Think back to the last time your back ached, or you felt tension in your shoulders. What kind of emotional state were you in at the time? If you can’t remember or didn’t even notice, don’t worry. According to certain schools of thought, the location of your physical pain may actually be a clue as to the emotions you’re experiencing. Connecting those dots, then, could reveal exactly where you need to make changes in your life to improve your own wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.
In medical circles, the concept of pain is essentially as a symptom of something else. Defining it beyond that is challenging, however, because it’s inherently subjective. Nevertheless, the most commonly used definition is the one provided by the International Association for the Study of Pain, which reads, “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”
Indeed, pain isn’t just a physical experience, but an emotional one too. And those two areas are connected in more ways than you might think. After all, common turns of phrase such as “pain in the neck” or “sick to my stomach” must have come from somewhere. Both of those describe emotional reactions using physical comparisons.