Massage for pain relief has been the most amazing and fascinating work for me. What I discovered in the dentist chair about pain is not what you find in a typical massage. Read on and discover for yourself what blew my mind about pain.
I was overdue for a cleaning and my gums were irritated. I have a great dentist and as he was using the power tool to clean along my gums I noticed I was gripping the chair. My breath was shallow and there was tightness in my chest and belly. My jaw, head and neck hurt.
I noticed the thought “It is going to hurt”. I thought of Byron Katie and her work at TheWork.com and I asked the first question of The Work, “Is it true?” Is it true that it is going to hurt? I sat in the chair leaned back and wondered if it is true. 1. It is going to hurt? Yes.
2. Can I know for sure it is going to hurt? NO!
3. How do I react when I believe it is going to hurt? All the stress and tension that I noticed earlier came rolling back in with a boatload of fear hitting my chest. Freezing kind of fear. Panic. Oh $#%#! I notice when he hits a tender place with the spinning cleaning tool on the gums it hurts a lot against all of the resistance to the hurt. Sinus pressure. Headache. I can feel a migraine.
4. Who would I be without that thought? A man sitting in the dentist chair having his teeth cleaned. Open. Supported. Kind. Breathing and feeling good. Then he hits one of those tender spots. Ouch! That hurt! Ok, back to who would I be without that thought it is going to hurt? It is over. Breath, open amazement! Light and full of awe and gratitude! Then another sharp wince and ouch, a shock in my head. Ok, there it was again, that hurt. Back to Who would I be without the thought it is going to hurt? Neutral open, deeper and deeper breaths come and sweep through. Wow! What a great experience!!! Then a few more winces with less impact and less time out in pain or shock. Less time to recover. Then I notice a wince and jump and then the word “pain”. I was amazed to find that the shock was over by the time the word pain hit. By the time the word hit my brain the event was over. The word and label pain was not true by the time it arrived. Wow!
“Pain” was not even true just a split second later than dental tool hit that spot.
Turn the thought around and find the opposite. 1. It is not going to hurt. Because it is over. Well it does not hurting now, and now and now. It is a thought and image of a future. That image does not hurt. Hurray! Just a picture! It is just a sensation that does not last even the time to identify it. 2. My thoughts are going to hurt. Yes, when they are believed, unquestioned and about future pain. Thoughts about tooth pain, drills and needles is what was hurting when I was bracing myself in the chair. 3. I am going to hurt. Yes, when I am caught believing these thoughts. Caught in fear. When I am in shock.
What an amazing journey. For 20 years I have been helping people get out of pain. All that was apparently for me. Thank you. This discovery has been following me in my work with clients who have been wishing to be out of pain. The journey keeps getting richer and more fascinating. Would you like to play? I offer a free consult. Have you been caught in pain? Go to www.tucsonfamilywellness.com or call me at 520-449-2128.
Gary Olsen, Massage Therapist
Tucson Family Wellness