Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pain is... not everywhere, so where else can you go/ Bonus: helping with migraines

Let's say your right shoulder is sore
You had an accident way back when
or you fell on it
or lifted weights with anger and inattention
or whatever
pitched a baseball too many times without full awareness

It's sore.

You lie down on the floor or table or bed
and someone asks you to pay attention
to what you notice.

Where do you go first?
To the sore shoulder?
To the calm ribs on the left side?
To the happy toes in right or left foot or both.
To the tension in your neck that you didn't even know was there,
and you're kind of excited to release.
To the feeling/ sensation of the back of your head on floor/ ground/ table/ bed?
To the good feeling in your left pinkie?

The list is long and varied, but the points are two:

One: there is a lot of us to pay attention to
This is a great and glorious "game" at almost any moment in our lives.

Two: we may have a tendency to put our attention
immediately on "what's not working"
rather than what feels good.

So, be it.
This might be nature's way of helping us remember that
we have an area needing improvement

And the other point is elusively obvious:
why neglect all the rest of us.

So, if you are in any pain:
lie down and any position that is comfortable

Scan yourself for painful areas
and non painful areas

Be sure to include a sensing of all of your skeleton:
legs toes fingers hands ribs vertebrae pelvis head arms shoulder blades

Sense all of you
and get this feeling:
how much of you is a non pain zone
and how much is.

And then try this:
begin any movement
slow and gentle in the non pain zone,
and notice it
feel awareness spreading to this movement
and allow yourself to enjoy aware and slow and gentle movement

Now rest
and feel what difference that made

Now do this same feel good movement
in a slightly different way.

As you do this,
feel what is going on in your body
learn more about how this feels good.

Rest again.

Now pick some third way of making this movement.
Go slowly and gently
with the premium on awareness
and as you are doing this movement
a SMALL amount of attention to your pain zone.

See if you and your brain can realize that gentle good feeling
movement can coincide with parts of us that don't "feel so great"

Now, with the smallest possible movements,
move some part of you in the "pain zone"
or right next to it
(shoulder is the zone,  move the ribs, or your elbow or fingers, or you neck;
or move, very very slightly,
your shoulder)

The movement has to be slow enough and gentle enough
that the pain doesn't increase.

Add in an awareness of all the part of you that aren't in pain.

Move slowly and gently,
I've said that I know,
move slowly and gently,
and find the pleasure
the learning,
the pleasure
even in this small and slow and gentle movement
inside the pain zone.


This is a retraining of many people's whole world view,
so go slowly and gently about learning to see pain
neither as all consumming
nor as something that needs to be instantly "gotten rid of"

It will go
as organization increases,
so keep moving slowly (and gently)
in ways that feel like they are connecting more
to more of

Good luck.
Lots of rests.
Tons of awareness and smiling and breathing.
And did I mention:
move slowly and gently.



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