Have you ever been running, hiking, skiing, biking, or some other form of physical activity and suddenly felt a stabbing pain in your side? It might have felt like an ice pick was being jabbed into your body even though you knew that no such trauma had occurred. The cause of this phenomenon is Ischemia.
Ischemia means that certain muscles are not receiving enough oxygen. The pain is a signal that we need to stop whatever we are doing and breathe. It is now being recognized in the medical world that emotional stress can cause Ischemia. If it is suppressed emotion then chronic pain could result. Suppressed emotion equals suppressed breathing. Recognizing this fact, we can work with our breathing to manage our emotional states. It is interesting that the Yogis have always insisted that the body is a gateway to the mind and the mind is a gateway to the body.
The mind and emotions are powerful and can cause real tangible pain. We tend to think that if there is pain then we are somehow broken in the physical body. Sometimes this is true and medical intervention could be required but quite often we just need to figure out the message our body is sending us. We may need to make some changes in our lives. Or it could be enough to spend some time each day working with stress reducing techniques such as breath centered exercises or meditation.
If you would like more information, you could read this great book by Dr. John Sarno entitled ‘Healing Back Pain’.