Supporting Your Spine So It Can Support You
Many years ago when I was a child, my father, who was a hydraulic engineer, developed a slipped disc and as was prescribed by the medical profession of the day, was confined to his bed for months. Lying on a hard surface, day after day with only our collie dog for company, was not only painful but demoralising for a man who took pride in his career as well as his role as a provider for his family.
Each day after school I would take over his care, crouching at the end of his bed and pulling on his ankles in an attempt to relieve some of his suffering. What help I could provide, I will never know but perhaps in this small way, he felt connected again to life outside his bedroom.
As I look back now, I remember snippets of information that give me a new perspective about the stress and pressure my father was under leading up to this time. Of course I can’t be sure of all the details but I do have a strong memory of my Dad complaining strongly about his bully of a boss. For political reasons, this man undermined my father at every turn, overlooked him for a well deserved promotion and increased his work load at every turn.
I remember at one time he gained a German client and he was expected to learn a new language in a very short time. Between last minute trips to Germany, Switzerland and Aberdeen, from oil rigs to nuclear submarines, his life was hectic and constantly disrupted due to work pressures. At times he lived away from home during the week, returning briefly at the weekend to see his family. I truly feel he believed he as powerless to change his situation and that the weight of responsibility was overwhelming.
Now that I understand the link between overload and back pain, it really is no wonder that he developed a slipped disc. Certainly if I knew then what I know now, I could have done a lot more to relieve his suffering. As a result of watching my Dad suffer I now dedicate my life to helping other people not only relieve painful symptoms but also to understand the link between our emotions and our body.
“Health is an announcement of agreement between your body, mind and spirit. Honour your body, keep it in good shape. When you are not healthy, look to see which parts of you disagree. Your body will demonstrate the truth to you. Notice what it is showing you, listen to what it is saying”. – Neale Donald Walsh
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In a world where so many of us are overwhelmed by work responsibilities, financial pressures and the need to be all things to all people, it is unsurprising that statistics report that approximately 13% of adults in the United States and 8% of adults in the United Kingdom visit their doctor with complaints of lower back and neck pain.
And in fact, up to 49% of people diagnosed with chronic pain need time off work to recuperate and often require specialist treatment which costs the economy billions in health care. Many of these people lose their jobs or are forced to change career path as they can no longer cope with their daily activities. The stress and financial difficulty that often accompanies back pain can lead to relationship breakups and the loss of home.
The discs in our spine are protective, shock-absorbing pads between the bones of our vertebrae. Whilst you cannot actually ‘slip a disc’, an injury can occur that may cause the disc to bulge, split or rupture. In the same way that a tire can go flat and put extreme pressure on the rim of the wheel, the leakage of protective gel from a collapsed disc puts pressure on the spinal cord or on the adjacent nerves causing localised pain, weakness and numbness and spreading to other parts of the body which are supplied by the affected nerve.
In the diagram below, you can clearly see the emotions which are linked to the various parts of your spine.
As herniated or slipped discs are most common in the lower back, it is easy to see the connection between financial worries, fear of the future, issues in our relationships, too much responsibility and the often stressful life we lead.
Whilst not all pain in the back or neck is caused by disc damage, pain and loss of mobility occur in almost every instance. When we feel unsupported, unloved or carry too many burdens, it is our upper back that often crumbles under the pressure.
Our neck is often affected by indecision, inflexibility, helplessness, an inability to express your feelings and that someone is a ‘pain in the neck’.
And the middle of our back is impacted by feelings of guilt, anger, worry and feeling trapped in a situation we want to ‘back’ out of.
As a child, I didn’t realise how frightening my father’s injury must have been for my parents. Whilst my mother was a full-time teacher, the pressure of a mortgage, school fees for myself and my sister as well as the day to day expenses of running a household must have appeared daunting to say the least. Everything they had worked so hard for would have been devastated if my father had lost his job. Needless to say, as financial pressure mounted, its amazing that my father managed to heal at all. It took a long time but these days we have so much more understanding of the link between stress and illness that we can heal ourselves much more quickly.
My What Your Body Wants To Hear healing guided meditations for Total Spinal Support target the various emotions which impact each area of the neck and back. Not only will you experience a relief of symptoms but you will also feel lighter mentally and emotionally. By addressing the underlying emotional issues I often witness what until now, would have been called healing miracles. By dealing with painful emotions, we get out of our body’s way to heal itself.
I often look back to when my father was so incapacitated and wish I had known then what I know now; that our emotions have such a huge influence on the health of our bodies. Stress, worry, excess responsibility and a need to hold everything together can be catastrophic for the health of our spine. Knowing that the spine is what holds us together, you can perhaps understand that as we struggle with feelings of overwhelm, so does our spine.
Here are just a few words from others who have benefited from using my What Your Body Wants To Hear Total Spinal Support healing meditations.
“It was SUCH a gift to get the recordings and be able to listen to them last night. Sometimes you just need a little help from a friend, you know? I slept so well, and this morning, I felt about 60-70 percent better. I am impressed with your deep insight into what can be held in our back– so many of the statements resonated so strongly with me.”
“I have gone from dragging myself across the floor every morning in complete agony and dosing myself up on painkillers to being able to walk completely unaided and pain free and drug free”.
“After suffering from upper back pain for the last 4 weeks I purchased the Full Spine set of recordings. After listening to the Upper Back recording my back pain is gone, would recommend this set to anyone suffering from back problems. Thanks to Barbara and all her hard work in putting these recordings together, I would say well worth the effort!”
“My mid back has been bothering me for three days. I finally realised that I had the solution right here on my computer. Put on the Mid Back MP3 and when it was over…no more pain. Seriously! Thank you so much, Barbara. These are powerful and empowering meditations.”