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Pain, it’s what’s for dinner

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

I was thinking about pain today. Every time I go to the doctor they ask me if I have pain like they expect that I will say yes. I have responded with “Should I?” The answer is often a typing of the keys and a grimace-like smile that is usually accompanied by a shrug. Western medicine is very focused on completely numbing pain if they can, I get it but here is the thing, I don’t really experience what I would describe as pain.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer last year, this means that there is a primary site as well as a site or sites that the cancer has metastasized to, in my case the liver. Agreeably this does not sound nor is it awesome, in fact if you have a cancer that has spread to your liver you will be fast tracked for disability payments if you apply, which I was when I did (6 months IS fast for disability FYI.) I was definitely tired, my energy at times like a gas tank on empty with 100 miles to go and as you can imagine as it was affecting my colon, diarrhea had become my full-time job and though fecal rage spewing out of my rectum was not pleasant, I can not say that I have experienced what would be defined as constant pain OR at least the kind of pain that would require opiates or some strong narcotic.

As a Massage Therapist for over 20 years I have witnessed other people’s pain, sometimes even been the facilitator of it. My experience in regards to my clients is that through massage I can sometimes push out pain that is already there, keep massaging the same area while calming the nervous system and said area feels better and better until the pain sensation has ebbed. What can happen though, is that if a person is too fearful of pain they can hold onto it, any discomfort can initiate a fear response and ultimately cause the sensation to take up residence in the body, perhaps contribute to disharmony and disease... This is totally theoretical and musings from my own experience. Ultimately though, I believe that pain can be useful at tracking and if one can stave off fear of discomfort they could potentially work towards some kind of healing.

I have spent a lot of time tracking my own discomfort and literally having conversations with it. Years ago prior to my cancer diagnosis, when I was injured and suffered for years with (at times) fairly severe sciatica, I began working with amazing body/light workers who helped me with spiritual healing, energy work and inner alchemy, it was like they were preparing me for what was to come, putting me through an energetic boot camp and helping me navigate a somewhat terrifying situation. After 8 years of various therapies my back pain was pretty much resolved but I am not sorry that I experienced it, I was a better Massage Therapist because I knew what that kind of pain was like and that it was possible that it could be resolved.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are experiencing pain my advice would be to talk to it, work with it, see if you can navigate it out of your body or at least turn the volume down. Don’t be scared, we can do this together.

Until next time ❤️

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