Do you listen to your body? What your aches & pains may be trying to tell you

Metaphysical explanations for physical aches and pains

Hi friends!

So I have a revelation I need to share with you. Apologies in advance, this post got quite long!

In the Fall of 2014, I injured my back and shoulder during a freak “living my life as I normally would” accident. I’m sure some of you can relate. For the last two years, I have been living in a constant ebb and flow of feeling okay, doing exercises I probably shouldn’t and aggravating it, backing off until I feel okay again, and then repeating the whole cycle over again. It is emotionally and mentally exhausting.

Truth be told, I was probably pushing my body too hard leading up to the injury, and it’s unfortunate that it took such a dramatic event for me to listen to what my body was trying to tell me: stop!

Recently, I participated in a new client special for 30 days at what now has to be my favorite yoga studio in Ann Arbor. I went every single day after work. After the first week, I noticed that for the first time in two years, I had zero neck and shoulder pain. I have read so many stories that sounded similar to mine: person gets injured, doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists help a little bit, but nothing sticks, person finds yoga, person is cured, everybody Namaste up in this club. But now it had actually happened to me!

But my story doesn’t end there.

After being free of focusing on my neck and back pain, I began to notice other things that were happening in my body, specifically in my torso and ribcage area. I felt constricted, uncomfortable, and unable to breathe. It was like I was being invisibly smothered.

In my previous yoga classes, I’ve heard we carry our emotions in our hips similar to the way we carry stress in our neck and shoulders (and working at desks doesn’t help). Reflecting on this, I wondered if there was something similar relating to my ribcage pain, could there be an underlying issue adding to the feelings of suffocation I have been experiencing?

In the teachings of yoga, we have what’s called an “energetic body.” Essentially, it is our mind-body connection, or the idea that what we experience physically could be indicative of something we are experiencing emotionally or intellectually, sometimes without being consciously aware of it.

A bit of Googling and…


ONE’S PERSONAL ‘BOUNDARIES.’ We each occupy ‘personal SPACE’ in life. Some need more, some less of it. But anytime we are being either ‘invaded’ or having our space taken away from us, we may experience a sympathetic response in the form of injury, pain or other distress to the rib cage and surrounding muscles. The holistic recommendation is that you try to identify how (or whether) your personal Space is being altered by circumstances you cannot control.. and find ways to ADAPT to it if you cannot keep it from happening. In any case, setting WORKABLE ‘BOUNDARIES’ for your own territorial needs is the real issue.

(See the rest of the mind/body ailments & illnesses explanations here)

That hit the nail on the head. Over the last year, I have been struggling with personal boundaries a lot. While my awareness began with one specific situation, it wasn’t difficult to see how it was permeating all the other spheres of my life. A concrete example:

When I am uncomfortable or in a new situation, I have a tendency to shrink myself, not wanting to get in anybody’s way. It’s silly, but I get extremely anxious when I don’t know logistically where I am supposed to sit, stand, walk, or just be in a new situation. So stupid, right? But this anxiety manifests physically: it causes me to slump forward, round my shoulders, and ‘collapse’ inward, which (I think) is causing me to hold tension and stress in my ribcage.

The good news is once we are aware of energetically negative patterns, we have the power to change. But how?

A few ways I am working towards changing this pattern is by mindfully correcting my posture when I notice myself shrinking or holding on to tension, doing yoga, other heart-opening stretches throughout my day, and deep breathing exercises, and I guess, blogging about it! 😉

Other suggestions include journaling, therapy, massage, aromatherapy, epsom salt baths, chatting with a friend or spiritual advisor, and saving the best for last: prayer.

I had to share with you this amazing and personal revelation I had over the last few weeks. I hope it helps you on your journey, wherever you are. As always, thank you for stopping by and taking the time out of your day to read this!

Do you experience chronic pain? Could there possibly be an underlying issue or something you are not dealing with emotionally that is physically manifesting this pain? Have you had an experience similar to this?

Please, let me know I ain’t crazy and comment below! 🙂



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  1. Kimberly says:

    Love love love this post! So much truth. We so quickly forget the impact our emotional well being can have on our physical selves. Going through my own exploration of this with my heart issues. Thanks for the post ??

  2. Patty says:

    Listened to this message Arie and acted on it! Thank you!

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