The mind-body connection – Emotional Pain vs. Physical Pain

You have most likely heard about the whole “mind-body connection” and might have thought “Oh there it goes again..”

Sure, it might seem to be overused these days, however, there is a good reason for mentioning and considering to think more about it. Believe it or not, our mind and our thoughts are very powerful determinants when it comes to well-being and overall health. You’ve probably experienced the physical pain when you lost a person or someone close to you got seriously injured. It’s a feeling like your stomach flips or your heart gets torn apart. This is a simple example for emotional pain expressed in physical pain.

Here’s why:

Our body and mind (brain) are interconnected through sensory and motor neurons with our spinal cord and brain stem. In addition, neurotransmitters (e.g. hormones) are carried by the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and travel to receptor sites of our brain which causes us to sense and feel the pain physically “through our nervous system.”  (source and read more about it HERE).

So, we pretty much FEEL what is mentally bugging us. 

Researchers went so far to create so called “Emotional Pain Charts,” showing particular areas of our bodies that may hurt due to certain mental challenges or struggles:

Information from Heal Your Body A-Z by Louise L. Hay: ( a VERY good book by the way!)

  • Ankles – inflexibility and guilt, ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure
  • Bunions – lack of joy in meeting experiences in life
  • Elbow – represents changing directions and accepting new experiences
  • Hips – Fear of going forward in major decisions, nothing to move forward to
  • Knees – stubborn pride and ego, inability to bend, fear, inflexibility, won’t give in
  • Neck – refusing to see other sides of the question, stubbornness, inflexibility
  • Shoulders – represent our ability to carry our experiences in our life joyously, we make life a burden by our attitude
  • Spine – represents the support of life
    • Lower – fear of money, lack of financial support
    • Middle – guilt, stuck in all that stuff back there, “get off my back”
    • Upper – lack of emotional support, feeling unloved, holding back love
  • Wrist – represents movement and ease

    Other connections:
  • Arthritis – feeling unloved, criticism, resentment
  • Bone Breaks/Fractures – rebelling against authority
  • Bursitis – repressed anger
  • Inflammation – fear, seeing red, inflamed thinking
  • Joints – represents changes in direction in life and the ease of these movements
  • Loss of Balance – scattered thinking, not centered
  • Sciatica – being hypocritical, fear of money and/or the future
  • Slipped Disc – feeling totally unsupported by Life, indecisive
  • Sprains – anger and resistance, not wanting to move in a certain direction in life
  • Stiffness – rigid, stiff thinking
  • Weakness – a need for mental rest

(SOURCE: CentripetalForceStudio. You can also find a downloadable  PDF version of the emotional pain chart infographic on their website!)

This is a great reminder of the power of your thoughts. As I wrote about in my article on “5 Reasons to Think Positive“, our mind is an incredibly powerful thing. It can prevent and even heal illnesses. 

This is the mind-body connection at its best.

What are your thoughts on this whole topic? Your experiences? What have you done about it? Have you had experience with acupuncture? 

Be good to yourself. Be optimistic. Be happy. Be you. Stay yogilated 🙂

2 comments to “The mind-body connection – Emotional Pain vs. Physical Pain”
  1. Karen,

    This is a great post. You helped me remember that the mind is a powerful tool that can help, but also inhibit our future actions. I never knew my mind had such a large impact on my body, until I started practicing Yoga. Yoga helped me find the divide and taught me how to connect.

    It is an incredible journey learning how one changes when mind and body to work in tandem. Great Post!

  2. Thank you for your comment Lauren! I am glad you found this post helpful. And I agree with you, as I posted in “Yoga and Healing”, Yoga surely does help us listening to ourselves, providing us with the ability to be more mindful and choose our thoughts. Hope you’ll stay yogilated with me in this beautiful journey called life. Karen 🙂

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