Have you ever asked the question “do past experiences create physical pain?” At one time I had so many physical situations that life was really a pain in the backside. Of course, being the strong man that I thought I had to be, meant that I acted as if everything was okay.
I didn’t show pain because I thought that was a weakness. I held it all in, no matter how difficult it got for me. Yes, there were trips to the emergency room for muscles that would become so rigid I could barely move. Yes, I had migraine headaches and stomach type flu situations. There was the anxiety and the depression, although I didn’t allow myself to acknowledge these things.
By the time I started to see Dr. Paul Canali, I had a long list of physical symptoms taking place.
Physical Pains In My Life
- Neck tension.
- Stiff neck.
- Shoulder pain.
- Hip pain.
- Back Pain.
- Stomach type ulcer pain.
- Horrible allergies.
- Creepy crawly feeling on my legs and body.
- Frequent and intense migraine headaches.
- Daily normal headaches
- The despair that my life won’t get better.
- Anxiety in crowds, stores, or traffic.
- Rage triggers by the loud bass thump sound from other cars.
- Severe depression.
- Sleepless nights and sleep issues.
- Night sweats.
- Skin rashes.
- Fears that would physically paralyze me.
- Fears of the dark and night time.
- Losing control of anger around the holidays.
- Severe holiday depression.
- Horrible dreams and nightmares.
- Intense pain in various parts of the body at different times.
- Hugs would make me want to vomit.
- Did not feel much physically in the way of touch.
- Struggled to feel calmness or relaxation even though I tried hard.
- Body memories
- Digestive issues.
- Attempting and desiring to kill myself by suicide.
If you would have told me at the time there was a way out of this, I would have called you crazy. I would have laughed and scoffed, maybe not to your face but behind your back. I’m being very honest about this because at this point, there was no hope. The physical pain that engulfed my life was too much.
My Life Was Crashing
I was struggling so hard to function every day. Many things had gone wrong and by the time I started to see Dr. Canali, I had lost my mom. She died in a horrible car accident that left many things unsaid in life.
I had started a relationship and was coming to terms with my sexuality.
The job I had was not going well, but after sitting out of work for a year after being laid off, it was one of the very few jobs available. I took what I could get at the time even though the management of the company was some of the worst to work for in this place.
I was still dealing with all the effects of the childhood sexual abuse, trauma, and torture I had been through in my life. No longer did I have the therapist, Emma Wallace, who had been so helpful to me.
Because of the physical pain I endured, my life was crashing down. Each day I slid a little further down. I cried myself to sleep many times. I cried myself through the day when no one was looking. It was a battle to struggle to hang on to life. It was not a good time.
My Body Understood Before My Mind
Then I met Dr. Canali and the words he spoke seemed foreign to me, but they held hope. My body understood what he was telling me before my mind did. It all made sense, but the journey seemed like a difficult battle – and it was!
When we deal with so much intense physical pain, it is hard to see anything but overwhelming misery. It feels like there is no hope, even if we try to believe there is.
In those days, it was hard for me to go in and sense anything in my body. Most of us (and I’m no different) don’t feel as much or sense as much as we think we do. It may feel like it because the physical pain dials are pushed way up, but that’s a different type of sensing and feeling.
I remember Dr. Canali explained to me that our past experiences were tied to the tension, the physical pain, and all the other body situations coming up. In fact, I’ll never forget one patient of his who had 52 surgeries. She was not able to go to the root of the pain, so she and the doctors would chase the symptoms by removing various parts of her body and doing medical procedures. In the end, when she started the process with Dr. Canali, she realized that healing was possible. I’ll always remember her sharing that story with the group in the enteric brain class I took with him.
My First Therapy Session
I’ll never forget my first session with Dr. Canali, during a seminar he was teaching. Even though so much was going on, I consciously felt little. Yet, it had such an impact on my life. That night after the session, I slept more peaceful than I had ever slept in my life.
I remember him sharing a 20/20 interview of Dr. John Sarno, who was helping people heal the mind body connection from physical pain. It all seemed to fit together but felt foreign to me.
In each session with Dr. Canali, we would start out by going in and sensing. The question would be, “what do you sense in your body?” “Scan your body and see what you can pick up.”
In the early days, this was difficult to do. I struggled to really sense anything but physical pain. It was so overwhelming that to get the mind to focus on anything else was a battle.
With Dr. Canali, I kept focusing on what I could pick up. The more we did that, the more I was able to sense and connect with in my body. When we’ve been traumatized, sensing and feeling are numbed, disconnected, and turned off. In order to heal those things, we have to begin dialing those things up. We do it by learning to become aware of what is going on in the body. We do it by going in to the pain and feeling it.
Healing is feeling and feeling is healing
While I know many people will say they understand this, far too often it is an exercise done from the mind, not the body. We’re not taught as children or adults to heal one’s self. No one teaches us how to deal with physical pain, or that you can do this. You need to go in and feel within the cells, tissue, fascia, muscles, nervous system, mind, brain, and organs. This is the way you heal your life.
The more you can start from the point of feeling all these things, the more empowered you are in your healing. As you progress, you will find that you can heal your body in ways you did not believe were possible. Remember when I said that I would have laughed if anyone told me this? Now I no longer laugh. I know that I can truly change the physical pain that is showing up.
By going in and sensing in my body and allowing whatever memory or past experience or situation to come out, my life has changed. I’m not as worried or concerned about the story any longer because I know that when I go in and sense and feel, that’s when the healing moment takes place.
The more I can go into the physical pain as an observer and not get attached to it, the more things will change quickly within me. Yes, sometimes the story helps. Sometimes there is a story that matters, but I’m learning that the more I can feel that experience in my body and let go, the greater the possibility of healing I find.
Healing Physical Pain Is Possible
I’m not going to tell you at this point in my life that I have no pain and I experience no body issues, because I do. However, I know that healing is possible. I know that I can move these things through myself much more quickly than I once could. I can see that if I feel first what is happening in my body and connect with it, there is a way to let go.
When I let go, there is a physical change that happens. I can see it. I can feel it. Some of these physical changes have happened so quickly that it almost shocked me to the point of not believing it.
There Is Healing And Help
If you’re dealing with horrible situations and physical pain, there is help out there. There is healing. However, we must walk that path if we want to find it. No healer or practitioner can do it for you. No medical doctor can make you better without you making the choice to walk the healing path.
Sometimes, it is very challenging to be on this path. If you can find someone that understands what true healing is, it will make it go much better. Find the way to sense in your body and pay attention to what is happening, because that is the key to working through it and healing from it.
All of this may sound too good to be true, especially if you are in a lot of physical pain. I totally understand if you feel that way. All I can do is share my experiences of what I went through and where I am today. They are two totally different points. I now have my life back. I know there’s a way beyond the pain and suffering. My hope is that you will find that healing path and take the steps to discover it for yourself.