Monday, November 15, 2010

Metaphors and Healing

Ah, metaphors.....I was reading my voluminous e-mail today and came across the following link:

Fascinating, thought I, and no surprise. Clients have been speaking to me in metaphors for as long as I have had clients, and I have been teaching them to heal in metaphors. And I did not invent this long predates me.

"It is a pain in the neck." Client had a difficult work situation AND a his neck.
"I am all off balance." Client could not walk AND had a stressful housing situation.
"I can't catch my breath." Client held her breath tightly AND felt overwhelmed.
"I have a knot in my stomach." Client feels tightness in the gut AND is anxious.
"I can't walk away." Client has pain in the foot AND a conflict at home she feels trapped by.

Sometimes we call this "organ language," and it reminds us that the symptom speaks to the problem as well as its solution. Irritable bowel, chronic pain, headache, chest pains often speak volumes about the conflicts and overwhelming, seemingly unresolvable stressors in our lives. And given the penchant of the brain for creating these metaphors, with metaphors they can often be resolved.

Symptoms such as these are often in a gray area between medical and psychological. We call them psychosomatic, except that term has become a pejorative that means to clients "It is all in your head." Then, when they are referred to me, it tends to be with a certain sense of resentment as well, perhaps, as shame. After all, the highly paid specialist cannot help and if there is no medical fix, then are you indeed making up or imagining your agony?

NO! Not at all. The mind and body, inseparable expressions of the same entity--YOU--are communicating a need--a problem seeking a better solution. Medical doctors struggle with ailments that relate to such complex needs because the cure is not medical, it is psychological. Resolve the conflict, reduce the stress, relieve the perception of overwhelm, heal the trauma, and the organismic equilibrium is restored and then, voila, so are health and comfort.

Hypnosis and therapeutic imagery are valuable tools for unlocking these complicated disorders born of the overwhelming complexity of being human. Combined with Rational Emotive Therapy to attain better understanding of the task of being you, the entire treatment package results in a healthier, more resilient being.

Medical interventions such as pills and surgery often are the key to feeling better, and certainly often are essential to survival in a world full of biological challenges. But being in balance with the environment in which you exist and with your internal world are the keys to thriving. Beyond feeling better there is often healing--a true cure for disorders that represent disequilibrium--a self out of balance with its existence.

Call the Center for Conscious Living to learn more. It IS all in your head because help is within--and you can learn to unlock it.

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