What am I doing wrong? Troubleshooting Mind Body Pelvic Pain Relief

By Lorraine Faehndrich

Have you ever found yourself frantically using your mind body tools to make your symptoms go away?

Your pain flared up and you didn’t freak out. Yay! Instead, you decided to breathe, drop into your body, and ask yourself how you were feeling emotionally. And you actually made some progress and felt some emotions.

Fantastic!

But then your pain didn’t go away right away and so you tried another mind body tool to get rid of it.

And it didn’t “work” (ie. reduce the symptoms).

And then another didn’t “work”.

And then you got frustrated or panicked or gave up (or sent me an email! 🙂 ).

This is the most common mistake I see women make as they begin using a mind body approach to relieve pelvic pain.

They try to use the mind body tools the way they would use a pain medication – to get rid of their symptoms in the moment.

But mind body tools don’t work like a pill – and even if they did, your symptoms would not be an accurate measure of whether or not they were “working”.

(Not to mention the fact that if there were a pill that worked you’d be using it!)

Of course when we’re in pain it’s our natural tendency to try to figure out what’s wrong and fix the problem! We want to be better. We want our lives back. We want to feel good!

That makes perfect sense.

But all of that figuring out… and the frustration and fear that go along with it…. are not only 100% counterproductive to relieving pain, they prevent you from connecting to and hearing your body’s wisdom.

And on top of that using mind body tools to try to get rid of your symptoms in the moment – keeps your attention locked on to your symptoms – which is a surefire way to keep them activated!

Don’t get me wrong, mind body tools do sometimes (often even) provide in the moment relief, but not always. Which is why trying to find the right tool to use to get rid of them in the moment, will lead you on a very frustrating – and symptom provoking – wild goose chase.

So if trying to get rid of your symptoms doesn’t work, what does?

Getting curious. Showing up. Tuning In.

And letting go (for now).

Which means that instead trying to figure anything out or make your pain go away, for the moment you allow it to be there and turn your attention to everything else in your life – including your emotions.

And you do this with the goal of learning about yourself and how your body, mind and soul work together – with the goal of creating a better relationship with yourself.

Here’s an analogy to help you understand how these different approaches can impact your overall results…..

Imagine that you have something really important that you want to share with someone – who isn’t listening to you.

They may ignore you and walk away.

They may start listening and then rush in to “fixing” or coming up with “solutions”.

Or they may say they are listening and then get distracted by every possible thing that could possibly distract them.

What do you do? How do you respond?

Do you shut down and stop trying to communicate?

Do you keep talking louder and louder until you find yourself frustrated and yelling?

Now imagine that instead of ignoring or trying to “fix” you this person walks over to you, sits down, and gives you their undivided attention for as long as you need it.

troubleshootingpelvicpain

How would that feel?

They aren’t pressuring you in any way. They have no expectations or hidden agenda. They just fully show up, listen and stay present with you.

They may even be curious and ask to hear more.

How do you respond?

Do you notice your body or voice relax? Are you able to share more or less than before?

Now imagine that your symptoms have something important that they want to share with you.

You are the listener in the examples above.

How do you want to listen?

Are you going to ignore what your body has to say, rush to solutions or get distracted? Or are you going to show up, tune in, and get curious?

How do you think your choice may impact your results?

When you can let go of fixing and figuring it out and start showing up for yourself and your body the way you would for a friend, mind body magic starts to happen.

I know it’s not easy, at least not at first. Pain can be hard to allow, especially when it’s impacting so much of your life.

But it gets easier with practice. It may even start to feel good.

Like coming home to yourself.

…whether your symptoms go away or not.

I know this because it’s what I did, and it’s what my clients do.

Open your heart to your body.  Open your heart to your pain.  Open your heart to yourself.

That’s what I mean when I say move from fixing to allowing, or make peace with where you are. This is the context in which the mind body tools will start to work and your body will heal.

Anything else is form without substance.

And it’s the substance that matters – the quality of your relationship with yourself…..your approach to your body and your healing.

Of course when we’re in pain it’s our natural tendency to try to figure out what’s wrong and fix the problem! We want to be better. We want our lives back. We want to feel good!

That makes perfect sense.

See if you can start measuring your progress in a new way

…by the changes you notice in your relationship with your body and yourself.

Take the pressure off. Get curious. Show up. Stay Present.

Because ultimately when you can do that – your symptoms will go away.

And you may not even notice right away because you’ll be so engaged in the process of listening to yourself.

Hang in there. You can do this!

With so much love, magic, and possibility,

Lorraine

PS. The next group session of Healing Female Pain, the Mind Body Program for Relieving Vulvodynia and other Chronic Pelvic Pain will begin in July 2017!  For more info and to be notified when registration opens sign up here.

 

 

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