Release the Mind, Relieve the Pain!
August 24, 2010 by Dr. Mark Wiley
There are more causes for pain other than physical injury, as you well know. Why is it that despite high-tech surgeries and low-tech massage, weekly handfuls of pain killers and structured physical therapy routines, people are still suffering and their pain continues?
The answer may well be found within the mind itself and the hold it has over, not only our thoughts and emotions, but the quality of our physical bodies. When the mind (psycho) and the body (soma) come together in adverse ways to manifest pain, inflammation, rashes and muscle spasms, it is called psychosomatic illness.
In decades past the term psychosomatic was primarily used by psychologists to identify pain or illness that were “all in the mind” and “not real.” This outlook is dated and false. Yes, the seed of the physical condition is in the thoughts and emotions of the person affected by them. But these symptoms are not “imaginary.” They exist in very real forms — like rashes, swelling, spasms and trigger points. In other words… pain.
If you suffer some pain — most notably low back, shoulder, neck and headaches — and have tried everything, please, keep reading. If you have exhausted mainstream medicine, physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and surgery — yet the pain persists — I would like to suggest you consider the possibility of the mind and emotions playing a key role in your chronic condition.
Indeed, if the physical body has been treated in every safe way imaginable but to no avail, perhaps looking at your thoughts and emotions — a psychosomatic cause — may well be the next logical step for you. Below we look at three of the safest, easiest and most powerful mind/body systems for eradicating chronic pain and associated symptoms.
Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS)
In the field of mainstream medicine there is one shining hero of the chronic pain sufferer. His name is John Sarno, M.D., and he spent decades specializing in pain; specifically back pain, using both mainstream and alternative therapies in his very busy New York practice. Today Sarno treats pain with only education and therapy — and he does so successfully.
He dumped the massage, the weights, the physical therapy and the drugs. He found that misaligned vertebrae, slipped or bulging discs, pinched nerves and so on are not necessarily the cause of pain. He found that most people actually have these issues, yet are not in pain. His research led directly to the mind and to the mental and emotional components of pain.
Sarno calls pain conditions with a psychosomatic cause Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS). Sarno says that “in most cases what is causing the pain is not a structural problem, but a mild oxygen deprivation that causes pain in the affected muscle.”
TMS affects not just the upper back or lower back, but also the neck, the knees or even the feet. For instance, oxygen deprivation in the sciatic nerve is what Sarno believes causes numbness, tingling, pain and weakness in the leg; this is in contrast to the traditional understanding of sciatica which is assumed to be due to a structural cause, such as a herniated disc.
According to Sarno, oxygen deprivation is a side effect of how people cope with some emotional issues. Indeed, our dysfunctional responses to stress cause self-induced tightness, spasms in the muscles and poor breathing which results in a lack of oxygen being carried through cells into muscles. Repressed anger, resentment and even love can cause this syndrome. Then when we feel pain, we worry about it, stress over it… which spins us into an even-worse spiral of oxygen deprivation and tension in the muscles (tension myositis).
Sarno’s method for relieving pain is to educate people on how to release their repressed emotions and then release the chronic pain. Sarno has written several books and has a website full of free information. You can check it out here.
The Sedona Method
Pioneered by Lester Levenson, The Sedona Method® is a powerful yet easy-to-learn technique that teaches you how to “let go” of unwanted emotions in an instant. It is these emotions that cause ill-health, pain and suffering. In essence, The Sedona Method® consists of a series of questions you ask yourself that lead your awareness to what you are feeling in the moment and gently guide you into the experience of letting go.
This method is easy to do because there are only a few steps necessary to accomplish the release of new or decades-old pent-up negative emotions. With so many successes, this again points to the vital role that the mind and emotions play in the pain and ill effects we suffer in our bodies — those psychosomatic illnesses.
The effectiveness of The Sedona Method® has been validated by respected scientific researchers at major universities and the MONY Corporation. In fact, if you’re not feeling happy, confident and relaxed at least 90 percent of the time, chances are your ailments are the manifestation of these less-than-great emotions.
Sedona literature puts it this way:
“It is our limiting emotions that prevent us from creating and maintaining the lives that we choose. We abdicate our decision-making ability to them. We even imagine that our emotions can dictate to us who we are supposed to be. This is made apparent in our use of language. Have you ever said to someone, ‘I am angry,’ or, ‘I am sad?’ When we speak like this, we are saying to those around us and to ourselves, without realizing it, that we are our anger, or we are our grief. We relate to others and ourselves as though we are our feelings. In fact, we even invent whole stories of why we feel the way we feel in order to justify or explain this misperception of our identity.”
If you’ve tried other mental techniques such as therapy and meditation you know that it is difficult to create a change. But The Sedona Method’s® “releasing” operates on the “feeling” level, so it’s easy. It teaches you to “let go” of years of mental programs and accumulated feelings in just seconds.
There is a great book on this method available at book stores, and plenty of websites are dedicated to the method. Please, take a look and see how easy a great life can be.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Based on a method known as Thought Field Therapy and also on acupuncture theory, its methods relieve pain and illness by addressing the connection between your body’s subtle energies, your emotions and your health.
This therapeutic method is similar to TMS but goes deeper in its explanation of what causes the emotional imbalances. Advocates of the Emotional Freedom Technique believe that it is disturbances in your energy field that are actually causing the negative emotions which then cause your ill-health symptoms
Essentially, EFT teaches methods of looking in specific directions, touching and pressing your face and arms in certain places to open the energy channels and rebalance what is out of balance. This then allows your body to return to normal functioning and for your signs and symptoms to disappear.
It appears that anyone can learn and use EFT by taking a course, reading a book or going through the tutorials on the websites. Experience EFT’s results for yourself. After you read the free basic instructions you can perform your first “rounds” of personal tapping in only a few minutes. It sounds simple and effective, and it is.
I know that you are suffering. I, too, suffered chronic pain for nearly 30 years. And I can honestly tell you that the role of the mind — the emotions — is central to perpetuating and holding that pain in the body. If you have not tried them before, or have tried and failed at them, I urge you to take a fresh look at the healing methods based on psychosomatic causes of pain and illness. You just may find the release and relief you have been looking for.
— Dr. Mark Wiley