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  • Ann Werner

"Is it your pain or another pain"?

Last week I took my daughter to our very thorough and competent physiotherapist.

She had had a particularly sporty week above the norm and was experiencing debilitating pain in her shins and calves.

After taking a thorough history to locate the exact area causing discomfort, the physiotherapist then started manipulating her lower legs.

Ever inching towards the wounded site, she asked: "Is that your pain or another pain"? She was trying to be specific about the exact pain, the real pain that had brought my daughter to her for help.

Guided by this co-working, the Achilles tendinopathy (overuse injury) was isolated so that the real work could begin.

Having experienced such therapeutic intervention before, I know its sore. In fact, it can be very, very painful. I remember holding on to anything I could. I wanted it to stop; sometimes I didn’t think that I could go through with it and that I couldn’t take the excruciating nature of it. I felt alone and isolated. I felt most uncomfortable, just me and my pain accepting the help of another to work with it.

The relief at the end of the session was profound. I felt like crying and was so glad that the first session was over, knowing that any subsequent ones would not be as bad and would merely continue taking me to a place of healing.

How brave we can be when we decide to seek the help that we need. How courageous to entrust our hearts and souls and bodies with another, trusting that, even though painful, each session is rewarded with perhaps an increasing lightness, a relief, a gathering hope that things can shift and change and heal.

How fortunate we are in the hands of a good health professional who will be sure to unpack ‘our pain’; the pain that brought us to seek help originally and not the ‘other pain’, which perhaps acts as a mask, an imposter, to uncovering the blissful truth.

The Buddha had these wise things to say:

“Three things cannot long be hidden: The sun, the Moon and the Truth”

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;

not going all the way, and not starting.”



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