One of our readers wants to know about healing back injuries. Many, if not most, of us have injured our backs, so we know how debilitating it can be have back pain. Before we look at the energetic roots of back injuries, let’s take a look at the prevalence of back injuries that occur.
Consider this information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/backpain/detail_backpain.htm:
If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. Nearly everyone at some point has back pain that interferes with work, routine daily activities, or recreation. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States — only headache is more common. Fortunately, most occurrences of low back pain go away within a few days. Others take much longer to resolve or lead to more serious conditions.
Back pain can occur quite suddenly due to an acute injury or it may occur gradually as a result of improper use or overuse. Most back pain is caused by some kind of physical injury that occurs while playing sports, engaging in recreational activities or work-related tasks—whether on the job or at home.
However, there are other causes, as described in this article at WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/back-problems-and-injuries-topic-overview:
Although back pain is often caused by an injury to one or more of the structures of the back, it may have another cause. Some people are more likely to develop back pain than others. Factors that increase your risk for back pain and injury include getting older, having a family history of back pain, sitting for long periods, lifting or pulling heavy objects, or having a degenerative disease such as osteoporosis.
If we are overusing our backs, not exercising core muscles to add strength, have inflamed joints, or are lifting heavy objects, we have increased the potential for back injuries. That said, there are reasons we may be putting our backs at risk.
This is where it is helpful to look at the emotional root behind back pain and back injuries, particularly if you are prone to chronic injuries or discomfort. When I took the concept of back injury into meditation, these are the insights I received:
Back injury is caused by instability of emotions. That means that a person is vacillating from moment to moment within a broad range of emotional feelings. This vacillation is occurring internally even if the person is not allowing their feelings to be expressed externally. They may not want others to know how much they are struggling, but deep inside they are emotionally stressed and need help.
To add to the challenge, their pride keeps them from admitting how much they need help with their powerful emotions. Because the strength of the emotions is embodied in a sense of righteousness (I’m right and you are wrong, or I’m better than you.), the person may not want to feel emotionally stable because then they would lose their feeling of power. As a result, in a subconscious desire for those temporary emotions to be genuinely recognized, the person creates a more permanent condition through an injury.
Now if you are reading this, be gentle with yourself. This is a lot of information to consider. From my own experience, I know the physical damage emotional charge can create if emotions are not addressed with love and consideration.
With many physical ailments, I find there are one or two predominant emotions at play, but with back injuries, it seems there are multiple emotions, and that is part of the problem. If we have not learned how to be with our emotions appropriately, then we are not likely going to know what to do when such intense emotions arise.
Let’s talk about how to be present to our emotions, so that back injuries can be avoided, and perhaps, so that back injuries can heal more quickly. If you are suffering from back pain due to injury, here are some specific steps you can take.
1) If you are not used to speaking about your feelings, you might not even know what names to give your feelings. You might not know how to identify them. Consider finding or making a “feelings list,” with lots of words that describe emotional states. At the very least, see if you can begin to identify whether your feelings fall into one of these common emotional feelings: glad, mad or sad.
2) Be aware that it can take tremendous courage to admit you are having intense feelings if you are not used to talking about them. Once you have acknowledged the fear, give yourself permission to admit to yourself what you are feeling.
3) At first you might want to blame other people or circumstances for you injury and what you are feeling. Although that may be your tendency, see if you can allow yourself to feel what you feel without making you or anyone else wrong. I like to think of these moments as reasons to stop what I am doing, and become present to the situation.
If I’m walking in the woods and my shirt gets caught by some brambles sticking out, it’s not the woods’ or anyone’s fault. We just bumped into each other and the situation can be fixed if I stop to untangle my shirt.
4) Recognize that your feelings are created by you. Someone else could have exactly the same experience and feel quite differently about it. Your feelings are unique and important statements about you. Your feelings are valid, as are the feelings of anyone else involved.
5) If your emotions are being triggered by someone else’s thoughts, feelings or choices, keep in mind that divergent views don’t necessarily make anyone right or wrong, or better than someone else. It just makes us different. Be careful about making assumptions that someone is wrong or not as good as you. These kind of thoughts feed feelings of righteousness, and righteousness is a bid for power that separates us from Divine love, where all are loved equally without judgment.
6) If you need help understanding the history and significance of your feelings, get professional assistance. This is where the support of a good psychotherapist or someone that does past life regression or soul retrieval, for example, can help you understand the meaning behind your emotions. Sometimes greater understanding allows you to experience more self-compassion.
7) Discover the healing that comes with compassion, at this stage, primarily for yourself. I recommend the following meditation regularly, because it is one of the most powerful practices I have found for finding relief from intense emotions and discovering the depth of your self-compassion. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php?topic=75.0
If you are willing to create room in your life for the legitimacy of your own feelings and the legitimacy of feelings other people in your life are having too, you are going to be much more gentle with the demands you place on yourself and others. You’ll find it easier to ask for help when lifting heavy objects or going down icy stairs. You won’t have to push yourself to prove to yourself or anyone else how healthy, fit or skilled at a sport you might be. It is wonderfully freeing to engage in activities with the help of others. After all, isn’t that what it means to be in the circle of life together?
Back injuries are so prevalent that I have created a Sound Healing CD available for spinal injuries. You can find it here: http://www.spirittreasures.com/products.html
I injured my back years ago because I was angry with my husband. The layers of emotion I discovered in the process were amazing. I share a lot more detail in my book. I hope you’ll read that section and share your own insights here.