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  • Rajesh Khemraj

Is emotional pain causing physical pain?

Pain is a very complex but yet simple phenomenon of the human body. The problem is beneficial and functional due to its ability to protect you from continuing to harm the body. Pain is our check engine light. If you have pain, you would typically avoid or stop whatever is causing that pain to protect and heal that area. But what happens when there are rest and time for healing, but there is no improvement in pain. The body is essentially not able to heal.


Have you ever watched a movie and saw someone get injured, and you cringe at the thought of going through that same pain. If the idea is strong enough, you, too, can start feeling the problem of the injury that was projected on the screen. But what can even be more powerful is when you see someone emotionally hurting. It is not uncommon to have a movie that connects with the audience so much that they are all in tears. To the brain, this is pain. The hurt or sadness that is felt prevents you from continuing beyond, and your body goes into protective mode. It will try to prevent you from continuing to feel the pain by reacting with crying or anger. Both of these can stop the cycle of the problem persists. Crying is an emotional unloading of pain, which usually the person feels significantly better following the cry. Anger can also prevent the current pain but tends to redirect the offense’s problem, which can propagate to more pain.


What happens when you are not able to release that emotional hurt? There are so many times or situations that people can feel that they do not have a voice or feel that they can stand up for themselves. They can be in an argument, for example, and the other person can be saying things that are very harmful or painful, but due to the circumstances, you do not address the issue and let it be. The problem is that you don’t always just let it be. Many times you are biting your tongue or holding back. When someone keeps around, they prevent an emotional release; this is usually manifested by physical pain. Often, when a person is hurt emotionally, they will feel pain in their chest or headaches. If you cannot release these hurts, they build up over time as physical tension in the body.


As time goes on, the tension builds up. The stress becomes so much that you no longer feel the personal as much as you feel the pain that manifests due to the emotional reaction when you enter specific emotional problems. Over time, prolonged exposure to emotional distress can cause long term chronic pain. In these particular scenarios, manual or mechanical treatment of the pain have minimal effects on the patient’s pain. This is the typical patient that does not respond to conventional methods of pain management. These patients need to understand where the problem has manifested and how changes in emotions cause changes in their physical pain. Once there is awareness, healing can happen. The body will start responding to the physical treatments. You do not necessarily need to manage the emotional pain as much as just have an awareness of the present patterns. The understanding itself will help change the practice of holding in emotions so much that it prevents the continued manifestation of physical pain.



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