Physical ailments hinder an alarming amount of people, and often times we turn to Western medicine to understand and deal with aches and pains. But by doing so, we have lost touch with the ancient wisdom that everything on the physical plane is simply a manifestation of something on the metaphysical plane.

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When we hurt, in one way or another, it is not as a simple as taking a pill to resolve. It’s deeper than that. Our physical body is sent a message from our metaphysical being where our energy and spirituality reside. We often misinterpret these messages from higher planes, and, rather than digging deeper for the truth, we outsource, as is the way of modern medicine.

The Western approach treats pain through drugs and surgery—we numb, we divert pain receptors in the body, or we cut off an organ. This style may be valuable under acute circumstances, but more often than not, the pain must become unbearable in order for us to acknowledge the disharmony occurring.

“Spirit is beyond definition, but is a phenomenon that can be studied like any other,” explains  Dr L. H. Heyse-Moore, DM, FRCP, Medical Director, St Joseph’s Hospice.

Dr. Susan Babel, a psychologist that specializes in trauma-induced depression, wrote in Psychology Today, “Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues.”

She went on to say, “Often, physical pain functions to warn a person that there is still emotional work to be done.”

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There are different energetic levels associated with holistic healing of the individual—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. If you are suffering from any of the following, allow these general observations to serve as a guide to help you heal. You’ll expand your awareness beyond your own life to further your understanding of how these disharmonies are displayed in the world around you, whether that be your family, community, country, or the universe.

Head

Headaches: A common pain amongst the masses, this indicates a separation from the truth in one way or another. Chinese medicine suggests the type of headache you experience provides a specific message.

Vertex: The top of the head represents our connection to spirituality and pure bliss. When we experience pain here, it is associated with separation from the divine.

Forehead: The forehead represents our intuition, imagination, wisdom, and the ability to think and make decisions. Experiencing pain at the brow suggests separation from your own Inner Being.

Temporal: Pain in the sides of the head is associated with a fear of courage to face your world. Migraine headaches, which typically occur in the front quadrants, right or left, are linked to a personal separation—an unwillingness to look within as well as without. Severe pain behind the eye and sensitivity to light is associated with a number of Meridians that run through this area (according to Chinese medicine).

Occipital: Experiencing pain in the back of your head represents something in your past that is not complete and remains unforgiven. Thought of to be the seat of spiritual experiences, this pain occurs as a result of an unwillingness to look within for the ultimate source of light & truth.

Back

Spine: The spine is our body’s biggest support system, and pain here, such as a curved spine, represents a misalignment with life, while spasms are linked to the inability to embrace the support that we have in this area.

Shoulders: When we are overwhelmed, we often tense up, causing our shoulders to shrug. Pain here is associated with burdens and responsibilities, specifically the unwillingness to be accountable for such things and move forward.

Chinese medicine believes the backside of your body to be your Yang side—active, aggressive, lighted. It represents the pressure of the past—that which is behind us. Back pain can represent a conflict related to moving forward.

Mid back: This area serves as the link between the shoulder and the lower back and can become a weak link as a result of tension in the shoulders. The weight of responsibilities can become intensified in this region.

Lower Back: Linked with support—financial support, emotional support of family and friends, and support of the divine—pain here may indicate that we have taken on more than we can handle.

Coccyx: Pain in the Coccyx/Sacrum represents a fear of asking for help, as seen by the decision to sit and feel sorry for one’s self rather than get up and do something about it.

Legs

Hips: Because the process of walking relies on first thrusting the hip forward and then the leg, pain in this region indicates moving too quickly in life. Hips are representative of decisions, especially as they pertain to moving forward. You might need to stop, look around, and slow down before making any more moves.

Upper Thighs: A link between the hips and the knees, the latter representative of pride, pain in the upper thighs is related to a separation from our desire and decision to move forward, and our fear of failing.

Knees: Representative of our pride, pain here is associated with our reluctance to admit fear. Knees can also represent humility, which is the wisdom to surrender when change occurs.

Shins: Seen as a weak link, the shins (mostly bone) are the hardest substance in the body, but can be very sensitive and brittle. When we experience pain here, it is thought to be a sign of fear of the future/a desire not to move forward.

Ankles: Representative of flexibility, mobility and direction, pain here is associated with the reluctance to moving forward in the face of change.

Feet: Symbolizing our connection with Mother Earth, painful feet represent our relationship with our Mother, specifically our separation from the one who gave birth to us.

Throat: The centre of communication, self-expression of feelings, and the truth, pain here is a sign of blockage from living out our true identity. When we harbour our reality as opposed to speaking it, we create pressure in the throat, resulting in soreness.

Chest/Breasts: Representative of nurturing and nourishing the connection with the “breath of life,” Chinese medicine views the front of the body as the Yin side. Pain in the breast area is seen as a denial of the Mother/feminine principal to nourish others, along with the self.

Solar Plexus: Signifying self-worth, self-confidence and self-esteem, pain in this area represents conflicts in your life. Centred on anger, the Negative Ego takes hold of and hinders confidence from flourishing.

Stomach: The stomach represents digestion of change: new ideas and new ways of doing things. Metaphysically, we process new concepts similarly to how we digest food. We swallow the idea, break it down, and absorb what we need to in order to nourish ourselves. Like eating well for optimum health, we also need to nourish our metaphysical state every day, too. Pain in the stomach is an indication of dread, fear of the new, and the inability to accept new occurrences.