To my Dearest friends and family, acquaintances, blog followers and web-friends,
This is an open letter to you all. If you only read one thing on this blog let it be this. Lately I have really struggled watching people I love suffer from; back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, sciatica, RSI, tennis elbow, joint pain, headaches, migraines, gastrointestinal and urogenital conditions, repetitive coughs, eczema, allergies, tinnitus, dizziness, repeated infections and more physical issues. Some of these conditions are mild, but many are recurring and life-interrupting for you.
I have listened as you have told me that these things are;
- “because I have bad posture”
- “because I am getting older”
- “because I should really have surgery on it soon!”
- “because I must not bend/lift/run/walk like that or it’ll get worse”
- “because I have been told my leg/hip/back/arm/foot is out of alignment”
- “because an MRI scan showed I have slipped/prolapsed discs / degenerative disc disease”
- “Because I didn’t wash the pillows/dry my hair properly/went swimming”
- “Because it runs in the family so I obviously have it too…”
Most of the time I just bite my lip, listen and nod and try to hope that somehow you’ll find a way to heal. Commonly I have noticed that nearly everyone believes two things about their condition; firstly that it has a physical cause and secondly that you can only manage it and never be cured. Many friends and family tell me how they simply ‘can’t lift’ anymore, or ‘sit-like-that’ or they will get worse. Every time I hear that, I remember how I used to think that myself. Thinking ‘I am broken, I will never…’ but the thing is, now I do ALL of that and more! And I’m not lucky. I am simply informed and courageous enough to act on my information. I am writing this to you because it is my greatest hope that someone out there might listen and take courage and believe in a complete cure too.
When you ask;
- How’s your slipped discs?
- Have you tried this therapy/ this piece of machinery to help you?
I know you ask with love, even though I’ve tried to explain a million times now; that just because an MRI I had two years ago showed three slipped discs does not mean they were the root cause of my pain. I have infact put that diagnosis out of my mind entirely, it’s misleading and unhelpful.
The truth is actually that the root cause of my ‘back pain’ is the same root cause as your: fibro, sciatica, RSI, tennis elbow, joint pain, headaches, migraines, gastrointestinal and urogenital conditions, repetitive coughs, eczema, allergies, tinnitus, dizziness and repeated ear / eye / throat and chest infections! It really is. This might seem like a mad and somewhat arrogant claim and certainly one many do not accept. However, a growing, number of leading scientists do now agree. The truth is that all these conditions are merely symptoms of one main factor; stress. Now it is crucial to point out that this does NOT mean that it is ‘all in your mind’ infact I now believe that many more conditions are stress-induced than have a physical cause.
So if it’s not ‘all in my mind’ how can an emotion cause a physical symptom?
Very easily. Infact it happens to us all, all the time. Common emotions causing physical symptoms, are;
- Embarrassment; blood may rush to your cheeks causing blushing.
- Sexual Feelings; the brain diverts blood to genitals causing an obvious physical response with an erection.
- Fear; your mouth may go dry, heart rate increases, your hair stands on end, you may hyperventilate.
The most important thing to note here is that all of these physical changes happen as a result of an emotion and cannot be caused by conscious intent. In other words they are very REAL and rooted in the unconscious. It is not fluffy hippy-trippy-stuff, it is not ‘an-approach’, it is not ‘a belief’, this is real hard-science fact, that western medicine is gradually beginning to accept.
Another fact I learnt recently is that 90% of people with back pain stop seeking treatment within 3 months even though some form of the pain persists. Those people will develop some form of disability thinking they can no longer do certain activities. Of that group 20% will develop depression. Most horrendously, a review of a dozen studies from 2006 showed that chronic pain doubled the risk of suicide; with one in five thinking about it and one in ten attempting it. Grim stats indeed.
So dear ones, my message to you is this; you can, all of you heal from these things if you only have the courage to look at your feelings. Next time you find yourself saying “I can’t; lift / sit / run / dance / bend / swim like that…” stop, think. If you accepted that it is your emotions that are to blame and not your (you think) broken-bodies then, I promise you would be able too. It is hard and scary, you can’t do it alone. There is help and I’m still learning myself. But everything worth doing is scary and what could be more worth it than your health?
Much Love to all, I hope something here speaks to you. Please see below some links to some sciency-folks and their books who can give you the proper geek breakdown on all of this! Enjoy! Lucy xxx