After many serious injuries, like having my neck and back broken, and lacking health insurance at the time, a common phenomenon appeared; a linguistic component to each injury. With nearly every injury and illness, there was a story. And when I started coaching others, though I remained firmly in physical, non-therapeutic, training modality, I couldn’t help by notice these self-organizing tendencies to have a verbal analogy to physical experiences.
Even changes in posture held this powerful language: Feeling someone is a pain in the neck, feeling a burden on your shoulders, being all choked up, stabbed in the back, unable to grasp the answer, like your heart is heavy, knots in your stomach, punched in the gut, kicked in the groin, unable to stand on your own two feet, buckling at the knees, back-pedaling, tripping over your tongue, each of these expressions correlate to a physiological change.
I found it odd, curious and worthy of study. Though Western rationalism guides all my investigation of a topic, the dismissal of this phenomenon by clinical medicine compelled me to seek explanations in other cultural approaches.
In my travels, many different traditions and disciplines attempt to define it: Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) discusses the points called Chakra; Zhong Yi (Chinese Medicine) relate the meridian flow of Qi; in Zdorovye (Slavic folk medicine) address the energies of Triglav. To name a few…
Returning to USA, I found rational healing modalities have legitimate explanation for these events: osteopathy, cranial-sacral therapy, neuromuscular therapy, rolfing, somatics, applied kinesiolgy, and many others, had developed explanations for this phenomenon.
I am not a healer. I am not a doctor. I am simply a coach who listens and learns. When I listen, the person tells me a story with very strong verbal cues of how their movement has become dominated by an issue. Since my job isn’t to heal them, but to help them become more fit for their life, as long as they don’t have an issue needing referred to a health care professional, I aid them in restoring the lost movement underneath the stored emotional event.
When we address the physical, we often begin to re-experience the type and strength of the emotions they describe in an area of bound movement. Having overcome my childhood obesity, abuse for my learning disabilities, and trauma from violent encounters, and working with many like me, I prepare for the body’s reactions before they happen. And listen when it erupts into language.
Physical injuries and traumas, illnesses and diseases, as well as emotional, psychological, spiritual issues, come at a cost to movement. If we believe in a holistic approach to wellness, we cannot deny the interconnectedness of movement, language, and emotions with healing and recovery. Honestly, I don’t know the cause of this phenomenon, neither science nor folk traditions have universal agreement on it. But it’s reality remains undeniable.
When you return to restore lost movement, to correct poor posture, to overwrite ineffective breathing patterns, remember to give yourself extra time to untangle hidden events which may be layered into an immobility. Now, I am not saying that everyone needs a therapist. On many issues, if we just listen to ourselves and learn from what it teaches us, we can work it all out on our own. But sometimes we could use a little support (and other times, a lot of it.
Talk to someone about it. You’re not crazy. You don’t need to be paralyzed by it either, because it seems that sometimes, talking through it also expedites its resolution. Male culture often doesn’t allow us to discuss such topics for being too touchy-feely, just like female culture often can feel the need to protect against violation of trust. If we are given a safe space in confidence, it can give us a chance to disclose. If you can’t start with a therapist or find an appropriate doctor, then ask a trusted colleague or confidant their opinion of the right professional to whom they can refer you.
And keep moving, daily… Most of this works itself out through gentle mobility, intense exercise and compensatory stretching. Drink extra water. Eat clean, simple meals of whole, organic, fresh, rare and raw food. Sleep well. Skip the alcohol, pain killers, sugar, dairy and grains. And you may discover that 85% of the issues resolve themselves simply by non-judgmental listening and gestalt learning.
If you don’t know how to move, take a look at my free no intensity workout at www.intu-flow.comand learn my approach consolidating the above to restore “intuitive flow.”