I was recently reminded about this when I contracted food poisoning while on a transatlantic flight. I can assure it was not fun. I don’t remember when I have ever felt stomach cramps so intensely. All I wanted was for the pain to stop.
I knew it was food poisoning and there was little I could do on the flight, other than to wait it out.
At first I tried ignoring it. You can imagine how well that worked!
Then I discovered that by massaging my feet, the cramping decreased for a while. Though I am not a reflexologist, I assumed that I must have been assisting the movement of energy along meridians directly associated with my digestive tract.
That worked for a while—at least until we changed planes in the United States. Relocating to another plane seemed to set me back quite a bit. Thankfully, my husband requested a wheel chair, so at least I could be rolled across the terminal. I honestly don’t think I could have walked.
It has never ceased to amaze me that as a healer I know what works well for me, but when I’m really in pain or distress I seem to forget everything I know for a while. By the time I was settled on the second plane, the pain started moving through my body in seemingly uncontrollable waves.
I was not going to let this pain cause me to pass out, so finally I decided to be present to the pain, consciously. Instead of being truly present to what was happening, I had been trying to run away from it. That rarely, if ever, works.
Instead, I breathed around the edges of the pain (a technique you can learn too in my Breathing Your Way to Physical Freedom, guided meditation CD, https://misahopkins.com/bookstore/), which works very well for intense or chronic pain.
As I breathed around the edges of the pain, I told the cells of my body that we simply couldn’t do this. I directed my conscious mind to open and expand into the space around and of the pain. From that awareness I told my body it was going to have to move the toxins out quickly and I instructed my body to do so gently and without cramping.
That worked. The pain began to subside and I experienced less stress and pain, as I breathed deeper and deeper into my digestive organs.
In order to shift the experience of pain, I needed to be present to what was going on. This concept is challenging when pain is wracking your body, but we are in pain because our body wants us to pay attention.
Even though the inclination might be to do the opposite, I was reminded in a very visceral way about the power of presence in healing.
And in case you are wondering, I pay very close attention to my intuition now when I suspect food might be contaminated—another great reminder! 😉