Emotional pain from the past can lodge in the body and become physical pain in the present. If you ignore the emotional pain, you are basically ignoring the root cause of the physical pain, and may find yourself remaining in physical discomfort. This is a difficult concept for many of us to grasp—the connection between emotional stress and physical illness. What is easier to understand is that regret, guilt, shame, resentment, jealousy and fear are emotions that tend to feed our feelings of inadequacy and it is very difficult to experience full and complete healing when you do not feel that you are worthy.

When I teach sound medicine, I invite people to touch a place in their body that is in distress and make the sound of the pain they are feeling. Consistently, the sounds of the pain are emotional. Whether the person is expressing the pain of the body itself or their feelings about having that pain, the emotional body is suffering. If the person sounding stays present to the feeling, they often see visions or remember experiences from their past as they are making the sound of the pain. This is when the person sounding recognizes that some of the physical pain locked in their body is actually associated with profound experiences and associated feelings from their past.

Some years ago a woman asked to do some sound healing work with me. When she realized the sounds were taking her into memories from the past, she stopped doing the work, because she did not want to “live” in or revisit the past. To her way of thinking, the sound medicine was taking her out of the present moment. It was understandably difficult for her to realize that her emotions from the wounds of the past were the driving forces behind her present illness and her current emotional reactions. Treatments of various kinds weren’t working for her. So there she was, trapped between the past and present, and not able to be fully present to the truth of her experiences.

Many of us have underlying emotional needs that get met by remaining hurt or angry. We get to be in the right or feel vindicated. We get to feel pity and a certain degree of compassion for ourselves. We get to finally be acknowledged for all of the pain we have suffered from our past experiences, often at the hands of someone else. We get to be the noble one who lived through the abuse. But we do not get to be spiritually, physically or emotionally free. We do not get to experience the full capacity of our love. That part of us is constantly being held back as the other needs get met through our illness and depression.

In order for the past to truly release and heal, we need to become present to those feelings, needs and beliefs from the past that are running our lives in the here and now. When we understand with our hearts how these feelings and beliefs came to be, we are free. When we can experience true compassion for ourselves, the old feelings simply dissolve because they no longer need to exist.

This quote from Echkart Tolle from “The Power of Now,” beautifully exemplifies this very concept of being present to what is rising up from the past:

"So deal with the past on the level of the present. The more attention you give to the past, the more you energize it, and the more likely you are to make a ‘self’ out of it. Don’t misunderstand: Attention is essential, but not to the past as past. Give attention to the present; give attention to your behavior, to your reactions, moods, thoughts, emotions, fears, and desires as they occur in the present. There’s the past in you. If you can be present enough to watch all those things, not critically or analytically but non-judgmentally, then you are dealing with the past and dissolving it through the power of your presence. You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present."

In my own work in healing wounds from the past, I have discovered that a healthy dose of compassion for myself makes it much easier to remain present to the feelings that can rise and fall as I honor my truth in each moment. I do not need to do anything to or about the feelings, other than to be a loving witness to them. If I choose, I can sound out, dance, draw or write the feelings as a way of honoring them. Ultimately, it is in the witnessing that the old and painful feelings are finally acknowledged, along with the stories and experiences that accompany these feelings. Once fully witnessed, they simply no longer need to exist and I am free.

Once the emotional body is sprung from its trapped existence, it is easier to invite the cells of the body to embrace their healing freedom. When this happens, the methods you choose for your physical healing can be more effective. Now your emotional body is a supporter in your cause for physical wellness. Once you decide to be present to the emotions, you can experience a great catharsis of congested energy, and along with it a release of pain from the past.

Author's Bio: 

Misa Hopkins is the author of the best-selling book, “The Root of All Healing: 7 Steps to Healing Anything,” named the first-aid handbook for the new 21st Century consciousness. Hopkins is an astute observer of human motivation and potential. Her observations about the healing progress of her clients and her own miraculous healings led her to ground-breaking conclusions about why people remain ill. In her writing and workshops, she provides insights about breaking through barriers to wellness. You can ready more of her work at http://www.Self-HealingSecrets.com.