Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pain as teacher

For the past few weeks I have been struggling with tension headaches. I have historically not had headaches issues in the past. So this has been new.  I posted the following on Facebook,

"i have a whole new appreciation for those who experience migraines and/or chronic pain of any sort ... yup, i have had a lot of health issues but headaches has never been something i have struggled with .. then about a month ago, it started knocking on my door. I noticed it but didn't give it the attention it needed ... and as any health issue (or anything in life), when something is trying to tell you something, and you don't listen, it continues to give you messages hoping you will listen, and if you don't pay attention, it will knock you over with something that will get your attention. The headaches would be constant but sometimes it would be like my head was going to explode. Then at one of my sessions with my trainer I mentioned it to him. He asked me more questions and began pushing on points in my neck and shoulder ... talk about shooting pain to the spot in my head .... radiating, pulsing with a vengeance! I have had a shoulder injury and my physical therapist 'warned' me about the importance of my posture. How our body adjusts and compensates for minor pains and injuries ... and my shoulder injury has been a long time coming from probably poor posture and other ways of moving. As painful as it has been, the good news is i feel like i can do something about this. I have a couple lacrosse balls and they have become my new 'best friend' ... i can push on trigger points ... my trainer tells me it will hurt, and boy does it hurt. He explains the physiology of muscles and scar tissue and nerves .. i am also having deep tissue work done .. let's say that that is also very painful but I can tell the difference already. So, needless to say, it's been a kinda rough week for this household, but this morning, i actually feel a little more alive. Maybe i will actually get a walk in today :)"

When pain in the form of intense, throbbing headaches came knocking on my door, i slammed the door on its face! No, not today. I don't have time for you. She kept returning. A few times i popped a couple tylenols. It wasn't until I had my conversation with my trainer and he pushed on trigger points and showed the connection of the tightness in my neck and shoulders that something shifted in me ... no more slamming the door on Pain; no more masking the Pain; listen to Pain ... she is my teacher; she has been trying to get my attention.

Dear Pain,

You have my attention. My undivided attention. I am sorry for slamming the door on you. I am sorry for not listening. I hear you now and I am committed to paying attention. It's not easy to learn a new way of walking, sitting, and noticing the very tiny shifts in my body and my muscles. Old habits do die hard! I have a lot to learn, and in the moments when the pain is intense, I will remind myself to breathe into you, relax and imagine the throbbing hurt dissipating. You are my teacher. I embrace my role as student.


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