By Shannon Sexton, Yoga+
Do you have pain in your neck, back, or shoulders? Do you suffer from a repetitive stress injury, fibromyalgia, migraines, or osteoarthritis? According to recent national studies sponsored by Partners in Pain, at least one person in almost half of America’s households suffers from chronic pain. Of these, 78 percent are so dissatisfied with their conventional pain-control medications that they are willing to try new treatments, and 43 percent would spend more money on such a treatment if they knew it would work. Over half report that pain affects their overall mood and disturbs their sleep, and 80 percent believe their pain is something they just have to live with. Ayurveda has a different point of view.
According to Robert E. Svoboda, “Ayurveda welcomes and accepts pain, even while trying to relieve it, for Nature intends pain to be a multi-layered message to us. Underlying the immediate directive–stop using that body part!–lies a request to look into our lives and see what we are doing to create this misery.”
If you tend to ignore your body’s messages until pain overwhelms you, try to catch the problem earlier. Certain unconscious habits–holding your breath, chronically tensing your muscles, suppressing your emotions, eating overprocessed, refined food, ingesting too much caffeine or not enough water–make us more susceptible to pain because they aggravate vata, the dosha that is always involved when there is pain. If you can step back and observe which of your activities and habits contribute to the problem, you can start to undo your pain naturally.
Next: 6 ways to help relieve pain