Pain is a Gift: A lesson on Acupuncture, Pain, and Presence.
It might sound strange to read the title of this blog post. It might even bring up some anger, make you want to throw your phone/computer across the room, or just cause a very odd feeling in your body or mind.
Keep with me here. Pain can still be a gift...if you allow it.
Pain brings us into the present moment. The present moment is a gift; we are always worrying about the future or dwelling on the past. We rarely know how to just be present with ourselves. Pain holds a power of focus that brings us into the present moment. It sends us a signal so loud, that we cannot ignore it. We try to ignore it, we try to distract ourselves from it, and we try to do everything in our mercy to make it go away. But, until we sit with it, and accept it, it will not go away. Our soul wants us to be present in every moment, because in any given moment, the present is all we have. The past and the future only exist in the figment of our imaginations. They are not real; they are only given power by the swirling thoughts going round and round in our heads.
Pain shows up in our bodies after many days/weeks/months/years of imbalance have built up. It is only then that our body says "enough!" and our brain sends a signal to us that something is wrong. It is only then that we truly listen to our bodies, because we do not like feeling pain.
I treat a lot of patients in pain as that seems to be the most popular ailment that acupuncture is known to treat. What I see a lot of the time, is a person who has a very hard time being present. Acupuncture is great for pain, because it is a moment where your body has to be present. You are lying on the table, with needles at specific acupuncture points in order for the body to focus on the imbalance, and to focus on which points and channels need to be brought back into balance for the brain to stop sending the signal of imbalance (which is pain). Pain occurs only in times of imbalance, when your energy is stuck and not flowing properly. Acupuncture allows for the free flow of energy (qi). This is the essence of Chinese Medicine and how Acupuncture works.
A famous Chinese quote says:
If there is free flow, there is no pain; if there is no free flow, there is pain.