What message is your body sending?
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron
This is very empowering way to look at one's situation as it lends to the possibility of change by simply shifting perspective or increasing awareness. What if this not only applied to the situations life brings us but also to the pain and symptoms the body exhibit?
The mind and body are mirrors for each other and have an extraordinarily intimate two-way communication system.
The body is communicating at all times. Understanding the body’s communication mechanism is an important skill that is usually underdeveloped. Most people are able to easily interpret basic signals such as thirst, hunger and fatigue. When the body needs food, it continually sends hunger pangs until that need is taken care of. It is even fairly straightforward to understand that the body responds to thoughts, feelings and actions. When there is stress, anxiety or upset, the body reacts in a way that suggests something isn't right. Butterflies in one’s stomach when nervous or flushed cheeks when embarrassed, are just a few examples of this phenomenon. And it is only when the nervousness or embarrassment subsides that the physical body relaxes.
What is it, that our symptoms are trying to teach us? Here are just a few random examples of how we can learn from our pain or symptoms.
TMJ - problems with the TMJ signal to us that it is time to learn how to turn our ideas into actions. The jaw locks, becomes rigid and inflamed because we have a desire to make a difference but feel stuck and incapable. This generates an immense amount of frustration. Thus, it is time to figure out how to acknowledge our skills and do something with them! What is holding you back from recognizing and using your talents? What would have to change for you to be willing to take action on some of your brilliant ideas?
Esophagus - when there are problems with the esophagus it is signalling to us that it is time to learn how to ask for help. There is building pressure around being able to ‘deliver’ and there is resistance to respecting one’s own limitations, so much so it often leads to burnout. Where in your life do you need to acknowledge your limitations and ask for help?
Hands - issues with the hands mean that it is time to learn how to take without feeling shame or guilt. The hands reflect any feelings we have about getting a fair exchange, so when there are problems here it often signals an imbalance in giving and taking. Where in your life are you engaging in an unfair exchange? Reflect on what sorts of things you are believing about yourself when you ‘take’? Do you feel selfish? Greedy? What would be the harm in an equal exchange?
Mid Back - when there are problems with the mid back, the body is communicating to us that it is time to build some resiliency against the challenges of life. With mid back issues, there is the tendency towards always bracing oneself against trauma. How can you strengthen your core values so you are able to easily withstand the storm? Imagine what it would feel like to fully support who you are?
Feet - issues with the feet signal to us that it is time to learn how to make mistakes. Usually when there is pain and stiffness in the feet it is an indication that one would rather stay stuck (or stay put) than make a terrible mistake. How can we get more comfortable with mistakes? A mistake is just a lesson, not a life sentence.
The body's physical health problems or symptoms (pain, illness, tension, etc.) can be an expression of what is going on in the unconscious mind and a reflection of how one is really feeling deep down. One of the bodies last resorts for getting one’s attention is to create pain and illness.
Explore the entire body on our iWonder App. It is a free download with in-app purchase options. It provides a library of thought provoking questions that allows you to explore the mental and emotional blocks at the root of your symptoms.
Thank you for reading!