By Talia Singer, Psychotherapist
We all experience aches and pains in our lives, some physical pain resolves by itself and sometimes it becomes chronic. Chronic pain can be debilitating and hinder our daily routine. When this happens, feelings of helplessness, depression and anxiety are common.
The word “psychosomatic” has gotten a bad rap over the years and has become mistaking synonymous with “imaginary” such as, it’s all in your head! In fact, the term “psychosomatic” comes from the Greek words for ‘mind’ and ‘body’ and describes a feeling that links bodily sensations with emotional sensations.
Psychosomatic pain is not imaginary; it can be just as chronic and excruciating as any other pain. There can be many reasons for pain, even pain that cannot be explained through a medical examination. When we feel emotional stress and anxiety our muscles can become tense and over time be fatigued and ache. The pain receptors in our body alert us that something is not right but a medical checkup may not always make it go away when it is related to a traumatic and stressful experience.
After you have followed up with your medical professional and want to complement your care with complementary and holistic treatments, there are a variety of options for you:
Psychotherapy uses techniques such as visualization, grounding exercises and other comforting techniques to try and calm the mind and body. Other benefits of psychotherapy include speaking about pain in a caring, safe and therapeutic environment that can help unburden psychological pain.