by Beth Allyn Herman
When pain arises, the assumption is that it’s a true medical issue, injury or disease. If we visit the doctor and a medical cause cannot be identified, it might receive a diagnosis like fibromyalgia or an autoimmune disorder, which can be treated symptomatically, but often not with full relief. The experience of not being able to identify or treat the reason for our pain can lead to disappointment and frustration.
New research confirms a breakthrough in thinking on pain that could put an end to this predicament, and could mean relief for so many living with unexplained pain. Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD, in his book titled The Body Keeps the Score, presents a theory predicated on the realization that physical pain can in fact stem from an emotional nature. He describes how traumatic and other emotionally charged experiences store themselves in the cells of our bodies. “Our bodies record every single emotion we experience and oftentimes the pain we have in our bodies is related to an unresolved and perhaps even unremembered earlier experience,” he says.