I awoke with the Usui System of Reiki Healing Precepts in my head:Just for today, do not worry. Just for today, do not anger. Honor your parents, teachers and elders. Earn your living honestly. Show gratitude to every living thing.
It dawned on me that the first two lines were keys to achieving “no more back pain” in the way suggested by John E. Sarno, M.D., in his book Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. In my last post, that appears under this one, I told the story of a health issue and how I would be seeing how well I could “live with it” before seeing a spine surgeon.
This Mother’s Day weekend I received two noteworthy healing gifts: a Reiki workshop by my friend and colleague Lori, and Dr. Sarno’s book from DH that arrive in the mail (before, I had read only excerpts of the book).
On Saturday, Lori, one of my Reiki teachers, and I gave the Level 2 and Master level training at the studio, and at the end of the day Lori had attuned and certified two more independent Reiki masters, 11th generation from Dr. Mikao Usui through Mrs. Hawayo Takata.
In preparing for the session Lori said I should participate in the “Journey into Mastery” segment of the training, along with the new students. In other words, to put it bluntly, she thought I could use a refresher. Having experienced the 90-minute meditation when I was initially attuned to Reiki, I knew it was powerful for clearing out old, repressed emotions.
Repressed emotions are what Dr. Sarno maintains is the cause of TMS, or Tension Myositis Syndrome, a constellation of physical pain that is frequently misdiagnosed as caused by an injury to the structure of the body. Exactly what kinds of repressed emotions?
Sarno identifies anxiety (worry) and anger as number one and number two on the list.
The way to heal my TMS is remarkably simple, now that I have accepted the diagnosis. Sarno writes that treatment involves education, “the acquisition of knowledge, of insight into the nature of the disorder.” In his program he gives two lectures. In my case I am reading, reading, reading. The second part is to acquire “the ability to act on the knowledge and thereby change the brain’s behavior.”
So, here’s what I learned I have to do. When I feel physical pain, I ask myself, “Why this pain now? What is going through my mind? What am I thinking?” I regard the pain as my body’s way of telling me that there is an unpleasant, uncomfortable or unkind emotion I’m having at that moment. And I say to the pain, “Go away, stop distracting me from this emotion. I know what’s bothering me. I understand. I don’t need the pain anymore.” Yes, it can be that simple.
As long as I recognize there are psychological reasons for pain and become aware of the emotion, I am on my way to recovery. Though I don’t believe it’s necessary to go back and relive the emotional pain, I think touching that “nerve” and the few good cries I’ve had are helpful. Finding the courage to “go there” . . . yeah.
I am thankful to have had four weeks to learn about TMS while waiting to see the spine surgeon. I’m resuming my normal activities, and the sciatic pain is less and less. I meet the spine doctor for the first time in just a few hours. I’m looking forward to a good visit.