Can Relationship Problems cause Pain in the Body?
The simple answer is, “Heck yeah!” I Remember the first time I knew for sure that our emotions from our relationships create pain in the body.
I was treating a nurse for pain in her buttock. After three treatments her pain went away. Then it came back the following month. During her treatment I asked her if there had been any stress occurring at work or at home because sometimes emotions can create fascial restrictions. Her eyes got wide and she said, “Oh my gosh, I had an argument with my husband last month before I came to see you and we just had another argument again yesterday. My husband is the pain in my butt!” We both laughed out loud, but we also knew there was truth in this statement.
Our Connective Tissue responds to our Emotions
Fascia, our connective tissue, doesn’t just respond to a physical problem, but also to emotional and spiritual difficulties.
Next time you’re having an argument with a family member, friend, or co-worker be aware of what your body does. You may notice rapid breathing, a tight jaw/belly/buttock, you can’t poop, shoulders may go up, neck starts to hurt, your throat gets tight, a headache begins, your body becomes warm. . . all of these are fascial restrictions.
What’s Happening? Your thoughts are sending messages to your cells that something is very wrong. The fascia is part of your cells membrane and so the connective tissue/fascia starts to tighten up. Muscles which are made of fascia lock up. The environment of your cells, muscles, has now changed from loose and peaceful which is how you felt a few seconds ago, to a hostile environment also called the fight/flight/freeze response.
The 3 Things that Help my Body Decrease Pain in the Midst of Emotional or Relationship Problems:
- Quiet the mind – I Excuse myself and just say, “I’ll be back in a few minutes when I am calmer”. Sit in silence and take deep breaths for 5 minutes or more to allow my mind to stop figuring things out. If you want to be in a place of peace, you must create the peace. For me it’s just sitting quietly and being with God. I wish I had known this when I was raising three kids!
- Don’t take anything personally – The other person’s words and actions are causing me physical, emotional and spiritual pain because I’m allowing it. I don’t allow it anymore. A book that I love that taught me this is, The Four Agreements, by Miguel Ruiz.
- Put myself in their shoes –
- If it’s my mother I try to see it from her perspective. She is getting older, set in her ways, and patience may not be her virtue. She also still feels she needs to protect me from the world because she will always be my mom.
- If it’s my children I must see the world through their eyes. They can do this on their own and listening to me is not on their agenda. A parents experience is not always what they’re interested in; It sure wasn’t on my agenda when I was their age.
- When it’s my husband I need to see his point of view which is always from the perspective of security and safety. Finance issues are the number one reason marriages don’t last. If you see your husband as a caveman then it’s easier to see his perspective. He needs to keep a roof over our families’ heads and keep everyone fed and safe. This can be extra hard for him if he is not the main breadwinner of the family. Spending what we don’t have or taking out from savings is not what cavemen like. Cavemen like to know that they are strong and needed. Belittling them destroys their soul. If you’re waiting for them to share their emotions you will have to wait till the next ice age. For me, my husband is the head (compromise is crucial) and I am the heart of our family.
How to Heal Your Body from Past Emotional Pain
At our holistic physical therapy practice in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, we have been helping patients relieve chronic pain caused from emotional stress and tension for over 12 years. We use a gentle and effective approach called Myofascial Release. Our patients come to us from Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. For more information, or to make an appointment, call us at 228-424-2940.
Lastly, letting go of the need to be right with anyone, is a great way to decrease relationship problems and heal the pain in your body. Try it! Being aware of the connection between emotions and pain are essential to our well-being.
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With love and Health,
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