This past week I was helping a friend put in some stairs at his cottage. He wants to put new steps all the way from his cottage down to the lake. The challenge is that it’s quite steep and we will need to do a lot of digging. That with rocks and roots, makes for a great workout!:)
Sometimes while digging you find roots, sometimes you find rocks. And sometimes you find buried treasure!
Ben first came to the clinic with chronic low back pain. He wasn’t able to walk very far before he would have to stop because of the pain. He made slow progress but after his initial phase of care, he was able to walk longer distances without pain. He then shared with me that he would like to heal further, and get to the root of his body’s challenges.
The other day Ben was in for his regular appointment and we struck gold! I shared with him that his body was expressing a nervous system tension related to his lower neck and that it had to do with feeling betrayed. I asked him if he ever felt betrayed and he replied: “I can tell you the date!”
When we experience something that we are not able to fully feel and integrate in our bodies, we “bury” the information, storing it in our bodies as deep tension. In turn, our bodies will compensate so that we can continue living our lives while carrying this unfinished experience. The body will shift its alignment and develop lines of tension. These underlying tensions create more wear and tear and are what we call NeuroStructural shift.
There comes a point at which though, our bodies can’t compensate any further and we develop symptoms of pain, stiffness or dysfunction. These symptoms will appear in other areas of our bodies. In Ben’s case, the tension from the betrayal he felt was in his lower neck and yet the symptoms that he came in with were in his low back and pelvis.
When the body finally says ‘I can’t do this anymore’, we will often feel let down by our bodies, as if there’s something wrong with them.
“Irony is just honesty with the volume cranked up.” ~ George Saunders
In reality, when our bodies reach that stage when they can’t adapt and compensate further, this is the time when change for the better is opportune. It’s time to dig deeper past the symptoms and tensions that are on the surface, to the underlying tensions.
We can dig up these buried experiences and allow ourselves to go through them. Our bodies can then align to a more natural state. These buried hurts and traumas can be like buried treasure in that by finding them, they can be the gateway to better health, and the life we’re meant to live!