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Where Emotions Get Stored as Physical Pain in the Body

  • Published on: 29 March, 2017
  • Last update: 24 August, 2017

I have a #storytime for you guys about how powerful emotions can be in terms of physical pain. I’m going to start off with a little background on Nick and I. First of all, we are EXTREMELY different. Although we grew up in the same city, we did so on opposite sides. I was sheltered in my safe suburban neighborhood where the only people I saw were little Italian nonnas!

Yet Nick’s neighborhood (and thus, his worldview) was unpredictable, unsafe, and often violent. There are pros and cons to both experiences, and we have SO many theories on what each situation does to the human psyche. While I never had to fear for my life, hurt someone, or be hurt myself – I am NOT aware enough of my surroundings and I’m highly out of touch with my primal instincts. And while Nick is scarred in many ways from the crazy things that happened in that world… he is incredibly capable of protecting himself and holding his own. He doesn’t back down. He is smart as a whip, quick on his feet. The bond he shares with his brothers (blood or not) is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, because he quite literally had to trust them with his life – over and over again. I learn so much from his primal brain and his protective nature. Yet at times, the PTSD-esque fear that has never left his being holds the both of us back from new experiences.

As you can imagine, traveling is tough for him. A man who learned to be suspicious of everything and everyone must quickly adjust to & trust new surroundings and people. Which brings me to the present: since we’ve been in Costa, we’ve met some amazing local friends. Yet every time I’d ask Nick if we could invite them to our place, he would shut down, retreat into old fears, and go into protection mode. Many of these were rational of course – it’s not wise to have strangers know where you’re staying. But after 3+ weeks of getting to know a select few individuals, I (with my instinct to trust + nurture) was yearning to welcome them into our home and cook up some comida!

As of 3 days ago, he was still unsure. That day, I began having INTENSE shoulder pain! Nothing unusual happened and I was not injured. Swimming, walking, even sleeping hurt. I looked up the emotional factor and of course, it relates to ‘carrying a burden on your shoulders.’ I didn’t feel stressed, so I didn’t understand what this meant.

Last night we finally had our beautiful friend Josue over for dinner. As I sat on the couch with him, laughing and learning Spanish, I realized that I was no longer painfully aware of my posture. I was able to put pressure on my left side. The pain was disappearing!!

I knew in that moment my pain was from carrying the burden of Nick’s worries on my shoulders. It kills me when I see him avoiding beneficial experiences & friendships due to his past. I put a lot of the responsibility to help heal that on myself – and of course it affects me too because we are a couple who has experiences (or not!) together. When he let go of the fear, so did I. I was quite literally + physically, feeling his burden.

I woke up this morning completely pain free. And while I know there are SO many factors that go into physical pain and illness, emotional blockages and burdens are one of them. This emotional stagnation weighs on us & slows down the flow of our innate healing energy (Qi or Prana in Eastern medicine). “You have to feel it to heal it” – the more you acknowledge and move past/release these negative emotions and experiences, the more you free up that energy to do its healing, restoring, clean-up work!

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Happiness Exposed

This is so helpful, thank you!


I really liked reading your story. It was very helpful. I am going to look more into this as this may help me solve things from a different perspective 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

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I just posted a new blog post & it’s one of those long personal ones like my post after Jamaica on shame & attitudes surrounding sex. This one is called “HOW THE PHYSICAL CAN MIRROR THE EMOTIONAL: MY SCAR STORY” and it veers into lots of emotional/spiritual talk (like mentioning the heart chakra and energetic blockages). If that’s not your thing, skip this one… but if it is, click the link in my bio to read because I felt it was important to share.❤️
Here’s an excerpt from the post… 👇🏼
Do you ever think about how emotions can manifest physically in our bodies, whether consciously or subconsciously? Some manifestations are more obvious: stomach “butterflies” when you’re worried or excited, the urge to empty your bladder when you’re scared, or your blood pressure skyrocketing from anger. And yet other manifestations are much more subtle and complex… starving our bodies of nourishment when we hate what we see in the mirror, or abusing a damaging vice (such as drugs) when emotional pain becomes too much to bear.
When I was 16, I did something very strange to my body. 🔸
I was always the “good girl” - an overachiever who wanted to be PERFECT physically, academically, and any other “ly” I could control. I never wanted tattoos or even a second ear piercing. And yet one day, I woke up and asked someone to pierce my chest — exactly where you see the scar above.
NONE of my friends could understand why I wanted or did this. I certainly couldn’t figure it out myself. Now 8 years later, it finally makes sense… but we need to go back a bit further first.
When I was 14, I got into a relationship with an older boy who made me feel extremely special. I thought that feeling was love, but I now understand it was the highs & lows of a game called control. This person hated when I wore certain clothing (even just shorts) to school because “other guys would look at me.” And of course, I was HIS and only his to look at - a bond of ownership that a vulnerable girl with a chaotic home saw as a privilege… READ THE REST OF THE POST @ THE LINK IN MY BIO 👆🏼❤️
SWIPE👉🏼 THANK YOU @FATHEADFRANCES! 😭💘 Forget diamonds… MAGNESIUM is a girl’s best friend. 💎 And yes, I bedazzled my own magnesium kit just for the purpose of this pun. #Dedication ✨ While you’re waiting on the launch of our topical cramp relief salve (which is meant to provide women with a safe self-care tool for immediate relief), give our anti-stress magnesium kit a try to get to the ROOT of the problem. The link is in my bio! 👆🏼
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, increasing magnesium is one effective way of treating menstrual cramps, as well as other types of menstrual-related pain including headaches and nausea. 🔥
👉🏼 Why? Because magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant! Proper levels are crucial for relaxing both blood vessels AND muscle tension/contractions (including painful menstrual cramping). 👉🏼 Magnesium controls the entry of calcium into each and every cell - this process happens every time a nerve cell fires. Without enough magnesium, too much calcium gets inside the cell resulting in cramping, blood vessel constriction, migraines and anxiety. (Magnesium is required for our muscles to relax, while calcium is needed for contraction).
👉🏼 Red blood cell magnesium is found to be lower in women who have PMS compared to those who don’t. The same was found in headache & migraine sufferers!
👉🏼 On top of all this, magnesium has major benefits for the edema, bloating, depression & mood swings that often accompany menstrual pain. Without going into too much detail, it helps regulate the HPA axis AND decreases something called ‘aldosterone’ which is a major cause of fluid retention.
✨TO USE MAGNESIUM AS A NATURAL THERAPY FOR CRAMPS: Take 350 mg daily for at least three days leading up to menstruation, continuing through your full cycle. For best results, take 100-300mg daily the rest of the month to replenish stores on a cellular level. ✔️350mg = 1 serving (2 tsp) of our CALM THE MIND magnesium tea, OR
✔️10 sprays of our CALM THE BODY magnesium spray 3x a day. I find it very helpful to spread out these 3 applications morning/noon/night, as a continual intake helps to consistently smooth tense muscle.❤️
😳😳 This is a still frame from the 12:23 mark of my Gua Sha video - all I did was add a black line down the center so you can see the difference between the two sides of my face! 👀The “before” side I didn’t touch with my tools yet, and the “after” side was from the 5-10 minute demo I did scraping in an upward/outwards motion. ✨ It’s like I got a face lift 😂 and my eye looks SO much more open. NO magical creams, just an ancient massage technique that anyone can do at home! That’s what happens when you release the tight fascia and muscles in your face that hold onto so much emotional tension and stress. This is AMAZING for perfectionists and anyone with anxiety who holds tension in their jaw. If you grind your teeth at night, try this right before bed and focus on your neck/jawline area. .
If you haven’t seen my video yet, I embedded it into the new blog post @ the link in my bio. 👆🏼👆🏼👆🏼 The blog post contains a written version of everything I said in the video, links to where I got my Gua Sha tools, AND at the end has a whole section dedicated to information about the lymphatic system. ✔️ Why? Because this Gua Sha scraping massage technique is meant to move any stagnant lymphatic fluid in the face that contributes to puffiness, premature aging and blemishes. .
🚨It goes much deeper than beauty, though - did you know that your lymphatic system is twice as big as your circulatory system? (It has a whole network of lymph vessels just like your blood vessels). Yet while your circulatory system has your heart to pump and clean your blood automatically, your lymph has NO built-in pump whatsoever. Lymph only moves manually through exercise, massage, and diet; which is why it’s so easy to get backed up with our modern lifestyle. 🍕 In the blog post I talk about symptoms of a sluggish lymphatic system, the 6 most common causes, and 7 solutions you can implement today to get things moving. 🌀🔥
When you learn about aphrodisiac herbs in class on Valentine's Day


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