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Identifying the Root Causes of Chronic Pain

A great book to learn about eastern healing modalities is, ‘The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy’ by Cyndi Dale. In eastern medicine, the emotions play an integral role in the overall health of an individual. Notably, in Chinese acupuncture, certain meridians are correlated to specific organs in the body, so stimulating a meridian can help to allow what is referred to as ‘chi’ or life force to become unstuck and flow through the energy channels in the body. In the four thousand year old science of yoga, the chakra system is studied in depth. The chakra system has nadis, or energy centers that correspond to the energy meridians at certain parts of the body. Interestingly, the back and neck correspond to these chakras as well. All of the nerves meet at the base of the neck. A book called, ‘The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life by Robert Becker, M.D and Gary Selden, explains how the nerves are a part of an electromagnetic system which communicates with your body in very interesting ways.

The chakra system is a way to understand which emotions might be causing certain ailments in your body, moreover it is a system that can use specific corresponding color frequencies, sound frequencies, and poses that will stimulate a blocked chakra. If this is not making sense to you, don’t worry. It takes some time to understand how the chakras relate to both your emotional and physical world. Let me give you an example. Let’s say someone has gone through a tough breakup and they are now emotional guarded. The heart chakra which is associated with the area of the chest, mid-to-upper back and shoulders, is affected by this emotional memory. In yoga classes, you will often hear that emotions are stored in our cellular memory and we can use both our intention and our breath in postures that target those areas to release emotions that no longer serve us. The back is a highly sensitive part of the body as it houses our nerves and sends feedback via physical sensation about the person’s state of mind. An in depth explanation of the chakras, how to balance them, which emotions are associated with each, as well as their physical location in the body is discussed in depth in a book titled, ‘A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine’ by Richard Gerber M.D.

So what are some steps you could take right now to start to find the root causes of your chronic pain? Perhaps write a list of the things in your life that are causing you stress. For most people it can be finances, relationships, discontentment with their work, or unhappiness about their body. Try writing down one positive action step you could take towards resolving each of these stressors. Taking a therapy class, placing your resume online, getting a membership to a yoga studio, or focusing on the positive traits of that person that is bothering you at work. This practice will start to help you feel empowered and create more hope and less worry. You could also start to read about the chakra system for free online or order used books on If you would like to learn more about eastern medicine and alternative healing options, try searching for a holistic health practitioner in your area. Most yoga studios or health food stores have a community board with information about professionals who work with eastern healing modalities as well. If you are experiencing chronic pain, it can often be hard to believe that it will ever end. Coming from someone who has been healed through alternative medicine from chronic back pain, I hope you find hope after reading this and feel inspired to learn about tried and true practices of cultures that are much older than that of western medicine. More and more I see doctors referring patients to yoga studios. I see people seeking out preventive health measures, juicing, eating clean, and taking time to slow down and reflect. Remember, it is necessary to take time to yourself to decompress, this is natural and you should not feel guilty for taking time to just let your mind be still and quiet without all the ‘should have done’ thoughts that create restlessness. Make a promise to take time for yourself to reflect everyday and continue to learn about ways to become empowered over your health.

Shannon Yrizarry

Shannon Yrizarry is a health and wellness professional who was healed from chronic back pain in 2003 after studying the mind-body connection. She went on to study the physical and mental benefits of yoga and now teaches classes and workshops in Southern California. She has also worked as an organic health consultant and writes about how to eat a clean whole foods diet incorporating gluten-free, raw, and dairy free options.