Knee Pain Denied
This isn’t the first time I’ve had such pain, but the difference this time around is that I’m resolved to believe (that is, I do believe) that while it hurts, I’m not really hurting. I’m sore, but I’m not injured. And so my strategy for making the pain go away is to keep telling myself that it’s all in my head (or at least of my own making) and do my best to work through it, bending and getting into poses as best as I can in spite of the twinges I’m feeling.
This attitude is informed in part by past experience and by the work of John Sarno, M.D., whose book, Healing Back Pain: The Mind/Body Connection saved my life (well, ass—well, back) some years ago and which I still refer to when I experience aches and pains of a certain sort.
Sarno’s claim is that most back pain (and much joint pain) is a result of muscle tightness brought on by our clenching those muscles as a way to avoid feeling unpleasant emotions, especially anger and fear. I’m a believer.
About 7 years ago, I had horrible lower back pain that wouldn’t go away with massage, rolfing, Percodan; I read Sarno’s book, took his advice, and in two weeks was virtually pain-free. Same thing happened about 5 years ago with similar knee pain as I’m feeling now.
My mantra is: “I’m not injured, I’m angry.” And it doesn’t even really matter about what as long as I cop to it and keep stretching.