was actually felt just for feeling pain, and even for the desire to express that pain. ..."
... Note: Beneath anger is loss or the fear of loss. Loss is essentially about sources of true happiness: love, respect, and/or companionship. Although one common neurosis is about 'things' - projecting supressed feelings onto things. Feelings about persons or other perceived sources of happiness that are no longer present - much like with an addiction; or it can be an addiction. Healing takes time, and denial is a means of postponing the healing until one is ready to deal with the pain - with various factors determining how long a time that may take, related to how benign or destructive that may be to the environment and/or ones psyche. [None of that is to provide "an excuse" for anyone for whatever - those are just some cause-effect basics if/as/when needed to begin with. Sources for elaboration or even instruction are linked to nearby. ...