The zing of pain – ran from the outermost point of her shoulder to the base of her skull.  Sometimes it continued up the back of her head, across her forehead, and settled in across her browbone as a dull ache. Do you know that zing?

We talked about how this muscle – the upper trapezius (upper trap) – is a storehouse for emotions, in women particularly. She smiled knowingly. There is a lot of challenging stuff going on in her world right now. She made the connection.

We talked about how her workouts made this area feel better and laughed at how distracting it with “real work” had that effect. We made the parallel how we sometimes use workouts to distract our mind, and how each muscle has a mind that can also be distracted. The mind in our head and the mind in our muscles; it’s all one.

A day later I had a similar conversation with another person about pain, his too in the shoulder area. How did it come about initially, I asked? When does it arise now? What alleviates the discomfort? This person had never pondered the idea of his pain being a symptom of something he was doing. That rather than being a problem of strange origin that needed to be fixed, he was actually bringing about his pain with his own actions. He admitted zero body awareness beyond pain recognition.

Treat only the symptom, and it will likely return. Care for the source, and there is no symptom to treat. Symptoms as teachers. What is your body telling you?