Pain-Free

Pain-Free?

 Why do we feel so personally insulted when we think about how our physical problems may potentially be psychosomatic?

There are many people that walk around plagued by numerous illnesses, allergies, and body aches and pains. Some of these problems can be identified as having a purely medical basis, and others can be labeled as a medical problem and yet still be induced by emotional states. It is very difficult to discern which came first, the chicken or the egg. This includes allergies, chronic pain, joint pain, back pain, headaches, sleep disorders, dizziness, ulcers, sexual disorders, eating and excretion disorders, heart problems, and pretty much everything under the sun. Although it is important to consult with and have a medical doctor make certain that none of these symptoms need immediate medical attention it is also important to consider that many may also be treatable through psychotherapy/talk therapy. In turn it is also equally important to consider that we might not be treating ourselves well and may not eat correctly. But let us look at why talk therapy might be in order for physical illnesses.

Many body complaints are caused by an unhappy and unhealthy state of mind, but this doesn't mean that the problems are not actually there. They are as real as they feel; as real as they are experienced by the person who suffers from them. In other words, though psychologists and psychiatrists may identify many bodily ills as having a basis in an individual's mental state, one's mental state can attack one's body if emotions and memories are not dealt with, are keep deep within an individual's psyche, and are kept as secrets we feel ashamed about, or remain on an unconscious level unknown even to ourselves.

When we are unhappy, our bodies attack themselves. When we are angry or frightened our bodies can attack themselves. When the body and mind detect changes they react. If we are stuck in any emotional state on a day-to-day basis or even weekly basis and do nothing to offset these difficult feelings, our internal chemicals or hormones, for example adrenalin and cortisol can build up and attack our internal organs and poison us. Just as external factors can cause heart attacks or cancer, such as chemical bombardment, chemical poisoning and radiation exposure, so can the very powerful internal chemicals cause the same. The body runs on electrical and chemical processes and it can generate too much electricity as well when things are misfiring inside because of emotional reactions.

Learning how to stay calm, how to discuss what hurts us, talking about the people in our lives who wound us intentionally or unintentionally, learning how to protect ourselves from being wounded, uncovering the reasons why we become victims, or why we become so angry and lash out at others, all serve to soothe our internal processes and in the end, save our lives without medical intervention. Body and mind are not separate entities, even though we have talked about them like that for thousands of years. Body and mind are one working whole, and together as that whole we are one organism that needs to find peace and calm and happiness. We need to learn to survive well even with the stresses that accompany us in our everyday life and interactions with others and our work. Life will not stop happening. The phone will ring and the mail will come and it's not always good news. But can you deal with the feelings that arise quickly and well? Can you move on and derive pleasure from something else? Can you make plans and function well and get out the door and at the same time have dealt with those feelings rather than run away from them, run away from yourself? Taken them out on someone else? Crawled into bed to be crippled by the feelings for hours or days?

Take a deep breath and consider maybe reaching out for help in a new way rather than running to your doctor's office every time your body has some sort of reaction you don't understand. Who knows? Maybe even some of the same old physical problems you've been putting up with for years, some of those life-hampering, fun-hampering illnesses or aches and pains that you were put on medication for years ago might be alleviated by learning a few simple, healthier coping mechanisms. Long-term reliance on medication, (lab-manufactured chemicals), may alter your brain chemistry and endanger your health with long-term usage.

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