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How Emotional Wellbeing May Affect Physical Pain

Updated: May 6

Research in fields such as psychoneuroimmunology and psychosomatic medicine has provided compelling evidence of the profound ways in which our mental and emotional states can influence our physiology.

For example, chronic stress has been linked to a range of physical ailments, including cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and immune dysfunction.

Similarly, emotional trauma can manifest in the body as chronic pain, tension, and other somatic symptoms.

These days I work primarily with people who suffer from chronic pain, injuries and other physical, mental and emotional issues. What I am observing is that, the more I get to know my clients, the more it becomes clear how "our bodies speak our minds". What do I mean by that?

In Yoga, we learn about the subtle body, areas in the body that govern or store certain energies or emotions (remember, e-motion = energy in motion) such as the Chakra system or the three Granthis (the three karmic knots located in the pelvis, heart and head).

As a matter of fact, in my early twenties I came across this book called "The Body Speaks Your Mind" by Deb Shapiro at a London exhibition on human anatomy and then later read "The Body Keeps The Score" by Bassel Van Del Kolk, both depict clearly how our emotions, our traumas, even our beliefs manifest physically.

Energies and emotions are abstract concepts and therefore difficult to quantify or study but what I have observed is that energies and emotions DO play a significant role in our physical health and wellbeing.

When I work with clients on their posture, and I trace back to the origin of their imbalances, we generally end up in the pelvis; it is often tilted, or rotated, or elevated in one way or another, and that creates a series of compensatory patterns in the rest of the body, which may end up showing up as shoulder pain or knee pain or neck pain.

Anatomically, it would also make sense, since the pelvis is the middle point in our bodies, where the lower body becomes the upper body and where we bend back and forth all day long. And which muscle links the upper part of our body to the lower part?

The Psoas Muscle

Among the many muscles in the human body, the psoas muscle holds a special significance in the context of the mind-body connection. The psoas is a deep-seated muscle that connects the lumbar spine to the femur, playing a crucial role in core stability, posture, and movement.

However, its importance extends beyond biomechanics; the psoas is also known as the "muscle of the soul" or the "emotional muscle" due to its association with our deepest emotional responses and survival instincts.

When we experience stress, fear, or trauma, the body's natural response is to contract and tense up, preparing for fight, flight, or freeze. This instinctive response often leads to the tightening of the psoas muscle, as it readies the body to respond to perceived threats.

However, in cases of chronic stress or unresolved trauma, this tension can become chronic, leading to a host of physical and emotional issues.

I have found that clients who have a layered approach to their pain or injury rehabilitation have the most success. Trying to resolve pain without addressing our lifestyle choices, our stress and our emotional well-being can only go so far.

Healing Through Awareness and Mindfulness

The journey towards healing involves acknowledging and honouring the intricate connection between mind and body. You can create more awareness by slowing down and observing...

Next time you get sick or feel an old pain flare up, ask yourself "How was I feeling when it began or right before it began? What emotional trigger could've initiated a physiological response?".

By fostering a compassionate and non-judgmental relationship with our bodies, we can begin to unravel the knots of tension and trauma that have become lodged within us. Through gentle movement, breathwork, and conscious relaxation, we can invite a sense of safety and ease into our physical and emotional being, allowing for the natural flow of energy and vitality.

If you're interested in diving deeper into this subject, join May's series "Sacred Pelvis" where I will take you through a journey to stabilise your pelvis, as well as release and hydrate your Psoas and other pelvic muscles. We will use tools such a functional movement, Yoga postures and myofascial release techniques supported by reflections and self-inquiry exercises.

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Isa F.
Isa F.
May 05

Tu m’apprends tellement de choses 🙏💛

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