Chronic Pain Inflammation and Symbolism in Mindbody Healing

Ankylosing Spondylitis

When taking a Mindbody approach to healing the body using the Mindbody connection. One of the most important elements is shifting the way you perceive many things in your life.

That includes the way you perceive yourself, other people, your past/ future, and most importantly the way you perceive your symptoms.

Starting with the word “symptoms” itself. For some, the meaning of a set of symptoms is that there is something wrong with them. A symptom represents a fallout and malfunctioning of the body.

The Goal of Mindbody Healing

In the world of Mindbody healing a symptom is looked at more as a symbol than a problem. A sign that the body is sending us a message.

The goal of Mindbody healing is to acknowledge the message, and once the message has been acknowledged many times the symptom(s) subsides. In the Mindbody healing world there is no such thing as the body just breaking down for no reason at all.

The body is designed to adapt as best as it can in order to survive.

This is what the laws of evolution, natural selection has taught us, and to believe that the body falls apart on its own with no benefit to be gained is an anomaly that goes against the laws of nature itself. In the world of Mindbody healing, the symptom itself is a symbol that carries a message from the mysterious inner workings of your body and mind.

Sit with Your Feelings and Feel them

It’s kind of like when your morning alarm wakes you in the morning. You can ignore it all you want, and it will just keep on making noise. Until you decide to turn around, acknowledge it. For some they may hit the snooze button and sleep for an extra five minutes. The same way chronic disease sufferers start implementing healthier habits into their lifestyle, temporarily reduce symptoms only to find themselves drifting back to those old habits that made them sick to begin with.

Chronic Pain can be like an alarm clock to snap out of it

Now the question is, how do we turn off the alarm? How do we find long lasting relief from chronic pain?

Have you ever heard someone speak about an experience they had? Have you noticed what part of their experience is objective and what parts are symbolic? For example:

“I was walking down the street one day, a bird flew by and pooped on my head, I was so heated I could’ve roasted that stupid bird just by looking at it!”

Now you may think to yourself that clearly roasting a bird just by looking at it is definitely symbolic. There is simply no way anyone can do that, maybe Superman or Cyclops with their laser eyes but neither one of those cartoon characters are real.

What other parts of the story were symbolic? Well, the walking down the street part was real, and yes, the bird pooped on my head. But what else was symbolic in this story?

How about the word “heated”? The expression of being so angry that it made me “heated” to the point that I could’ve roasted the bird just by looking at it. Where else have we seen this expression in relationship to anger? Cartoons, movies and perhaps even in books.

There seems to be an unspoken agreement amongst many of us as people that anger is “hot”.

Anxiety can Lead to Anger

Now what does that have to do with healing and turning off the body’s alarm? Remember, the alarm is turned off when we turn around and acknowledge it. Not when you hit the snooze button and take another pain reliever or engage in your usual chronic pain management routine.

In the example above, I used “heat” as the symbolic expression used to define the emotional experience I had when the bird pooped on me. Behind the word “heated” there is an emotion that can also be named “anger”, and that anger has to be acknowledged in order for it to move through our body, otherwise, the emotion sits in the body and expresses itself in a different way.

It’s that simple, acknowledge the message behind the symptom.

Think about it this way, one of the most common symbols the body sends us in order to let us know there is something happening within us is “inflammation”. Especially for those who suffer from Arthritis where the “itis” part of the word “Arthritis” makes reference the inflammation involved in that experience.

In the world of western medicine, inflammation is what happens when our body is fighting a disease, bacteria, a virus or repairing an injury. In the case of arthritis and many autoimmune diseases, inflammation is perceived to be caused by an overreaction in the body and the body’s immune system.

Yet, when you explore the symptom deeper, and listen to the message that your body is sending you, you may discover much more, you may even discover the true meaning of the word “inflammation” itself and how it connects to your symptom(s).




Inflammation comes from the root inflame, from the Latin word inflammare meaning “to set on fire with passion.” 

Inflammation from Anxiousness

  • Heal, Rise, Inspire!!

Question: Looking at it from the Mindbody Healing symbolic perspective. What is the message that your body sending you with the inflammation it contains?

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