Pain is sensation.

Suffering can, sometimes, be optional.

We all experience pain. It’s part of having a nervous system. It’s a universal experience for humans. (And other mammals, and possibly other species.)

What does pain really do?

It gets our attention.

Sometimes it stops us in our tracks, like moving our hand quickly away from the hot pan or the stillness that often follows a fall as we take in what just happened.

Sometimes our response might be slower, like deciding to make a doctor’s appointment to get it checked out.

We often change course because of pain. Sometimes noticing pain may save our lives.

So what if pain is not something to push away?

What if pain simply carries a message, and the message is “pay attention”?

What if you really pay attention to your pain?

What if you notice it with your full attention?

Notice where it is. What shape is feeling pain? How deep is it? What qualities does it have: dull, sharp, radiating, throbbing, solid, shifting, strange, familiar?

Paying attention changes our relationship with pain. Instead of being “other,” it’s part of our self-experience.

I like this article by a Buddhist teacher, Belonging in the Body.

In my upcoming Self-Help for Jaw Pain online course, we will explore our own upper bodies and treat ourselves with our own hands.

Distance healing

It’s so sweet to see how this new change in direction is turning out!

I’ve now worked with a couple of people whom I’ve never met. I wondered what it would be like.

Doing just one hands-on session with someone creates a relationship, a history, a shared experience, an energy field based on mutual intent for healing. The distance sessions I’ve done with people I know have worked out well, and I’ve attributed that to “Well, we’re familiar. We know each other. We’ve already established a field of trust.”

What would it be like to do a session, over the phone, with someone halfway across the U.S. whom I’ve never met?

I’m happy to report that, just as for hands-on sessions with people I know, these long distance sessions have also worked out well.

I listen with full attention. Sometimes I have a clue about what’s going on in their body-mind system, and sometimes I don’t. Either way, having the person relax and scan their body helps identify a location that wants attention.

From there, I ask questions that help the person engage in listening and communicating with that location.

I’ve recently encountered this quote:

Attention is the most basic form of love. Through it we bless and are blessed.

~ John Tarrant

That’s really the key, giving attention.

Sometimes people may be in pain, which is a signal that something needs attention.

Sometimes people feel stuck emotionally, for example, feeling anxiety before an important meeting.

Sometimes people simply need more resources to help them get through these extraordinary times.

Sometimes memories they’ve repressed emerge.

We work toward some kind of resolution, even if we don’t know what it is at first.

It could be feeling less pain.

It could be feeling some clarity about a situation.

It could be finding new images, even a vision, that gives someone courage and strength to move ahead.

It could be integrating traumatic memories from childhood with the resources of an adult.

However a distance session takes place, it’s always an adventure.