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Stage Three - Stuck In A Perspective

The 12 Stages of Healing

Whether you’re suffering from physical, mental or emotional pain and are seeking to get on the healing path, we invite you to read our latest blog series, ‘The 12 Stages of Healing.” The series starts with Stage 1, which is Suffering and ends with Stage 12, Community. Our doctors share their wisdom and encouragement to help you move through each stage toward achieving the healing you seek. Each blog concludes with a special breathing exercise and affirmation for that stage of healing.

He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality and will never, therefore, make any progress.
-Anwar Sadat

older man showing shoulder painAs we enter Stage Three, we still feel that the old injury, disease or trauma is the cause of our current problems. Often, we will experience an uneasy feeling that “my body (or mind) is holding onto something” or “I want to move ahead, but I can’t.” In other words, we realize we are stuck in an old way of seeing things — we are stuck in a perspective. We recognize that the pattern — or process — we observed in Stage Two is somehow connected to how we perceive or adapt to life. Now, in Stage Three we begin to develop a stronger sense of self along with the strength that allows us to assume a greater degree of responsibility toward our situation. Stage Three is very powerful because it serves as a bridge between being in suffering and doing something about it.

New Bodymind, Old Patterns

The body we have at this moment is not the same body we had five years ago, or even five days ago. Every cell in the body is in the process of dying and being replaced by new cells. This process continues throughout our lifetime, with different body cells being renewed and replaced at different rates. In a sense, our shoulders, hearts and stomachs are brand new. Within a twenty-year period, our vertebrae have been replaced at least ten times, while the softer muscle tissue that surrounds them has been replaced dozens of times.

If this is true, why do we have the same back problem, heart problem, or relationship pattern throughout much of our lives? The answer lies in the nervous system. As opposed to the other structures of the body that are constantly regenerating, nerve cells do not regenerate. And it is the nervous system that coordinates the consciousness of all body parts, systems, functions and patterns.

The nervous system is constantly at work. It receives, processes, and transmits messages to and from every part of the body to help us respond to, adapt to, recover from, and experience our environment. It maintains our body’s inner environment by regulating digestion and the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood. If the nervous system is stuck in one perspective, the messages it will send and receive will also be stuck in that perspective. In other words, when the nervous system has not been able to recover from the trauma of past events — whether physical, emotional or chemical — our emotional reality is also stuck.

Stuck in the Body, Stuck in the Mind

The combined effect of various stresses and the inability of the nervous system to deal with them produces a subluxation (interference) of the spine. A structural subluxation occurs when the spinal bones become stuck within their normal range of movement. This is usually the result of a mechanical or physical stress from which the body has not recovered. A facilitated subluxation occurs from predominately emotional, mental or chemical stress. Like a computer, if the input is distorted in any way, then the output (messages from the nervous system to each boy cell) will also be distorted. Emotional traumas or accidents are challenges to a compromised nervous system. The ability of the bodymind to “reset” itself is greatly hindered.

The body and the mind are one unit; it is impossible to be stuck in the body without being stuck in the mind. The shape, position, tone and tension of the spinal system is directly related to the shape, position, tone and tension in a person’s life. It makes sense that when the spine loses its flexibility and natural contours, so does a person’s life experiences. With a spine that is less flexible and does not recover from its experiences, the person will most likely be stuck in a particular perspective.

In addition, with each position of the spine, there is a corresponding predisposition of consciousness, mood or personality. For example, when a person’s back and head is bent downward, we associate that position with defeat or depression; a spine that is ramrod straight with the head pulled back is a sign of emotional and mental rigidity. When the spine cannot enjoy its natural, full range of motion, the bodymind is limited in the kinds of experience it can have, as well as in the ways it can express itself on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Our body tension and movement reveal the history of our physiology. The body and mind do not attract traumas separately but physical traumas are sometimes the only way a person will experience feelings.

This mechanism may be why recurring pain is often on the same side of the body or affects the same organ. When we experience the same periodic back pain, the same intestinal cramps, or the same asthma flares, we need to consider the possibility that our bodymind is stuck in a perspective. Being stuck rarely has anything to do with a conscious choice to be that way. It is more a consequence of a fixed nervous system due to a spinal distortion or related problem.

When a person has experienced a marked emotional or physical trauma, certain parts of the spinal musculature will have a characteristic “thickness” from the years of tension and contractions. If we experience the loss of a loved one, for example, our spinal musculature will tense. It is natural for the body to respond in this way, but sometimes the nervous system becomes stuck (does not recover from the trauma because of an interference with its ability to be flexible). The muscle pattern or tension persists because the nervous system continues to experience the trauma as if it were still happening. This response is most often unconscious.

Moving Through Stage Three

At the beginning of Stage Three, we realize that we are stuck in a perspective, but often we still do not know what the perspective is. We may try to figure out why we are stuck, but analyzing our problem can intensify the pattern and often leads us out of rhythm and produces more distress. Although identifying a problem — “You have arthritis” — may bring peace of mind, the same mindset can prevent us from seeing beyond the symptom. Naming or labeling symptoms and conditions can distract us from the healing process, unless we simply move with the rhythm of the statement: “I am, or have been, stuck in a perspective.” Later, when the time is right, our bodymind will reveal the underlying reason to our conscious mind.

As we surrender to the dynamics of this stage, as opposed to trying to figure out why we are stuck, we automatically get in touch with the natural rhythm of our bodymind and feel the region of stuckness as though it were a large rock blocking the flow of the stream. As we honor our healing process, conscious awareness occurs at the proper time, rather than occurring because of analysis, concentration or control.

Some people remain in Stage Three for a long time. They speak about how their old heart attacks or bad backs still affect them today, but they move no further; or they stay stuck for many years in a relationship or a job they do not like. People who consistently experience muscle aches and pains, sore and stiff joints, and neck pain, often have difficulty moving through this stage, because the awareness of being stuck takes place only as the “stuckness” starts releasing.

Others may move through Stage Three in a matter of days or minutes. Whatever the time period may be, surrendering to the consciousness of this stage is essential for moving through it and on to further stages of healing.

Assessment Questions for Stage Three

Have I seen this pattern before? Do I feel my body is locked (arms, shoulders, back)? Do I feel tension in my muscles?

When the pattern comes up, am I aware of a certain lightening in my arms, chest or neck? Or does my breathing become shallower and more restricted at this time? When I feel this pattern, do I experience internal agitation? Is there upset, anger? Is there an emotional charge?

Do I continue recreating situations I don’t want, don’t like, or resent?

Hearing Yourself Ask For Help

When you ask for help in Stage Three, it will mostly sound like, “Please help me get unstuck, I must move on…”

Stage Three Exercise

Sit, or lie comfortably on your back. Place one hand on top of the other and lay them just below your neck. Breathe easily and deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Move your hands to your heart and continue breathing for another minute or two. Continue moving your hands downwards to different areas of your body. Use the declarations below and pay careful attention to any region that is tense or disturbed. As you reach this area, place your hands over it and gently breathe into it. Do not try to free the area or change it in any way. Just be OK with this stage you are in and acknowledge your stuckness with a gentle nod of your head, and then move on to the next region that may feel blocked or stuck. You may twist your body or squirm into a position that increases your experience of the blockage, while you hold your hands over the involved area.

Stage Three Declarations

Please state in order as you experience the blocked area:

“I am stuck right here.” (As you move your hand gently over the stuck area.)
“I acknowledge this area.”
“I am sorry I have not noticed you before in a more loving way.”

There’s Magic In A Healthy Spine!

The 12 Stages of Healing

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12


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