A few months ago I lived with chronic pain in just about every joint of my body, but especially in my shoulders and neck. The only relief came from OTC pain meds, taking sauna often, and heat packs.
It got to be so problematic that I started to look for other therapies. I took up yoga, and now go to a Saturday morning class. It’s the gentle stretching variety; not terribly athletic. Then I found out my instructor offered Thai bodyworks – a type of massage where practitioners use more than their hands to massage and move your body, and it’s done on the floor (with a pad) with your clothes on.
When she began manipulating my shoulders, which was the most chronic, she would take it right up to the top of my pain threshold. It was almost like getting aggressive with the problem body part. But after the treatment, a day or so later, the pain had diminished. Making a long story short, the treatment sessions are now less than once a week as they were at the beginning, and I can almost imagine being pain free or at least minimal in the weeks or months to come.
But I don’t think the physical part of the therapy can be credited alone for the healing. When I realized to what extent my body was complaining and started doing something about it, I began to believe that I had built up trauma and unhappiness and was in effect storing it in my physical body.
Since my wife left, which is about 3 months ago now, I have focused on letting go of the pent-up painful emotions. It seems that it’s a process that goes in stages. I let go of certain things – probably up to the limit of what I can bear – and then there’s some reprieve until the next batch swells up until I’m able to let go of that too.
What those “certain things” are specifically are different for every person who has internalized this type of trauma. Sharing my experience is a way for me to pass along the wisdom I’ve gained in the process so far.