Pain: A Story of Communication
There is a common saying in traditional Chinese medicine that roughly translates to, "when there is blockage/stasis, there will be pain" 1.
Our body communicates in often subtle manners. Exhaustion is heavy, nausea is dull, but pain is abject and clear. It does not murmur, nor whisper. It is a shout, a scream - it projects. We must not forget that communication is a feedback loop. When our body speak through pain, how do we respond? Do we ignore, do we contract, do we release, or do we heal?
Every kind of pain; whether that be chronic, stress induced, environmentally impacted, emotional, menstrual, mental, societal; has a voice and we must allow it to speak and we must listen. Listening to pain instead of trying to avoid feeling it all costs can cause it to compound and shout louder and longer till we listen. Pain is very personal to the individual, yet collectively understood if we make space for empathy.
Pain requires patience, a willingness to engage and respond accordingly, and presence. If we consider the aforementioned Chinese saying, what sorts of things are blocking us that is creating pain besides the physical body? Are you not speaking your truth and swallowing your true thoughts? Are you attempting to distract or disengage from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings? What sort of systems are blocking access to housing, food, and basic human needs? What prejudices are suppressing those to live their truth? The subject of pain is so nuanced, yet so human. How can we engage with this innate human experience instead of shy away from it or distract ourselves with instant, feel-good moments we as a society are so addicted? How do we speak about the pain we feel personally and as a society?
Chinese medicine often invites us to journey through pain into healing. Herbal decoctions are bitter and thick, acupuncture can be occasionally be painful or uncomfortable, gua sha and cupping are not gentle massages, even taking herbal pills takes discipline and consistency - these are all varying levels of pain, but still not easy in their own merit. In order to pass through to healing, one must walk through the blockages and stasis and pain. One must speak to the pain they experience with compassion, truth, and openness. When dialogue is established with the aforementioned as a foundation, lasting healing can occur.
In the mean time, if you are experiencing any joint, muscular or nerve pain, give 369 Joint Spray a go!
1 Chinese is such a beautiful language filled with word games and rhymes. This saying is a lovely example of that word play, and I just wish our English readers could feel the poetry of the Chinese language sometimes.