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My mind is playing tricks on me

May 11, 2017

Psychosomatic pain, also known as psychogenic pain, is apain condition linked to psychological causes or triggers. … Mental health or emotional problems can cause a person’spain, increase the symptoms or prolong the pain. A person with psychogenic pain may describe pain that does not match their symptoms.

It feels real because it is real.

Psychosomatic pain may be caused completely psychologically. But the physical pain you feel is real, not imagined.

When my dear friend clutched his heart, when his left arm went numb and he called 911 because he thought he was having a heart attack? That pain he felt in his body was real. But it was caused by his brain and not by any type of heart attack. Also known as a panic attack.

“The cause is in your own mind,” is what Dr. John E. Sarno told his patients. Before he retired, Dr. Sarno healed back pain by showing people it’s caused by their emotions, their anger and its impact on our unconscious minds. This old 20/20 segment is dated, but gives a good overview of his technique.

In the past six months or so, I have tweaked my lower back two times. Back spasms are not fun. Previously, I’d gone years without a back injury. The next day, a giant, painful canker sore appeared inside my right cheek. Yesterday, my right index finger started swelling, got red and hot, and it hurts. The kind of hurt where you feel another heartbeat. I don’t recall smashing or hurting it, and there’s no visible injury.

Yes, the back spasm happened at the gym while I was pushing weights over my head. It’s a real muscle injury. The canker sore is real. My Popeye-looking finger really is swollen and red. And yes, I also have been more stressed than usual recently. 

These things I suffer from  are slightly different than psychosomatic illnesses. They are more physical manifestations of stress.  I purport that these physical ailments are my body’s way of dealing (or not dealing) with said stress. The worry causes toxins to build up in my body, and my body is saying GO! Get the hell out of here. My muscles are tight and constricted from the stress, and so my movement is off. That makes it easier to get hurt.

Ah! A revelation! Will I work up tomorrow back-pain and ailment free? Doubtful. But at least I’m not kidding myself, not scheduling back surgery and am confident I’ll be back in the game again soon.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2017 17:25

    Some people believe that dis-ease we experience in our body is a physical manifestation of dis-ease we have in our mental/emotional/spiritual space. Not quite the same thing, but made me think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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