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The Gift of Pain

yeah right you might be saying. true, we don’t really like pain, but it is extremely useful. being able to feel pain is a huge gift and a benefit to our health. think of a medical condition people that doesn’t allow someone to feel pain as a warning sign (quadriplegia, leprosy, others?). if they hurt themselves, they don’t know it. and that can be a BIG problem.

thinking of a less dramatic circumstance, let’s take back pain. i frequently have some kind of back or neck pain. for the past year or so i’ve had more lower back pain. i could run to the doctor and get pain pills or take over-the-counter pain pills, but then i’d be masking the original problem. right? masking the source of pain is one of american’s favorite things. isn’t that what chemistry is for? if we don’t mask our pain with pain pills, tv, alcohol or other drugs, work work work, an obsession with computer games, what can we do?

we don’t have to become health experts in order to listen to our bodies. common sense also comes in handy. using common sense and tuning in to my body, i know that my lower back pain can be treated with good self-care. This self-care could include losing weight, doing abdominal and other core strengthening exercises, eating nutritious foods, drinking adequte water, getting massages, stretching, staying active, lifting properly, and not overdoing it.

on a metaphysical level, i can also read what louise hay says in her book, you can heal your body, and healing back pain by john sarno. both books talk about the emotional component of physical pain. whenever i’ve read the explanation about possible emotional reasons for my pain, the description has often matched up with my current state of mind. i find that interesting. makes sense…because of the mind-body connection.

i am concerned that our culture tends to be unwilling to take responsibility for taking care of our bodies. we turn that power over to medical authorities. but they don’t live in our bodies and can’t ever know as much as we do about our conditiona and what might be the causes or solutions.

you may have heard the story about two individuals who had the same condition. one had an operation for his condition and the other did not. the man who had the operation asked the other why he didn’t have an operation too but appeared to be well. the reply was "you went to a surgeon. i did not." when we take our illness and injury to the traditional medical community, we are probably going to get traditional medical help in the form of a prescription or an operation.

Traditional medicine works best in combination with complementary or nontraditional medicine (though many are ancient) that uses natural processes and remedies for healing.

if you have an interest in taking responsibility for your health, you will become good at self-care. with good self-care you know when to treat your conditon yourself and when to see a health care professional. it’s a great skill to have. more about self-care later. in the mean time, be grateful that you can feel pain because the pain will guide you to the root cause which will guide you to a solution. thank you, pain.

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