So recently I’ve started to experience some really intense back pain. Between 4-6am every morning I am awoken by intense muscle spasms on the right side of spine, mid-back. It’s excruciating. I can barely move when it happens. My breathing is limited. Certain movements made it worse and finding relief usually involved taking a hot bath. Yesterday my sister who is a registered massage therapist identified the issue as facet joint irritation, she did some manual mobilization of my vertebrae and told me to get to my chiropractor asap. Since I’ve been experiencing this for a couple weeks now, I’ve also really started to pay attention to patterns…. What makes it better? what makes it worse? and explore different movements to relieve some of the tension and keep the area mobile. Since I have a well stocked yoga therapy tool kit, I’ve been managing and finding ways that the early morning wake up won’t last too long so I can go back to bed and feel rested for the day.
Last week I also started working with a woman who is doing her yoga therapy practicum. Not only am I a good case study for her, it’s really nice to be in a therapeutic relationship with someone guiding me. Working with someone eases fears, helps manage expectations and provides some novel experiences that aid the healing process. Sure I can do it on my own, but I’ve noticed that my experience of movement, breath and relaxation is heighted when someone else is assisting me. I am able to relax a little bit more deeply and heighten my awareness of what’s going on in my body and mind. I have a tendency to do things a little quicker than is necessary, and working with someone else supports my desire to go slow, to take my time, to notice, to feel and to deeply rest. I think now, more than ever, being a therapeutic healing relationship with someone is crucial. We are already suffering from physical isolation and touch which can exacerbate any new or existing conditions.
If you are experiencing chronic/persistent pain, find someone who can help you navigate through it. Pain can change. We are not solitary individuals meant to go it alone. There are tons of healers out there waiting to help.