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  • Michael Keane

Emotions and physical pain. Are they related?


Emotions and physical pain….Can our emotions be the cause of physical pain?

Any time we get an injury or physical pain of any kind, we always look at the initial point of injury or causation of pain. We always look at the physical aspect of the injury, but what if the injury was coming from elsewhere? What if the injury was negative emotions trapped in the body and manifesting as pain to let us know we need to work on ourselves emotionally as well as or in place of physically.


More and more research is now showing that negative emotions build up in the body and can cause pain when we don’t adequately deal with our emotional wellbeing.

I can tell you from experience, this is true. I have had shoulder issues on my right side for about 2 years and I was sure that I was surgery bound. I couldn’t any push work let alone, do a push up without extreme pain. I went through all the rehab protocol to help strengthen the shoulder and hopefully “repair” any damage done, so I could train as I wanted. When all those efforts fell short, I started to investigate alternative methods of healing that included tapping, meditation, practicing presence and other methods of stress relief. It was in the investigation and implementation of these methods that things began to change. Not only did my mindset and stress management change to a more positive one, but my shoulder pain and other niggling injuries began to fade.


The amount of negative “stress” in my life didn’t change; it increased due to certain life situations, but my pain subsided. In the past couple of weeks when presence is lacking, and I begin to worry and project into the future I start to get niggling injuries in the shoulder and hips. Is this a coincidence? I think not. You may think otherwise but this has been true for me. If I’m not working on my mind and spirit, my body fails me invariably.

Within this research, it has been found that various types of stressors cause correlating pain in specific joint and muscles. Below, I’ll share with you what can cause pain based on the stress or negative emotion you may be harboring. (These are just possibilities. I just ask you to be open to a new way of thinking)


Headaches - Typically headaches will be caused by dehydration, however, if you are adequately hydrated headaches can be brought on by feeling of overwhelm. Practice prioritizing to alleviate this overwhelm.


Neck pain – When we have neck pain we can sometimes be harboring guilt or self judgement. Do an inventory of things you might feel guilty/self-judging about, apologize to the people you may have hurt and forgive yourself.


Shoulder pain – Ever heard of the phrase "the weight of the world on your shoulders"? This rings true when it comes to stress and shoulder pain. When you are responsible for more than your share of responsibilities shoulder issues tend to arise. Delegate and leave work at the office.


Upper back – Upper back pain can be manifest due to a lack of emotional support because we simply don’t get it, or we don’t ask. Let your ego down and ask.

Lower back – Sometimes, lower back issues can be related to financial issues. Live within your means, budget and see what happens.


Elbow pain or stiffness – Elbow pain can be due to stubbornness and inflexibility. You are allowing your ego to run your mind. Your mind runs your emotions and emotions manifest themselves in the body. Let the ego go.


Hips – Hip pain can come from resistance to change or hesitation to making big decisions. Stop resisting what is and be decisive in the direction your heading in your life.


Knee pain – Knee pain is a big one for many people and it can be due to self-absorption and selfishness. Again, don’t allow the ego to run you. Practice humility and presence!!!


Calf pain – Holding onto grudges and resentment can cause trigger point in the calves. Let go of the past and be grateful for what you have now.


Ankle – Not doing some things for you can be negative. Being too selfless all the time can wear you down. Self-care is important so do something nice for yourself.


Feet – Negative self-talk and depression can contribute to foot pain. Get in the habit of being nice to yourself and finding joy in the little moments throughout out your day. This can only be done by being present.

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