What is the best way to relieve symptoms of low back pain? Should you take pain-killers, get a massage or chiropractic adjustment, try acupuncture or consider surgery?
How you choose to approach your symptoms really depends on which “season” you’re in.
What do I mean by “season”?
Just as nature’s seasons dictate the best time to plant seeds or harvest crops, there are Seasons of Well Being which influence our life and healthcare choices.
These “seasons” are a multidimensional spectrum of well being (based on a model developed by Dr. Donald Epstein D.C.) which dictate predictable patterns of perception and behavior in human beings.
Understanding these seasons is especially useful when it comes to dealing with symptoms of low back pain or other bodily symptoms. When you understand the consciousness and tendencies associated with each season, you can better approach your symptoms, stressors, health and life challenges.
The “seasons” can be described in the following way:
- Discover – A time to connect within and develop greater awareness.
- Transform – A time heighten your sense of self and break through previously limiting patterns.
- Awaken – A time to tap into the parts of your being which exist beyond your thinking mind and gain more depth, wisdom and richness in life.
- Integrate – A time to combine elements of each of the seasons to enhance your resourcefulness and progress.
This post explores the Season of Discover and explains how to reap it’s benefits…
What are Your Symptoms of Low Back Pain Asking You to Discover?
In the Season of Discover the primary focus is on restoring health and reducing or alleviating pain.
In this season, uncomfortable events, circumstances, symptoms and stressors feel like problems or disruptions that need to be fixed. So, healthcare choices in this season are centered around avoidance of pain and discomfort.
The Season of Discover is characterized by suffering, disconnection, frustration and a desire to move away from symptoms.
It is also generally accompanied by a feeling of helplessness, loss or despair that the symptom or condition has not yet gone away.
Whether the symptoms or conditions are related to an injury or appeared over time (such as acute or chronic symptoms of low back pain), in the Season of Discover it feels like they are disturbing or disruptive to life.
Therefore, the goal is to get rid of them and return as quickly as possible to previous routines and actions.
It is common to seek curative treatments or therapies when in the Season of Discover. However, the effects of those treatments are often short-lived (or they contribute to further disassociation and disconnection from the body and it’s sensations).
Why is this the case, and what can you do about it?
How to Take Advantage of the Paradox of the Season of Discover
With our non-stop lifestyles it is easy to numb out, override or ignore our symptoms. That’s because it is conditioned human-nature to try to keep our behavior patterns the same, rather than stop, tune into our bodies and discover what they really need.
As a culture we tend to ignore or dismiss the subtle feedback coming from within us and wait until our symptoms have become very intense or uncomfortable before paying attention.
Then when our symptoms become disruptive, we try to get rid of them — still without discovering what they are really trying to communicate.
What are symptoms (such as symptoms of low back pain) really trying to communicate though?
Every situation is different, but ultimately all symptoms serve 3 functions:
1. They interrupt our existing behavior patterns.
2. They encourage us to stop and pay attention.
3. They inspire new meaning, actions, consciousness states and understanding.
In the Season of Discover we have an opportunity to learn to stop and pay attention to our symptoms in a new way. We can then discover new meanings, actions and understandings that break our cycle of pain and suffering.
Symptoms of low back pain in men are often associated with dissatisfaction at work and financial stress, while symptoms of low back pain in women are often associated with relationship stress, for example.
This isn’t to say that mechanical tension, disc inflammation, nerve pressure and other physical patterns aren’t a big part of the picture though — because they certainly are!
The paradox though, is that in order for our physical symptoms to go away for the long-term, we have to stop trying to make them go away by anesthetizing them with drugs and palliative treatments.
Instead we must learn how to become aware of, acknowledge and accept the parts of our bodies that we were previously trying to alienate through treatment.
We must learn how to “be more present” with our bodies physically, mentally and emotionally. We must begin to recognize how contributing factors (such as financial and relationship stress) trigger pain and tension in our physical bodies.
We must learn new strategies to connect within and release tension before it results in pain.
This does not mean that medical intervention or treatment will not be necessary, nor does it mean that by accepting our bodies as they currently are we will become stuck there.
It simply means that only through increased presence and attention, full recognition of our current body/mind condition and total acceptance of where we really are in this moment, can true progress occur.
So how do you take advantage of the paradox of the Season of Discover and put an end to your symptoms? You do it through a 3-Stage process of discovery:
The 3 Stages of the Season of Discover
1. Connect with a part of your self that is disconnected either somatically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually.
2. Notice the rhythm within the disconnection by fully being with any charge or polarity associated with the situation.
3. Immerse completely in any feeling of stuckness or frustration.
If connecting with a part of your self, noticing a rhythm and immersing yourself in stuckness or frustration just sounds like new-age mumbo-jumbo, you’re not alone. But each of these stages can be experienced through specific processes, exercises and bodywork approaches.
Plus, each of the stages described above are universal when it comes to resolving pain and symptoms.
If you own a successful business for example, and your business suddenly begins experiencing pain/symptoms (lets say loss of revenue), do you just ignore the problem and hope that it gets better on its own? Do you try to alleviate the symptoms by borrowing money without a plan to address the underlying cause of the crisis (Hmm, there are some countries I know of who’ve been doing this)?
Of course not. You connect with your market, the people in your organization, your vendors and suppliers. You seek out new feedback about whats happening.
You notice the rhythm, the trends, the polarities/challenges going on in your business and the marketplace.
You immerse completely in the frustration and stuckness. You look for the blocks to growth so that you can address them.
In this way, you DISCOVER whats really going on under the surface. Then you can take appropriate and informed action going forward. Once youre aware of, youve acknowledged and accepted the situation youre in, you can decide on your next steps.
Your body isn’t much different.
Your symptoms exist for a reason. In the Season of Discover, it is time to actually DISCOVER what that reason is.
Are you experiencing symptoms of low back pain (or other bodily symptoms) and want to discover how to finally make a breakthrough? If so, I suggest that you give the Reorganizational Healing approach a try.