We can become so habituated to our pain that it defines who we are and how we live. For example I saw a client who had a work related injury and had been on Workers Comp for over two years. As her pain receded and she felt better the more agitated and angry she became. When I asked what was wrong she confessed she had not worked in so long she was afraid of going back. Another client on SSI stopped seeing me when she realized her pain was receding because she was afraid of losing the funds she had become so dependent on. These two people are perfect examples of how we can become habituated to something even if it is not of benefit. It also illustrates how the system of dependency needs to change so that people can get the support they need as they feel better.
Another client had been in chronic pain for 10 years or more. As her pain lessened and was no longer the central focus of her life she told me she felt a big emptiness inside, she didn't know what to talk about with people because her life had been so defined by her pain. I encouraged her to start reading magazines and papers and to consider volunteering or join toastmasters where she could use speeches to talk about her experience. She got through it and is starting a new business to help people emotionally transition from habituated behaviours to be the change they are feeling in their body.
Many people are so attached to their pain they need to create it even when it is no longer there! The other day a client came in saying he had tweaked his neck. At the end of the session I asked him to roll his head side to side to feel how it is now. So he rolled his head and then kept forcing it further! I asked him why he was forcing his head around and he said he wanted to see if the pain was gone. I asked him to turn his head the amount he usually does. He did so with no pain so I asked why he kept trying to force it further and he said he was looking for the pain! Instead of paying attention to what had changed to reduce or eliminate his pain he was totally focused on finding it however much force it took!
These are just a few examples of the many ways of allowing habits to define our lives. Habits are a great thing because they allow us to do many things unconsciously; however our brain does not judge whether a habit is good or bad. We must consciously determine that by how it feels, and that is the rub, because we do not feel how we move at any given moment. Learn how to be aware of how it feels to move and you will by default gain more emotional clarity leading to better intelligence in your being.
Your first step in the process is to learn how to Balance for Movement from your center. Much of your pain will be reduced as you progress with the practices from our DVD. Try it today, what have you got to lose and what is the potential gain?