I’ve been a bit under the weather this week. I succumbed to a bug and have been coughing and spluttering all over the place. Shares in Kleenex must have gone through the roof! I went for my usual acupuncture session yesterday, and even my wonderful therapist had to double check my multiple pulses. ‘Hmm, it’s not looking good!’ was her diagnosis.
As I reclined on the couch, covered in fine needles, trying not to cough and impale myself on the one strategically located at my throat, it reminded me of a session earlier this year which totally blew me away. As this blog is now on a new blogging platform, I thought I’d re-share the experience as it had such a powerful impact on me.
Releasing Negative Emotions.
Since the middle of last year, I have had regular acupuncture sessions with a wonderful therapist called Jo; she is insightful, compassionate, and highly skilled. I know without any doubt that the sessions are making a difference, not just physically, but emotionally.
Jo incorporates CST (Cranio Sacral Therapy) with her acupuncture, and we talk through many issues. She has an incredible knack for getting me to reveal my innermost fears without ever realising I’m doing it. We were chatting about my latest fiction book recently, and it was all very innocent until she started to quiz me about the goals of the main character. ‘What does she want to be at the end of the story?’ she asked me. The answer came like a bolt of lightning ‘Strong!’ I realised then that I wasn’t taking about my sixteen-year-old protagonist, but about myself – the lead in an altogether different story.
So, I have learned to go with the flow during my acupuncture sessions as I’m never sure what will come up, or if I’ll have any more flashes of inspiration (there have been many).
At my last visit, I asked Jo if we could work on a physical issue I’ve struggled with ever since I developed the viral infection that did so much damage to my body, mind, and soul. It waxes and wanes in intensity, but at the moment the horrific pain in my hip is a constant drain. I can’t sleep, sit, or stand – you can see how troublesome this issue might be.
Stretched out on the couch and resembling a porcupine, I waited to see what Jo would discover. She began to work on the pressure points around my lower back and sacroiliac joint (this joint lies next to the bottom of the spine, below the lumbar and above the coccyx. It connects the sacrum with the pelvis). The pain intensified as she found the spot. It became increasingly uncomfortable. As I remained flat on my back, staring up at the ceiling, Jo talked through possible medical reasons for my pain such as inflammation of the hip joint. She talked, and I grew more and more uncomfortable. The pain was increasing to an unbearable level.
When I am struggling with my hip and leg pain it’s relatively easy to switch position, stretch your leg, roll over, or walk around until the pain lessens. However, when your body is covered in fine acupuncture needles, and a therapist is ‘working’ on a specific area, it’s not possible to twitch, let alone move. So, the pain grew, the tears began to fall, and I squirmed as much as was safely possible. Jo, however, didn’t stop.
She kept talking, helped me to find a relaxed breathing pattern (which was much harder than it sounds!) and kept working on the pressure point. Eventually, she asked me what negative emotion I was holding onto that related to my womb. That was it – the floodgates opened, and I sobbed. My body temperature shot through the roof, and I felt like I was in a sauna, the pain was beyond anything I can describe – even childbirth! Jo kept talking and reminded me to breathe slowly and evenly. She asked me to explain what words/feelings/colours were bubbling up for me. I told her I could see a river of red. The words that bubbled to the surface were pain, hurt, and anger.
The thing is, I knew exactly what emotion Jo had tapped into. When she mentioned womb, it resonated with my children. My amazing, happy, healthy children who had been through hell at the hands of their father. Bullied and beaten, discarded, and abandoned, and yet stronger and more resilient than any other kids I’ve ever met. My children are my entire world, and for what must be fourteen years I’ve held onto all the negative energy of those times when we lived with my ex, and when I discovered what he had done to them after we separated. My heart broke in two – again. I’d spent so many years slapping plasters on my broken heart thinking that I was releasing all the negative associations I experienced through therapy and self-help, only to realise in my acupuncture session that I hadn’t released anything, I’d just stored it until my body decided to take action.
Just when I thought I might pass out because of the pain, it vanished. Right as Jo told me to ‘let it go’ and guided my breathing back onto an even keel again. It went. Poof! I was a wreck, my pulses were wobbly, my hands and legs were shaking, and my well-constructed make-up was now a series of streaks.
Jo finished our session with strict instructions for me to spend the rest of the day looking after myself. I did as she suggested and curled up with my adult colouring books, a stack of Kleenex, and a mug of tea. I was shattered, emotionally and physically.
The entire process had taken a couple of minutes, but the impact it had on me will last a lifetime. It’s made me rethink all my personal development techniques, and establish a plan to re-evaluate what I need to do in the future. I had kidded myself that I was fixed, believing that I had dealt with my marriage issues, which is partly true, but not when it comes to my children, those wounds are as raw as the day I got them.
So, as I sipped my tea and snuffled into my tissue, I knew I had to share this with my blog readers. I wanted to highlight how easy it is to hold onto the baggage, even when you think you’re doing everything right to correct the wrongs, and live a positive life.
I realised that we have a variety of ways in which we hold onto negative emotions:
- People pleasing.
- Being a victim instead of a survivor.
- Comparing ourselves to others.
- Collecting our negative memories.
Since that day, I’ve poured my thoughts, emotions, and fears out into my journal. I’ve underlined the words I’ve written that flag up a possible issue such as fear, concern, and sadness. I made a vow to myself that I would dig deeper with my personal development and release as much negativity as I possibly can.
My hip is still painful, although I’ve managed to sleep over the past few nights, and this tells me I still have emotions to release. For me, acupuncture is a great fit, but you might prefer a talking therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, or CBT/NLP, or even hypnosis to help free you of negative emotions and their physical manifestations.
Do we ever get to the end of our journey for peace? Or do we just swap one issue for another? Just before I left the centre, Jo told me that everything I’m dealing with has manifested because I’m in the right place, physically, emotionally, and spiritually to deal with it. I didn’t feel like it at the time, but on reflection, I know she’s right.
I’ve come a long way on my development pathway, and I know I’ve still got plenty of work to do, but I also understand that what I’m doing benefits my mental health, physical well-being, and prepares me to support my children as they grow. They are wonderful teenagers on the threshold of becoming fully fledged adults with lives, partners, and careers to deal with. My job as a mum is the most important role I’ll ever have, and I’m going to make sure I can give my children one hundred per cent.
I’d love to hear your stories of revelation. Have you ever experienced something so powerful during therapy? Do you know what you need to work on for your own development? Perhaps you’ve got a great tip for hip pain! Feel free to share your comments below.