Are you struggling with unexplained pain that just isn’t responding to treatment?  I had pain and fatigue for a long time. I took painkillers and drank gallons of caffeine so that I could push through but it just continued to get worse and eventually I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I struggled with it for 10 years, trying nutritional and physical treatments but nothing seemed to help.  I might feel better for 2-3 days after a treatment but then the symptoms returned. Then I discovered that stress might be the underlying cause of my pain.  In this article, I explain a little about what I discovered and how it helped me.

Sometimes stress can be beneficial.  For example the athletes at the Olympics this summer used the surge of adrenaline free to perform at their very best.   It amazes me just what the competitors can do with their bodies. Usain Bolt won 3 gold medals for the third time.  I remember watching him run in the 200m.
  • The athletes getting ready for the starters orders
  • “On your Marks” – he got into the blocks
  • “Get Set” – he got ready, the adrenaline was flowing, his muscles tightened, every part of his body was ready to spring into action when the gun fires

And I wondered how long he could hold that position if the “Go” never came.  I’m sure that even Usain, the fastest athlete in the world, would struggle after even just a few minutes as his muscles tire and weaken.

Yet, many of us are held at Get Set for days, weeks or even months.
  • A tight deadline at work
  • Constant arguing with our partner / children
  • Money worries
All of these things cause us to get stressed and go into the fight or flight reaction:
  • Adrenaline is released,
  • the blood leaves the organs of our body,
  • the digestive system and immune system shut down,
  • the blood enters the muscles causing them to tighten, to go into Get Set.
These reactions are perfect for short term stress such as running a race.  Thousands of years ago, our stresses were the sabre tooth tiger coming towards you. Then, these reactions were perfect. You would run as fast as you could to escape the prowling tiger. Then you would rest, your heart beat would return to normal and the blood would leave the muscles, which could then relax, and go back into the organs as you were safe to continue digesting your dinner and fight the bacterial infection.
But our modern day stresses are different. You can’t flee your job or fight your partner. So you hold it in. You stay at “Get Set”. And over time:
  • those tight muscles may cause structural imbalances and pain.
  • You begin to have digestive problems because your food cannot be digested properly. You may get Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • You get an infection that you are unable to fight off
So, the underlying cause of your pain could be that argument with your partner or your pressure at work.

The body has the ability to heal itself. But ongoing stress can prevent this too.  So, reducing stress is an essential but often neglected part of the healing process.

When I look back to the year or so before I got ill, I had a lot of stress: a relationship breakup, working really hard to get my Masters degree, moving to a new town and starting a new job as a management consultant.

I caught a virus that I never recovered from and then I started got odd pains and was really fatigued.  So then, I started stressing about the symptoms themselves, which just completed the vicious cycle and started the downward spiral to fibromyalgia.

Was there any stress in the year or so before you got ill?  Or is there any ongoing stress?

If you are unsure, download this short guided exercise to see if stress may still be affecting you.

If you noticed any unpleasant effects in your body as you thought about the stressful events in the year or so before you got ill, or during the exercise then this is an indication that the old stress is still affecting you now and could be contributing to pain, fatigue or other symptoms that you are feeling.

Sometimes just conscious recognition of the way that event affected you can be enough for there to be a shift in your perception and to be able to let go.  Other times, you may need to do something to release that energy from the body.

 

I found that using various energy psychology techniques to release stress and past emotional baggage enabled me to be in a calmer state which allowed the other treatments to be more effective and my pain and other symptoms reduced and my energy levels increased.  The bonus was that I also felt a whole lot happier and able to break through anxiety and fears as I focused on what I actually wanted to do.

If you would like to learn more about how you can reduce stress to help your body heal, learn quick tips and techniques for managing pain and increasing energy and some of the science supporting these new approaches to health, sign up for my newsletter.

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