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Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When you have certain physical pains, do you associate them with certain emotional issues?

Asked by Simone_De_Beauvoir (39057points) August 21st, 2009

Basically, do your symptoms match up those described in the article – generally I never connect physical stiffness with emotional issues…but I do believe a lot of our physical issues are psychosomatic…how do you relate to your physical pain…would you try to heal yourself by helping yourself emotionally?

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24 Answers

DominicX's avatar

That certainly is an interesting thought, but I’m wondering if there really is ay evidence to support that. Seems a little spacey and quite frankly it seems a little on the side of what I like to call “bullplop”. Sounds a lot like reflexology. I don’t think these things don’t work for some people, but the word “PLACEBO” keeps coming up in my mind in big red letters.

And I don’t think it would work for me. I don’t really ever get pain in any of those places listed. I’ve had neck pain before, but it was due to the position I sleep in and that was several months ago and has only happened once. Otherwise, I get the occasional pain in my arm (due to lying on my bed using my laptop), head (just a headache; could be caused by anything) and abdomen (most likely digestive-related).

I certainly think some pains are caused through psychosomatic reasons, but I don’t think you can create a cute little diagram like that that works every time.

avengerscion's avatar

I have not read the article, but yes. Sometimes neck or back pain for me can be terrible at work (stress), but during the 30 minute drive home the pain subsides.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

This article sounds like a lot of psychobabble, and I am skeptical of much of it. While stress can add to body pains, the phrasing used sounds like a horoscope. Where is the scientific evidence to back these “observations” up?

An excerpt from the article:

The neck is a two-way communicator: You take in life-sustaining food, water, and air through the neck, and at the same time, emotions, feelings, and thoughts are expressed outwardly through your voice. Stiffness here can indicate resistance, usually to other ways of thinking.

This is where you carry the weight of your responsibilities, whether it’s work, family, or mortgage payments. Creative energy flows from here, moving into your arms and hands, where it emerges in what you do in the world. Tense shoulders can also indicate resistance, perhaps to the responsibilities you feel you must maintain, or pressure that’s put on you to perform.

Upper back
This area, the reverse side from the heart, is where you can store repressed anger, resentment, guilt, or shame.

Sounds like New Age mumbo jumbo to me.

Judi's avatar

I can see some corolation in your article.
When my life got more secure my lower back pain went away.
When my kids were out of control teenagers and I had a lot of “mommy guilt” I had pain inky upper back.
Now that I am worried about how to best care for my ailing but stubborn mother in law my shoulders are killing me!
Makes since to me.

Judi's avatar

Sorry I can’t scroll to edit on my iPhone. I have had some pretty funny mistakes.

Zuma's avatar

Depression can certainly manifest itself in physical pain. And chronic pain can effect your emotions. In fact, Levitra is sometimes reccommended in both instances.

Different people somatize stress differently. Some people “act crazy” in response to crazy situations, others, who are more controlled personality types, tend to somatize their symptoms. Some have tension headaches, neck aches, migraines, ulcers, etc. I don’t think you would get any argument from most psychologists about any of this.

But saying something like “the upper back is where you can store repressed anger, resentment, guilt, or shame” strikes me as speculative in the extreme. It might just as easily be a bad pillow or sitting in a non-ergonomic office chair (oh the shame!).

Having been a public health researcher on a study where people in the general public whether they had headaches, itchy eyes, stuffed up nose, and a slew of other symptoms we found that the background level of these symptoms is pretty high. Correlating them to things like “power issues” (pretty vague) or “resentment” “guilt” and “shame” (things that would not freely reported), it would be pretty difficult to develop robust meaningful correlations. I seriously doubt that this is taken from any credible research.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@MontyZuma of course I know that it wasn’t credible research…I just wonder if people on fluther in their lives associate certain pains with certain issues, emotionally…that’s all

Zuma's avatar

I get all “choked up” with a painful tenseness in my throat when I am sad.

Facade's avatar

Without reading the article, I can definitively say that all of my constant pain (except for my joints) is from mental/ emotional issues. :(

kibaxcheza's avatar

im the opposite

when i cry, i punch my own jaw out of place….. once the3 physical pain dissipates, the emotional pain seems illegitimate…

rooeytoo's avatar

Seems to bear a resemblance to the thinking behind the application of accupuncture and accupressure. Both of which, when practiced by someone trained in the art, can be beneficial. So I would not immediately discount it as drivel. As with most things, there is probably a certain amount of truth in it.

Stress of any sort hits me in my gut, I have a very touchy stomach!

drdoombot's avatar

Like @rooeytoo, stress gets me in the stomach as well. Especially in social situations, I find loss of hunger and nausea to be common symptoms. These symptoms immediately disappear once I’m in a comfortable situations, like being home, etc.

Garebo's avatar

I completely agree with the concept. Personally, I know I have stopped a tooth infection that I saw in a x-ray, then chickened out after learning about the procedure and the cost. Mega doses of Lysine of Vitamin C may have been a placebo, or as I prefer to think, my mind set halted the associated pain. I will probably be making an appointment next week to see him after saying this.

DominicX's avatar

@drdoombot @rooeytoo

Same with me about stress getting my stomach. That seems to be a relatively universal one, but I can’t seem to come up with a metaphor that works. I guess I need to relate eating to stress somehow.

augustlan's avatar

Stress in general does cause me pain (makes my Fibromyalgia worse), but no specific stress corresponds to pain in a specific area.

cyndyh's avatar

I see no correlation. When I have physical pain it tends to have a physical cause I can pinpoint and work out physically.

Blondesjon's avatar

I have to say this is true. For example, if I see a thread bitching about Fluther in one way or another I get a sharp pain in my ass.

nebule's avatar

It’s like EFT for me…(something that someone recommended to me which I read up on…but because I couldn’t’ quite understand how failed to grasp the concept in it’s entirety…) the idea is believable but I’d like to hear about the real science behind it. I know there is a psycho-physical emotional “energy” kind of connection…but how and why and what effects does it have and when and what for and…all those things that are in the details that we never find out because people think we’re too dumb to understand…or even question…

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, many physical issues are psychosomatic including certain forms of pain, often caused by stress and anxiety. A common example is chest pain when no physical disease can be found.

cyndyh's avatar

@mattbrowne: I don’t think that’s exactly what they’re talking about in that article, though.

dannyc's avatar

Yes, even though it probably is not related, I sort of hope that my mind is in control. I know that I am wrong, it is more than likely just nature tugging at my humanity,

VS's avatar

I have constant neck pain, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with my ability to speak up for myself or resistance to other ways of thinking. It has more to do with a trampoline and tequila incident in my youth…

augustlan's avatar

Tequila and Trampolines would be a good name for a band. Just sayin’.

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