Does Your Physical Pain Have An Emotional Connection?

physical pain - emotinal connection Dec 12, 2021


When we have a painful physical condition or injury sometimes the cause is not purely bio-mechanical but can be emotional as well.  I know to a lot of people this sounds completely crazy.  It seems impossible that a negative emotional state can actually show up as physical pain or restriction in the body.  The other reason it can sound ridiculous is because the mind and body ares still considered by many people to be unable to significantly influence each other to the degree that they can.  Joseph Pilates was way ahead of his time when he said:

"Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit."

He understood that mind, body and spirit work together and shouldn't be though of as completely separate units that work independently of each other.  In order to achieve "balance" as you can see in the picture above, all three must be well integrated.


 You Can Help Your Body to Heal With Your Mind


My former osteopath, that I started seeing many years ago now due a neck injury would always look for the emotional connection to the physical symptoms that her patients were dealing with.  According to Louise L Hay neck pain can be linked to stubbornness and lack of flexibility.  She would then just bring that to my attention and ask me to think about whether that rang true for me at all and if so, what changes could I make that would assist my neck to heal.  She would then suggest a positive affirmation such as "I release the stubbornness I have stored in my neck" or "I am flexible."  Personally I found this extremely helpful and I could relate to what she was drawing my attention to in my life.  She never asked me to tell her about what changes I needed to make as it's then up to the individual to follow through with it or discard it if it doesn't ring true for them.


Emotional Trauma is Stored in the Body


All of us have suffered emotional trauma in our lives to varying degrees and this is then stored in our bodies largely in the muscles and fascia.  It's not uncommon for people to have an emotional reaction to certain movements in Pilates.  I once had a client who cried each time she did clams.  Certain movements can provoke anger for some people but by releasing these emotions through movement in can help to heal the body and mind and therefore restore balance.  This is why some people don't want to continue with Pilates because they are confronted by the emotions they are dealing with and they aren't ready to face them.  This is completely understandable as you have to be ready to move, change and heal.  Personally, I know I store my anger in my calf muscles, particularly the right one.  I injured my Achilles tendon many years ago now during my dance concert when I was under extreme stress.  I have worked on releasing the emotions but there is still some stress of that time trapped there and it's a constant work in progress.  Even to this day, if I become extremely angry I feel a twinges in the Achilles tendon area.  Just a little reminder that I have to keep working on releasing mentally and physically.


Rebecca's Story - A Client Case Study


Chronic back pain is one the main issues clients are dealing with when they start Pilates with me.  Rebecca had lower back pain that had started after a hysterectomy 6 months before and had tried everything to resolve it.  She had treatments with massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists and physiotherapists before she started Pilates with me.  Nothing had worked so far but she knew she needed to improve her core stability post surgery and hoped this would help her to resolve her back pain too.  She was dedicated to her practice and was feeling stronger and more flexible than ever before. Her back pain had improved but hadn't resolved completely which caused her a lot of frustration.  I suspected there was a strong emotional cause to her back pain.  As I learned more about her life it became apparent that it was a playing a huge factor in preventing her from recovering completely.  Louise L Hay describes the back as representing the support of life.  In Rebecca's case she had lower back pain which is associated with fear of money and lack of financial support and support in general.  Rebecca told me her husband had left her shortly before the surgery and wasn't contributing financially to the maintenance of her 2 young daughters. To make matters worse her ex-husband was planning to divide all the assets leaving Rebecca and her children to find a new home.  This was causing her extreme distress and obviously playing a large role in her back pain as she felt completely unsupported.  I shared with her how this highly emotional trauma she was dealing with could be contributing to her back pain and she was open to this idea.  It made complete sense to her and like my osteopath I gave her some positive affirmations to help her stay out of the negative mental state.  Gradually, her back began to improve until her pain was completely under control.  Like my Achilles tendon it's a work in progress but the awareness she now has about triggers for her back pain make managing her condition so much easier.

If you are ready to start Pilates and open to all the different factors that may be contributing to your pain, my unique Pilates program is for you.  I understand that we must have complete co-ordination of  mind, body and spirit as Joseph PIlates said. Sometime it can be confronting to deal with emotional issues but trauma stored in the body can cause so much pain and disease.  When you are ready and willing to start moving you will experience positive change which ultimately leads to healing.  Click HERE to read about what options I have to offer you to begin your Pilates journey.   Alternatively, email me at [email protected] - I'd love to help you start your Pilates journey to pain-free living!









If you are ready to take control of your own health and fitness then download your free copy of my detailed guide.

Learn more about what sort of people benefit from Pilates and how it can help you too. I separate the myths from the facts and share actual case studies of my clients who have achieved life-changing results from my unique Pilates program.