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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Empowering Girls: Pain Body - A New Earth Community


The existence of what Eckhart Tolle defines as a pain body is revolutionary and has more potential to heal than all the medicine in the world. I recently did a story on Blog Fabulous about how researchers have excluded women from their studies. They then medicate women with medications designed for men and wonder why they aren't very effective. It doesn't take a scientist to understand the flaw in this approach. Unfortunately the medical community leaves millions of women powerless in the face of their pain.

As someone who has experienced chronic pain and found medical treatment severely lacking both as a treatment and a cure I find tremendous power in Tolle's ideas about the pain body.

Take this example: As a teenager, very young with a self worth that was a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10, I had terrible, excruciating leg pain for a few years. Of course, I went to the doctor, lots of doctors. They and they prescribed pain killers.

I heard the theory that leg pain was associated with a feeling of being trapped, or of not having any freedom to get away from something. Which made a lot of sense as I, at the time of my pain, felt extremely trapped in a terribly abusive relationship. It was a very jealous and controlling boyfriend who constantly belittled, humiliated and often hit me with the intention of making me feel I was so worthless I had no where else to go. He would say vicious horrible things to me about my value to make me feel I had to stay with him.

When I gathered enough courage to leave him once and for all. My leg pain disappeared.

The pain body is a great explanation for this type of phenomenon. My pain was very real - and so was it's warning "get away from him before he kills you!"

I've been particularly interested in some medical research connecting back pain with anger and resentment. One book out with this theory is Healing Back Pain: Mind-Body Principle by John Sarno. Again, I injured myself on a roller coaster and spent the next several years in chronic pain, taking muscle relaxers and pain pills that were ineffective, addictive and made my brain chronically cloudy.

When I finally realized that the medical community was going to be of no great help to me I started pursuing other approaches that included the mind/body/spirit connection and included lots of forgiveness and letting go (like letting go of anger and resentment about that toxic boyfriend). I also started doing yoga and strength training and buying ergonomic products to help my back.
Today, I am without back pain.

I don't know who to credit this to, but, my favorite favorite analogy about forgiveness is this: Unforgiveness is like ingesting poison and expecting the other person to die.

From A New Earth, "As long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain body"... "with forgiveness your victim identity disolves, and true power emerges - the power of Presence. Instead of blaming darkness, you bring the light."

I find, the more powerful I feel about my life and the direction it's going, the less pain I experience and the less I feed my pain body.

Now, this probably doesn't contain all the answers to pain, but exploring it, puts us in a more powerful position because we're not relying on the medical community or ineffective medications to heal us.

Awareness of the pain body, Tolle says, is really the antidote to the pain body deeply effecting your life.

My favorite message from last night's webcast is that the present moment is a space of holiness. In no other place can you take action and in no other place can you find God.

Tolle writes, "Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?"

Does the idea of a pain body explain anything in your life? Do you think negativity or physical pain is a symptom of something deeper?

If you missed the webcast of Chapter Four watch it here.

7 comments:

radical mama said...

I have been reading Mother Daughter Wisdom and the author talks a lot about how our experiences manifest themselves as ailments.

I think it is a very empowering idea. We can heal ourselves. We don't need to become prescription drug addicts if we are willing to put in the effort to root out the problem.

Tracee said...

That's Christian Northrup and her daughter right?

Yes, I too love her ideas about how our bodies are always speaking to us.

Did you see her on Oprah when she told that woman her stomach growth was telling her something and she had an epiphany about her bad relationship/job?

I've tried the prescription drug route - I found it completely ineffective.

The pain body idea gives us so much more power than sitting in a Dr. office trying to have our experience validated and cured.

Violet said...

I think there are amazing mind-body-spirit connections, and I have seen and felt how getting emotionally healthy can help you get physically healthy. They are tied together in so many ways.

But I always feel the need to qualify things like this by saying that negativity etc might be part of a chronic illness, but it might not.

I think we have to be careful not to take it too far and start blaming patients - like "oh you have breast cancer, you must have been bottling up your feelings." We know that there is a genetic marker for breast cancer and other factors that have nothing to do with how much you like yourself or how spiritually connected you are.

I do think in 100 years, people are going to look back at our medical treatment and shake their heads at how unholistic it is.

Tracee said...

Tolle does qualify that our body has real reasons for feeling pain and fear - cut off your leg, don't meditate and expect the pain to go away - seek medical attention and get it reattached. Angry dog running at you and there is fear - don't try to dissolve the fear in your pain body - RUN.

There are many, many hopeful stories about breast cancer, as in your example, of patients who have healed themselves spiritually and emotionally and even medical doctors will site positive attitude, spiritual belief and connection with others as the most significant factors in survival and pain management.

It's so fascinating to me.

radical mama said...

Yes, it is Christine Northrup.

I also look at diet and exercise and other lifestyle choices when it comes to health. There is rarely a magic pill. :)

Tracee said...

I used to believe in the magic pill. But, like you I've found that diet, exercise, natural remedies are often more effective than pills. In some cases, of course, you need a pill - but yoga did more for by back pain than all the pills combined and it makes my head clearer instead of cloudy.

Richard H said...

I knew a lady in one of my previous churches whose body was horribly twisted because of her intense long-lasting bitterness and unforgiveness. Her son had been a POW in Vietnam, and she'd never been able to let go of it. My impression of the son was that he HAD been able to let go and forgive.

I don't know about "Pain body," but I know there is a connection between our attitude and our bodies (One of the weaknesses of modern - i.e., the stream coming from Descartes - philosophy has been a strong mind-body dualism. Nope.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Empowering Girls: Pain Body - A New Earth Community


The existence of what Eckhart Tolle defines as a pain body is revolutionary and has more potential to heal than all the medicine in the world. I recently did a story on Blog Fabulous about how researchers have excluded women from their studies. They then medicate women with medications designed for men and wonder why they aren't very effective. It doesn't take a scientist to understand the flaw in this approach. Unfortunately the medical community leaves millions of women powerless in the face of their pain.

As someone who has experienced chronic pain and found medical treatment severely lacking both as a treatment and a cure I find tremendous power in Tolle's ideas about the pain body.

Take this example: As a teenager, very young with a self worth that was a -10 on a scale of 1 to 10, I had terrible, excruciating leg pain for a few years. Of course, I went to the doctor, lots of doctors. They and they prescribed pain killers.

I heard the theory that leg pain was associated with a feeling of being trapped, or of not having any freedom to get away from something. Which made a lot of sense as I, at the time of my pain, felt extremely trapped in a terribly abusive relationship. It was a very jealous and controlling boyfriend who constantly belittled, humiliated and often hit me with the intention of making me feel I was so worthless I had no where else to go. He would say vicious horrible things to me about my value to make me feel I had to stay with him.

When I gathered enough courage to leave him once and for all. My leg pain disappeared.

The pain body is a great explanation for this type of phenomenon. My pain was very real - and so was it's warning "get away from him before he kills you!"

I've been particularly interested in some medical research connecting back pain with anger and resentment. One book out with this theory is Healing Back Pain: Mind-Body Principle by John Sarno. Again, I injured myself on a roller coaster and spent the next several years in chronic pain, taking muscle relaxers and pain pills that were ineffective, addictive and made my brain chronically cloudy.

When I finally realized that the medical community was going to be of no great help to me I started pursuing other approaches that included the mind/body/spirit connection and included lots of forgiveness and letting go (like letting go of anger and resentment about that toxic boyfriend). I also started doing yoga and strength training and buying ergonomic products to help my back.
Today, I am without back pain.

I don't know who to credit this to, but, my favorite favorite analogy about forgiveness is this: Unforgiveness is like ingesting poison and expecting the other person to die.

From A New Earth, "As long as you blame others, you keep feeding the pain body"... "with forgiveness your victim identity disolves, and true power emerges - the power of Presence. Instead of blaming darkness, you bring the light."

I find, the more powerful I feel about my life and the direction it's going, the less pain I experience and the less I feed my pain body.

Now, this probably doesn't contain all the answers to pain, but exploring it, puts us in a more powerful position because we're not relying on the medical community or ineffective medications to heal us.

Awareness of the pain body, Tolle says, is really the antidote to the pain body deeply effecting your life.

My favorite message from last night's webcast is that the present moment is a space of holiness. In no other place can you take action and in no other place can you find God.

Tolle writes, "Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now; and if the past cannot prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?"

Does the idea of a pain body explain anything in your life? Do you think negativity or physical pain is a symptom of something deeper?

If you missed the webcast of Chapter Four watch it here.

7 comments:

radical mama said...

I have been reading Mother Daughter Wisdom and the author talks a lot about how our experiences manifest themselves as ailments.

I think it is a very empowering idea. We can heal ourselves. We don't need to become prescription drug addicts if we are willing to put in the effort to root out the problem.

Tracee said...

That's Christian Northrup and her daughter right?

Yes, I too love her ideas about how our bodies are always speaking to us.

Did you see her on Oprah when she told that woman her stomach growth was telling her something and she had an epiphany about her bad relationship/job?

I've tried the prescription drug route - I found it completely ineffective.

The pain body idea gives us so much more power than sitting in a Dr. office trying to have our experience validated and cured.

Violet said...

I think there are amazing mind-body-spirit connections, and I have seen and felt how getting emotionally healthy can help you get physically healthy. They are tied together in so many ways.

But I always feel the need to qualify things like this by saying that negativity etc might be part of a chronic illness, but it might not.

I think we have to be careful not to take it too far and start blaming patients - like "oh you have breast cancer, you must have been bottling up your feelings." We know that there is a genetic marker for breast cancer and other factors that have nothing to do with how much you like yourself or how spiritually connected you are.

I do think in 100 years, people are going to look back at our medical treatment and shake their heads at how unholistic it is.

Tracee said...

Tolle does qualify that our body has real reasons for feeling pain and fear - cut off your leg, don't meditate and expect the pain to go away - seek medical attention and get it reattached. Angry dog running at you and there is fear - don't try to dissolve the fear in your pain body - RUN.

There are many, many hopeful stories about breast cancer, as in your example, of patients who have healed themselves spiritually and emotionally and even medical doctors will site positive attitude, spiritual belief and connection with others as the most significant factors in survival and pain management.

It's so fascinating to me.

radical mama said...

Yes, it is Christine Northrup.

I also look at diet and exercise and other lifestyle choices when it comes to health. There is rarely a magic pill. :)

Tracee said...

I used to believe in the magic pill. But, like you I've found that diet, exercise, natural remedies are often more effective than pills. In some cases, of course, you need a pill - but yoga did more for by back pain than all the pills combined and it makes my head clearer instead of cloudy.

Richard H said...

I knew a lady in one of my previous churches whose body was horribly twisted because of her intense long-lasting bitterness and unforgiveness. Her son had been a POW in Vietnam, and she'd never been able to let go of it. My impression of the son was that he HAD been able to let go and forgive.

I don't know about "Pain body," but I know there is a connection between our attitude and our bodies (One of the weaknesses of modern - i.e., the stream coming from Descartes - philosophy has been a strong mind-body dualism. Nope.