Over the years I have explained to my students that self-practice intended to secure pain relief is actually a lesson in self-love. Conversely, lack of self-love is the cause of most of our pain. Some would say that it is also the cause of most of our emotional pain. Here, however, I will only discuss physical pain.
Over the years as I have trained to become a Feldenkrais instructor, I learned how to move the body more gently and with greater inner attentiveness. I know that this process has strengthened my self-love.
A practice that releases stiffness and pain, that produces a feeling of floating and lightness in the body, that produces a feeling of dizziness and euphoria, is just like falling in love and it cannot help but produce or increase our sense of self-love.
Body pains appear due to the unreasonable loads we burden it with. The body warns us, initially transmitting budding signals of discomfort. If ignored, real damage gradually germinates (disc herniation, degenerative changes, scoliosis, etc.). With such hurt comes pain, loads of it.
I come across a lot of stories about individuals who do not know how to deal with their pain: The pain appears and they ‘do not succumb it.’ They tell me about it rather proudly. Hardly a day goes by without me talking to someone who tells me she does not succumb. In reality, the solution actually requires concessions:
Are you in pain? Stop! Look for different ways to move your body and parts thereof so as to achieve your goal (whatever it may be) and if you do not find such a solution you’d end up giving the goal up. Sit down, or better yet lie down and start exercising in order to get rid of the pain. Do not stay with it! Do not continue to move even though the pain warns you. And if you do, don’t be surprised that at the end of the day the pain will not go away and it will become more and more difficult for you to treat it.
Ignoring the body’s warnings is, indeed, lack of self-love. A lack that leads to physical damage accompanied by pain. The minimum you can do is rest. Optimally, you would teach your body to rest while in motion. That is one of the great things about the Softness Method, it teaches how to rest while moving. When you learn to rest while moving you learn to move in a way that your body can hold up, with much less abrasion and burden.
It is my earnest desire that every person would acquire the ability to rest while in movement. How is that accomplished? It’s simple: Submit yourself to a soft learning process that step by step develops body awareness.
By employing the Softness Method you’d experience bodily movement that gradually becomes softer and softer. As a result, your body would gradually experience more ease and less pain. This is the desired relaxation sought by the method. For most students, “with the food an appetite appears” and the relaxation that results from such soft practice and the consequent pain elimination, the desire to learn how to further our bodies’ comfort only grows.
So, next time you feel body pain (as delineated above), give yourself this wonderful gift of soft practice, thus loving yourself.
As an act of self-love I would recommend to take a peek at the Softness, the Strength of Physiotherapy and Feldenkrais Combined program, for individuals who nurture their body, click here.