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What Does My Body Hurt?

Updated: Jan 16

Most of my writing is to help understand the working of what I call the automatic brain, or AB for short. Most in medicine refer to this as the autonomic system. This is a primitive brain—primitive in the sense that it has not changed in tens of thousands of years. It is responsible for controlling much of our physiology, and in my opinion, behavior. The AB is hardwired to protect us from anything that it picks up externally from our environment and internal from our bodily systems that may pose danger to us. The perception of danger is different for everyone, but the reaction is universal—fight-or-flight.

When the AB detects danger and this reaction ensues, we are automatically and instantaneously thrust into an extremely uncomfortable state, because 9 times out of 10 we have no real place to run and no person or thing to fight. Therefore, the reaction is turned inward upon us. Many of the so-called dangers that the AB detects are actually below our level of awareness. In addition, they may not even be real dangers at all but a culmination of childhood associations and memories that have been stored only to be later referenced during adulthood.

As our body prepares to fight or flee, our muscles contract strongly to propel our body. As they contract, they exert an enormous pressure on our tendons, ligaments, joints, and even nerves. This activity microscopically cuts off blood flow. The groundbreaking work by John E. Sarno has shown how this can lead to many, if not the majority, of pain syndromes.

The idea of “emotional” pain may be very difficult for many to accept, but I can tell you from my personal and 27-year professional experience as a doctor, it does occur—very often.

For those of you suffering from pain that your doctor has assured you, and you have agreed, is coming from a structural problem, I ask that you consider the above chart and begin reading information to understand that this pain may be serving as a distraction; a distraction for you achieving those things in life that are right for you—living life to your fullest. You may hate me for even suggesting that it is “all in your head”, but I ask only that you take a step back and reevaluate your life and even some of the challenges you faced as a child. Dr. Sarno has written several books that can help as well as my first book Brain Drain, or even my video on this website.

Don’t let your body get in the way of discovering your full potential and living your life’s purpose. You are too important.

© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD

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