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Understanding pain – the key to get out from under it


When we talk about pain we all pretty much automatically think about physical pain but there are different types of pain.  We will explore the different types of pain and in understanding them we will be able to get out from under it and regain our well being.


Pain is a sensation that can tear us down or drive us forward.  And no matter what the pain, the most common reaction for most is to just make the pain go away.  Seems logical really as that is what our culture teaches us.  But the approach we take in addressing our pain can radically change the outcome. Pain is a messenger and at its essence means three things: Stop, Reassess, Do something different NOW

Understanding the different types of pain can help to turn a difficult situation into an opportunity for real growth.


So what are the types of pain?  As taken from Dr. Epstein in his CD “Pain to Progress” here are the 4 types of pain


Types of pain

  • Physical pain
  • Pain of avoiding suffering (normal time period – infancy and early childhood)
  • Pain of trying to manage/control your experience (normal time period – youth and ado)
  • Pain from not making enough progress (normal time period – adulthood)


Physical pain.  This could be neck pain, back pain, arthritic pain, muscle pain or a list of others.  Your physical body is sending you signals that it is not in good shape and that something needs to change to get better.  This is one of the most common pains that people deal with in the search for great physical health.  How we address this pain will determine, in part, our future health.

After physical pain comes the Pain of Avoiding Suffering.  Suffering is the sensation of being disconnected from…our body, our life, our surroundings, etc.  The amount of energy that we can put into avoiding suffering can cause a lot of pain. Once recognized the solution to this pain is to recreate a connection with what has caused the suffering and in that connection the suffering is no longer present, the message of the pain has been heard and the pain will resolve.

Then there is the Pain of Trying to Manage/Control Your Experience.  The thought is “if only I can manage this situation (my body, my relationships, my life, etc.) then everything will be alright”.  The sad truth is that the more we tighten our grip of control the more pain the situation creates.  Tightening “our grip” can actually create physical pain as this restricts the body’s ability to move and heal.  As we can realize that we are not the master controller of all but rather another important member of the team that must ebb and flow, we can allow this pain to transform into something else.

The final type of pain is the Pain of Not Making Enough Progress.  There is a normal and natural human need to advance and contribute in one’s life and this type of pain comes from a lack of doing just that.  Progress can be made either physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually so this type of pain can be felt in any of these different domains.


There is a big difference between managing one’s pain and managing one’s situation to truly make progress.  If we manage pain well then we’ll most likely feel pain coming from not making progress fast enough, or then pain comes from not accepting your true nature or the true nature of others.


Pain is an awareness that says « Stop Now ».  It is there to take us out of our everyday life.  Trying to get back to everyday life without making the appropriate changes just ends up keeping you stuck in the same situation with one type of pain or another.


There are times in life when emotional pain just feels overwhelming. Yet, it is through our trials and pain that our deepest gifts can emerge, and it is by overcoming temptation and troubles that we are made stronger and more valuable to ourselves and our loved ones. At some point, we all will inevitably have to confront our past or pain…


One pain can engender another so it is best to heed the message of any pain and…do something different NOW.
Spinal Vitality is here to help you in getting to the cause of your pain and developing resources to transcend your pain and create the health and life of your dreams.

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