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"leaning into pain"

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by interstellar, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    In his book, Steve ozanich mentions "leaning into your pain" I assume this means moving in a way that purposely causes your pain to increase, while telling yourself that's its obviously TMS and its harmless. I would assume this is a way to recondition your brain to realize it's okay to be in these positions. In my case I have been trying to rid myself of extreme spine tightness which I would also consider pain when I bend to a certain point or move a certain way that stretches my spine. While I have made tremendous progress to the point where I can work out, run, sit and twist mainly without any pain, I still get that tightness/pain when I bend over or move just right. While I've lost all fear of anything being wrong, I'm thinking that there might be something to "leaning into pain." I'm thinking that I might still have pain when bending over because that's the one motion I still won't do, because it's so tight still. I feel like it could be beneficial to take some time each day to stretch my back even though it hurts and it's tight, but telling myelf while doing it that there's nothing wrong. Reconditioning while experience the pain seems likely to be more effective than just telling myself it won't hurt, but not testing it. I obviously know I have more work to do with my emotions, and I'm currently starting Dr. Schubiners 28 day plan in his book "unlearn your pain." But has anybody had any success with what I'm talking about? Or any other thoughts? Thanks.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2015
  2. wendyd

    wendyd Peer Supporter

    Hi, Interstellar. I have been thinking a lot about that same phrase and my interpretation is a little different. Rather than physically leaning, I feel like I need to lean in mentally. As weird as it sounds, embrace the pain. Consider it. Feel it. Breath into it. Talk to it. Tell it you know what it is and to go to hell. I don't know if that's 'right or wrong' but I'm also trying to tell myself that doesn't matter. If it seems reasonable to me, then I should let myself go down that path. That's my 2 cents, for what that's worth. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

  4. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    Wendyd I certainly believe your interpretation is also important, as having that attitude has been extremely important in the progress I have made so far. Losing all fear and intimidation of your pain is step one in my opinion. But the reason I am now considering physically "leaning into pain" is because my spine tightness hasn't really changed much by mentally leaning into it. I know Steve mentions in his book that at one point he just got tired of his pain and sat down for a long time even though it hurt so bad he could barely breath. But he said after a while he continued to tell himself that it was a conditioned response, and the pain started to subside. I have done this with sitting, as I too used to only be able to sit for a few minutes before I had to stand up. I tried sitting a little bit longer day by day and now just a couple months later, I was able to sit through a 2 hour movie, only being slightly stiff after getting up. This tells me that my pain is certainly a conditioned response, and I'm starting to think bending over is the last conditioned response I need to overcome, since I still don't bend over without lifting one leg behind me or bending with my knees "like we're supposed to."
  5. wendyd

    wendyd Peer Supporter

    I hear you. Go for it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
  6. interstellar

    interstellar Peer Supporter

    I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
  7. lexylucy

    lexylucy Well known member

    Yes! I think it's a good practice. I think yes - leaning into the pain by allowing, diving in, listening, feeling it a little at a time ...and then vanish! kapoof :)
  8. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think Steve's "lean into your pain" can mean both physically and emotionally.
    Accepting the physical pain and then studying its emotional cause.

    Ellen, thanks for posting that link where Steve explains what he meant.

    Journaling about my boyhood helped me a lot... realizing my back pane originated
    in feelings when my parents divorced when I was 7. I felt abandoned, insecure.
    Then I realized they had their own TMS repressed emotions and I was able to forgive them
    (posthumously, because by then they had died).
    lexylucy likes this.

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