The other day Karen was in for her regular visit. During the entrainment, as she was lying on the table, her right leg started to shake. Initially she tried to hold it still and then she remembered some of my coaching to her from a previous visit. “Just let it be” I had said to her, so in that moment, she decided to let her leg shake. What it led to is a fundamental process of healing including discovery, awareness and acknowledgement.
She told me afterwards that as she let her leg shake, she could feel it all the way up into her hip socket. The movement in the hip socket felt to her as if her hip was sobbing. And in that moment she realized that she had not allowed her body to fully express what it had been holding.
In the past, Karen had had a few hip and low back injuries as well as a fractured ankle. She had gone through chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy treatment as well as various other modalities. Over time she had learned to be on high alert, so much so that she had learned to watch her every step rather than watching where she was going.
Just the other day Karen said that she is starting to trust her body again.
With her first injury she had felt betrayed by her body and to protect her hip, she held it tight. This occurred more on the subconscious level. This is a typical protective response that the body has. It reflexively will tighten in order to protect. This happens when we experience trauma.
Trauma happens when we don’t have the resources in the moment to fully integrate an experience. In some way we find it to be too much and so we contract, protect and close off.
This is an example of the fourth kind of pain. In trying to avoid an experience of pain, discomfort or injury, we take a part of the body and close it off from the rest of the body. The resulting tension eventually leads to pain because the body was not designed to have parts that are sectioned off from one another.
The message that the resultant pain is carrying is an invitation to be with the body and to allow it to integrate whatever parts are separated off. When we’re able to do that, like Karen did with her hip, the part of the body that was separate can now rejoin the whole. There’s no longer a need to keep things sectioned off or protected.
We can protect ourselves not only from injuries, but really anything that is uncomfortable, such as physical pain or our thoughts and emotions when we’re being stretched out of our comfort zone.
Yet when we try to avoid feeling discomfort, we create more pain and suffering for ourselves. The pain comes in the form of tension. The body tightens in different places and to varying degrees. While trying to avoid pain, we can twist ourselves into a pretzel.
We can create our own frozen shoulder, panic attacks, or sciatica just to name a few. If we have the power to create more pain for ourselves by trying to avoid pain, then we also have the power to reverse the process. By allowing the body to express what it’s holding, we can create wholeness and healing for ourselves.