Posted by: ensomabodyworks | July 30, 2010

The connection between Grief – Chronic Pain – And Healing

As a rehab specialist I have had many clients struggle to make the necessary changes in their lives to address underlying causes of pain. For example – John has a bulging disc in his lower back and he agrees that it was caused by poor posture at work and not exercising enough.

John starts off great with weekly treatments and is doing postural exercises every morning for the long day ahead. After a month he begins telling himself he has no time for the am routine every day. Soon his back begins to hurt more and he questions the effectiveness of our work.

Why?  John began to rationalize (excuse) why he could not continue his daily postural care. What John does not realize is that this rationalizing is actually “bargaining,” a step in the grieving process.  He is not acknowledging the loss (his healthy back) in his life and is subsequently sabotaging his progress unconsciously.

I was a social worker and worked with people grieving and realized a few years ago that many of my massage clients with chronic pain or a life changing injury would benefit from consciously looking at their situation from a grief perspective.

The most well known grief model is by Elizabeth Kubler Ross.  Her model involved the person working through 4 emotions / energies:

  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Depression
  • Bargaining

Once having done so, they come to the 5th emotion / energy of acceptance. The first 4 steps need to be dealt with if there is to be acceptance and the ceasing of unconscious sabotage.

If you or someone you know has had a serious loss or injury and are not well adjusted years later maybe doing some grief work is in order?

Call or email Marty today to get more information about grief work 704.335.8115


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