The Nervous System Knows

As a highly sensitive woman, I have learned to develop an appreciation and understanding of my nervous system. I thought I had already hit the gold mine of wisdom a number of years ago, but just when I thought I knew everything there is to know about my body’s command center, the universe handed me a treasure chest of life-changing gems.

The past year of pain reached new heights. Determined to heal so that I can pursue my dreams, I have found answers that the medical establishment has failed to provide me. I pay out of pocket for non-traditional treatments, follow a self-guided practice at home, and spend hours learning about the latest research that has yet to trickle down to insurance-accepting practitioners.

Worth it?

I started pole dancing again last week, so YES.

“Because women have been viewed as manipulative or wimpy if they acknowledge the limitations of their physical body, they have learned to override pain to keep up with the men.”

The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness, Dr. Maureen Murdock

To jumpstart the last stretch of my recovery, I resumed Light Touch Chiropractic treatment about a month ago, and the impact has been enormous. After many months of hibernation and loss of energy and vitality, I am coming alive again. I go to Healing Waves to see Dr. Mel for my treatment. Light Touch Chiropractic (also known as Network Spinal Analysis) accesses the nervous system. For many people, the nervous system often creates tension in response to physical and mental stress. The tension leads to misalignments in the spine, and if the tension is not released at a deeper level, the pain becomes chronic. By touching precise points on the body, the NSA Chiropractor helps the brain connect to the body. The light touch cues the brain to create a spontaneous release of spinal and life tensions. The un-trapped energy then becomes fuel for other areas of your life that need some juice.

I feel like a massive weight has been lifted off my shoulders. The energy has been reoriented towards my passion for becoming a self-made woman. I am also effectively addressing my chronic neck and back pain in a way that the traditional chiropractic and physical therapy fields have been unable to do.

Motivated to do more (also because NSA gave me the extra oomph to ask for MORE healing), I began to wonder if my lingering hand and arm pain could be attributed to something that surpassed the knowledge of my healthcare providers, who were running out of tools. As the universe often hands you just what you need right when you need it, I learned about Curable, an app that guides people through a self-paced program to better understand chronic pain and how to overcome it. What I have learned in regards to how I perceive my pain has been crucial to my recovery. The mind-body connection cannot be overstated.

I am in the process of retraining my brain to believe that I am safe through a practice called Somatic Tracking, which helps to rewire a chronically stressed nervous system. When the brain perceives a threat, it sends pain signals meant to protect the person, but those signals can get stuck in a pattern leading to long-term pain well after an injury has healed. Furthermore, if your nervous system has trapped emotions or past traumas, your brain can really overreact to every perceived threat.

With Somatic Tracking, the switch in your brain can happen fast.

For me, it only took about 3 weeks for my hand and arm pain to disappear.

“When the psyche is strong enough to take the pain of knowing it was unloved, then the body can release its somatized pain. Sometimes with good body work that happens literally from the soles of the feet to the top of the head.”

The Pregnant Virgin: A Process of Psychological Transformation, Marion Woodman

Having learned about Somatic Tracking as a proven method to overcoming chronic pain, I knew that my inner wise woman was pulling me in the right direction yet again when I came across an episode on the Joyful Marketing podcact by Simone Grace Seol—a wildly successful coach for coaches—where Simone speaks with Dr. Andre Moore who specializes in helping people overcome their chronic pain with a trauma-informed practice. Taking my new-found knowledge on chronic pain a step further, I learned from Dr. Moore’s many years of experience that women entrepreneurs in particular tend to have chronic pain episodes right when they’re finding their stride and feeling extra confident about their work.

I must have gasped out loud.

My tendinitis and wrist sprain injuries hit last winter right as I realized that my ultimate calling was to quit my 9-5 job and start my own business. To see my future come alive felt amazing. I was riding high alright. Until it all came crashing down very soon after due to muscle sprain and tendinitis in both arms.

Why does this happen to women? Dr. Moore believes that women’s bodies (in particular, their nervous system) triggers the brain to send pain signals to protect them from making big decisions perceived as dangerous to that woman’s existence and well-being, probably as a result of learned and inherited trauma. The pain can actually be a sign you’re doing the right thing.

So what do you do with that pain?

Resisting the pain doesn’t help.

Being mad about the pain doesn’t help.

Hating the pain doesn’t help.

Wishing it would go away DOESN’T HELP.

Here is what does help:

  • Learning about the latest brain science behind chronic pain
  • Developing a curiosity for the pain
  • Becoming more aware of your thoughts around the pain
  • Linking the pain to your past traumas and healing from those traumas

These methods are collectively catapulting me into recovery.

To realize my empowered and impactful feminine life, connection with my body is essential. With education and intentional practice, I am in the process of reconnecting. Being in my body has been a skill I’ve had to develop for many years now. Awareness for what is happening in my body has not come easily–I’m a master at ignoring all the signals. Muscling through stressful situation doesn’t do me any favors.

Nurturing my nervous system is the most feminine-wise choice I now make for myself on a daily basis.