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The potential role of fear in unexplained myofascial (soft tissue) pain

This topic is near and dear to my heart, and it feels SO important to have this conversation. I really want to hear YOUR thoughts, so please comment and let’s talk about this.

Fear – it’s pervasive these days. We’re afraid to be ourselves; afraid of our own thoughts and feelings; afraid of other people, afraid of the stories we hear about the world, and afraid we’re not living life fully. Most people I know are afraid of their own body. We’re taught that pain is scary and we’re not smart enough to have ownership over our own bodies, so we give that power to doctors and politicians.

Thankfully…many of us are beginning to wake up and take responsibility for our mental health, physical health and spiritual health.

I’ve seen some patterns in my private practice, and online too when I talk to people about “mystery” pain or autoimmune diagnoses like firbomyalgia, myofascia pain syndrome etc.

There’s some fascinating science I want you to know about what happens to your fascia when you feel fear consistently.

I also think it’s important to keep in mind that beyond the science we’re talking about today are the critical roles your nervous system plays in body-wide regulation and pain.

If you’re constantly running fear through your system, it’s like telling your body there’s a bear chasing you 24/7…yet, there is no bear and you keep eating, working, having sex and trying to function in the parasympathetic state while your body is in sympathetic (fight, flight or freeze).

This video is specifically looking at myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia and connective tissue disorders (including scleroderma).

You can check out some of the literature on fear responding to chemical messengers by clicking here.

Watch the video and then share your thoughts below! I can’t wait to talk to you about this.

Also, stay tuned for more videos from me about FEAR itself…because I think the way we handle it today (adopting mantras like “fuck fear” or trying to eliminate fear from your life, by whatever strategy)  is myopic and causing even more internal anxiety and destruction.

4 Comments

  • Jordan says:

    BINGO! So glad you are talking about this Elisha.

    Awareness that fear can manifest as a physical pain syndrome is a vital topic to explore. Another aspect of chronic pain that often shocks people is the fact that early childhood trauma (ACES) can manifest as physical pain in adulthood. It can be hard to believe at first that events that took place 30-40-50+ years ago could be causing physical pain NOW, but the research is bearing it out.

    Since “your body is your oldest friend and closest companion” (Belleruth Naperstek) we need to “get curious” as you are always saying Elisha, and partner with our bodies in order to find the roots of the early traumas that set up our nervous system perceptions/responses/patterns in the first place so we can heal our minds and bodies simultaneously. I really love the body+mind core of your KINETIX system, it is a powerful healing modality. Thank you for sharing your tools and methods

  • Martha says:

    I think you’re spot on, Elisha! I think we can become so habituated to the feelings of fear and chronic stress over the course of our life that we don’t fully (or even partially) recognize it for what it is — fear and cortisol perpetually flowing through our body. It’s simply the inner experience of living in our body that we’ve come to know and don’t question until pain grabs our attention. After many years of accumulation, our fascia does thicken to protect us, it dries out and becomes unhealthy, and we may experience surgeries, injuries, or other traumatic events of living (or maybe not). But bam — we’re confronted with pain which can become chronic, systemic, escalating and/or unrelenting. This has been my experience and I so appreciate your shedding such valuable light on this topic because 1) it helps to explain the mysteries that medicine cannot fully address, explain, or treat and 2) effective fascial release can potentially go a long way towards bringing hope, easing pain, and helping us move into a new space where we can learn to inhabit our body in a different way. This is my experience and your insight has been so impactful for me because it helps to make sense and meaning out of the chaos. Huge thanks to you for your passion, commitment, insight, and education on this topic! Greater understanding of this topic alone can truly be life changing. It has been for me. Much love and thanks, Elisha!!

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