Since my first back injury at the age of 11, I was plagued for many years, on and off, with back pain which eventually culminated several decades later in 4 herniated discs.
For six months I was unable to walk, stand or sit without pain and could only find relief when on all fours. I was offered pain killers and surgery which I did not want.
I came to call my back my ‘emotional loudspeaker’ as these painful back episodes always followed a period of intense stress. I was acutely aware of the stress but what was I doing about it? Swallowing it and burying it deep within me.
In 2015 I listened to an interview with Dr, Eric Goodman. He was a chiropractor discussing how he overcame his own back pain.
This grabbed my attention as, up until that point, I had not been helped by anyone who, although an expert in their field, had actually experienced back issues themselves.
Back pain is an interesting phenomenon in that unless you have experienced it, it is often hard to understand how truly debilitating and life draining it can be. Dr. Eric Goodman was describing one of the main exercises in his Foundation Training programme called ‘The Founder’ and I stood up and followed his instructions. I felt immediate relief in the dull pain that I had been experiencing as I was listening to their conversation. This was very exciting and led to me following his programme for a year and then training to be an instructor.
Pain is the body’s final call to get our attention that something is out of balance. We often ignore it and wait for it to go away. I learnt the hard way that then the body has to work even harder to get our attention!
So what do we do?
The short answer is to respond. The long answer is to discover its underlying cause. Ultimately both are necessary for the highest expression of our health. For me this has meant using the tools that I have learnt over the last 20 years.
Ideally, we balance an aspect of our “selves” (ie mind, body and spirit ) on a daily basis so that there is no need for the dramatic wake-up call.
Invest time in discovering what works for you, to bring you back home to your centre. It may be a warm fragrant bath, a walk, a stretch, playing with your pet, gazing at the sunset, meditation, getting a massage… the list is long thankfully!
Take the time. It’s self-love and most of us need to learn how to do this and understand that in turn this serves our loved ones, our community, our world.