Sorry, but Your Pain Really Does Begin in Your Head

Your doctor is somewhat correct.

Woman wide-eyed, looking shocked

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Does That Make You Mad?

Your pain really does begin in your head.  Does it make you mad when I say that your pain is in your head?  If you’re anything like me, it makes you really mad.  You went to your doctor expecting help.  You wanted a solution.  Instead, she told you that there was nothing wrong that she could find.  Or worse, she told you that you have _______ diagnosis, and there is nothing you can do except take a pill.  She prescribed you a medication to deal with the symptoms. 

Maybe, like me with my thyroid disease, you resolved to take a pill every day for the rest of your life.  After all, that’s what the doctor said to do, and he knows more than me.  He’s been to medical school.

If only I’d known then what I know now. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Doctors have a place, a very important one, in our lives.  I needed that doctor for my diagnosis.  I needed doctors for many reasons throughout my life, but there were a few times that I could have treated some of my symptoms with more natural methods.  For example, what if I had changed my diet, and reduced stress?  What if I had tried some of the tools for healing that I have now?  I guess I’ll never know about my thyroid.  I don’t think I can go back after taking medication for so many years. 

Chronic Health Symptoms Start in Your Head

Chronic symptoms almost always start in your head.  I don’t mean that you imagined them.  You really are hurting.  You do have excruciating migraines, foot pain, digestive issues, muscle pain, joint pain, or whatever other pain that has affected you days, months, or years.  

But, these chronic symptoms usually start with a pattern of thought that is negative, or stress.  That may make you mad, too.  It did make me mad.  I had a gastroenterologist suggest to me that my intense digestive issues were caused by stress.  He actually showed me a video of a calming bike ride through a forest.  He said maybe I should look into some calming videos like that.  

I thought, “What a quack! Seriously, I’m having real pain here.  I need help.” I ended up helping myself, by changing my diet. (I removed gluten.)  Within a week, I felt better.  Then I ended up getting my certification in Transformational Nutrition.  This course had psychology and spirituality sections as well.  What I began to realize, embarrassingly, was that the gastroenterologist had been right, at least partially.  I had to begin working on my thoughts, my stress level, and my self-love in addition to the nutritional changes I was making. 

It took a long time, and a lot of work, but I realized, I never allowed myself to feel my emotions.  If I was sad, I would just get busy with work or my kids, and ignore it.  If I felt resentful, I would stuff it down.  Anger?  Oh, anger was definitely never allowed.  I would shame myself if I ever felt angry.  “You have to be patient.  That person is having a bad day.  Love more, be more, do more, try harder.”  All the pills in the world, all the medical interventions, could never fix that.  All they could do is mask, or relieve, the symptoms.

But, I Have Test Results That Show a Problem

You may have test results that show an issue.  Maybe you have a scan that shows a bulging disc, or gallstones.  You may have intestines that show visible inflammation and scarring.  I’m not saying to ignore your doctor’s recommendations, or to resolve to living in pain.  I’m not a doctor.  

What I am saying, is to explore how your thoughts and repressed emotions could be impacting your health.  There are multiple studies and doctors that have proven that many people show miraculous improvement by addressing the stress caused by these negative thoughts and denied emotions.  A few of my favorites are Dr. Joe Dispenza, and Dr. John Sarno.  

Dr. Sarno focused most of his work on back pain, but his methods of uncovering emotions through journaling have helped thousands, if not millions, of people heal chronic symptoms.  

Dr. Dispenza tours the world sharing his and his team’s research findings on how changing your negative thought patterns can help heal chronic symptoms.  He has written multiple books on his scientific research.  One of my favorites is, Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself:  How to Lose Your Mind, and Create a New One.

How I Healed My Own Chronic Symptoms

I had a whole host of issues in the past, not all at once, thankfully, but enough to know that it is possible to heal some of it yourself, or with the help of someone who has healed themselves.  Here are some of the methods I used.  It took years, but finally, with a few different coaches, I feel better than I ever have.

  1.  I made sleep a priority.
  2. I began a morning routine filled with self-care.  See details here.
  3. I changed my thought pattern from negative, to more positive.
  4. I began trusting in my higher power (God, source, spirit).
  5. I began a meditation practice.
  6. I began a gratitude practice.
  7. I did free writing. (A practice in which you destroy your writing afterwards, so no one will find your most vulnerable thoughts, and you can release negative emotions.)

There are really hundreds of tiny habits I changed over time.  I didn’t do all of these things at once.  That would be totally overwhelming.  I just took one tiny habit at a time, and worked on that until it became second nature.  

In Conclusion

I was able to heal digestive issues, foot pain, hip pain, tension headaches, and stubborn weight gain.  I wish I had known all of these tools before I had my gallbladder removed, a hysterectomy, and before I started taking thyroid medication.  I don’t know if I could have healed those things, but I certainly could have reduced symptoms.  

Like I said, I’m thankful for the knowledge and skills of the medical profession.  But, I’m also thankful that when they don’t have an answer, or can only mask symptoms, I have other tools that can support my healing.  

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