… Everything we have inherited or acquired (such as behaviours, applicable knowledge, skills) influences our individual dealings with ourselves. This is what sets us apart from our fellow human beings in all fundamental anatomical, physiological and psychological comparisons.
Basically, everyone could develop a stress-related illness as a reaction to stress or overloading tension. But in fact, not everyone does.
In dealing with our own musculoskeletal system, we have a great latitude in our movement and posture, through which we actively influence ourselves. No matter how aware we are of that, the way we move and stand determines the health and disease of our bones, joints, muscles and tendons, our connective and supporting tissues.
Thus, disorders of the musculoskeletal system can also arise from a lack of knowledge of themselves and the appropriate treatment of themselves.
In a way, a good relationship with our own body can be compared to a good partnership. The better we communicate, the better we understand each other. This way, we learn a lot about the peculiarities, reactions and needs of the other. This gives us the opportunity to develop an understanding of each other and to coordinate with each other. As a couple therapist, Michael Lukas Moeller described relationship work as the ever-new opportunity that makes love.
And for this as well as for any other work, it means predominantly joy, success and enrichment for us, we like to do it ourselves and from ourselves. For our own sake.
In terms of how we deal with our bodies, we can find ways in which we can always achieve understanding, agreement and good feelings.
Only if we actually take the opportunity to do so makes a healthier life possible.
Dealing with our “soft” competencies, with our thoughts, feelings and ideas needed for such relationship work is easier for some people than for others. Moeller cites a man talking about a couple-talk with his wife: “For my entire life, I never really found any access to myself. I couldn‘t answer the question ‘What moves me most at the moment?’ “
In the readiness to explore so far unfamiliar, the question arose for me individually on what I rather accepted:
- the inflammatory pain, the restrictions and the impending destruction of my joints through my rheumatoid arthritis or
- dealing with my feelings and my relationship with myself.
As for the handling of my feelings and my relationship with myself, I was much less experienced at the beginning of my illness. All in all, I would have described it as “as always” and hardly worth considering.
With the HeilÜben, we’ll first take a look at some of our abilities to bring them to better use. This brings with it a closer study of our own wishes, feelings and ideas. Back then I soon found this kind of intrusive, unpleasant and even disgusting. On the one hand, because words with which I associate good, healthy, and important things often come across in so much shallow and meaningless chatter. On the other hand, being aware of my feelings for me was like something strange touched me – my feelings for me were too often associated with discomfort: the impression of disorientation, embarrassment, shame, worrying about weakness and loss of control.
A possibility is that when we’re tensed (in a certain situation, before or in general) according to the tension’s extend the perceptions we perceive whilst being so tensed become paraesthesias:
Perceptions of ourselves, others or our surroundings.
Such paraesthesias, in turn, can cause tension.
Back then, when I was confronted with situations which were linked to paraesthesia I used to
- try to avoid them or
- to compensate them with something, allowing me to relax and thus feel better again: a good meal, a conversation with dear and trusted people, a movie, an exciting book. In the course of that I could diminish or eliminate the paraesthesia I felt for as long as the moment lasted.
If I couldn’t avoid or compensate the paraesthesias, because the opportunities didn’t arise for me at the time, I started to reduce unpleasant sensations by pushing them away with just a little more tension, suppressing them in order to stop feeling them.
Thus, I could put the concern with the cause of tension and the resulting discomfort off for a while. At the same time, dealing with my own feelings became increasingly unfamiliar to me and, from a certain degree of tension, even unpleasant. I was helpless. Unpleasantries cause defence and uncertainty And it isn’t unlikely to assume that most would rather avoid it. Especially when there are no good solutions in sight and for that, it is to be suspected that there are no solutions at all.
Therefore, I couldn’t make the experience that I can reduce stress and thus also tension and discomfort through relaxation.
This experience can be caught up and the targeted use of relaxation both in everyday life as well as additional challenges can be rehearsed.
Of course, the question of what has led to getting so much distance from oneself that one has to go in search of the connection between his emotions, thoughts and physical sensations. However, that would lead to the endless lands of psychology – and there is already much that has been written just waiting to be found and read.
My hope simply is that HeilÜben can relieve some stress and give some inspiration for a self-controlled and harmonic life.
With my HeilÜben I found naturally and without pretty words piece by piece more of myself. I experienced how enriching better access to oneself is and with what high intensity he has a relaxing and thus healing effect on my body. so I learned to take him seriously. The thing is not difficult in itself, only my inner threshold of unpleasant sensations (through feelings of embarrassment and failure) and comparatively little good experience seemed for a while almost too high.
If you too should clearly feel an inner defence threshold, calmly let the feelings come to your mind, then just set them aside in your attention and focus once more on the line of reasoning in the text.
When we‘re motivated to change something for ourselves for the better, when we refuse to suffer from pain, to be restricted or even destroyed by the effects of inflammation, then we need a discussion with our body about our needs. And by that also about those who in certain situations for body, soul and spirit can sometimes stand against each other. Sometimes I limit my time for sleep because I want to read a thriller or have an interesting conversation. Sometimes I want recognition until I realize that I do not want to pay the price and do not want to bend. Sometimes I write to some extent ignoring hunger or cold. Some limited, temporary deficiency I can take because I know about my actions and effects on my body. If this is not the case and things get unbalanced (up until to the point where one has to deal with a chronic inflammatory joint disease) for our own sake we need to stop and improve the relationship with ourselves.
But how do we lead such a conversation?
Such a conversation with our body we can lead to good ideas and feelings, movement, stretching and massage. And we can learn to understand its answers. This is an extremely fascinating process.
Our healthier fellow human beings usually achieve sufficient rest and relaxation in their everyday lives, as in blind flight, use compensatory sports and relaxation techniques in a purposeful manner and/or generally achieve a better dynamic of tension and relaxation in their posture and movement. Then tension won‘t become a continuous habit and in addition to that in overwhelming situations, a sufficient relief follows. All of this leads to the fact that the individual can stay somewhere below his maximum load even under stress. Often he himself knows little or nothing about it.
Each of us reacts to his sensations with tension and relaxation with some parts of muscles and connective tissue rather than with others. The result is that everyone has at least one body part he reacts with to emotional stress – no matter of which manner. To some it’s the hands, arms or shoulders, to other people, it’s the back, the neck, the feet … so much so that one can say, “I express myself, I think and feel, I react especially with them”. They are the place of the strongest physical expression of each of our ideas, thoughts and feelings. Even if we have learned to hide that to a large extent, we subsequently will express ourselves through them. Even when burdened by stress and overload:
when we are strained we fell paraesthesia
when we feel paraesthesia we‘ll strain again.
Although I felt the inflammatory pain and movement restrictions that followed from my physical expression of my discomfort, my habituation to the excessive tension of the body prevented nevertheless, that I as the affected person exactly this excessive tension as the cause of my complaints and could help me.
Nobody in his senses would lay his hand onto a hot stove and take medication to numb the pain because the cause to the pain is obvious. With my RA I found it to be crucially necessary to see the connection between the symptoms and their causes. Only this way it was possible for me to determine the cause. And the longer the cause stays unknown the effects are fatal.
As long as I was unaware of the connection between cause (overload due to tension) and effect (inflammation, pain, destruction), I felt a stronger pressure of suffering and need for action, but also perplexity, concern up to frustration and in the meantime even resignation in terms of healing. I couldn’t be healthy and also had to live with the constant subliminal strain from my usual but too high tension.
So one could wonder:
“Why did I fell ill with rheumatoid arthritis?”
“Why is it spreading to larger areas?”
“Why is it so continuously respectively occurring in phases?“
“Where do the other complaints come from?”
“How do I get rid of the RA?”
In addition to everything else, the consequences of overloading stress can also become clear by several simultaneously occurring or secondary disease.
Referring to the diseases of the locomotory system HeilÜben distinguishes two kinds of development of diseases of the locomotory system caused by overburdening tension on muscles and tendons which are also initiated by and maintained by poor posture:
1. Overloading tension leads to strain
that spreads in the body and is both palpable and visible in posture and movement restrictions. Muscular pain then draws attention to impending destruction – including the risk to the joints. In excessive tension, muscles and tendons also affect the bones and joints to which they are connected: they are then subjected to unusual, damaging stresses. The mechanical destruction of the joints begins “from the outside” on the bony structure and in an advanced course also causes the painful inflammation of the synovial membrane and the surrounding tissue.
2. Overloading tension leads directly to inflammation in joints.
Like other people, I stretch my muscles to keep and/or move in many different everyday movements. My tense and/or contracted and thus shortened (contracted) muscles are then as clear as any other visible or palpable. But in the past, under stress, I only consciously or unconsciously let my larger muscles, both in movement and posture, loosen up much more than many of my fellow human beings, without lowering my tension. But that did not make me any healthier, because no matter how much more relaxed my bigger muscles, I got tension on my nerves, and in case of stress and bad posture I was automatically overloaded with muscle and tendon cells on bones and joints tense, the impulses to move forward or even to remain silent. My joints suffered from overloading stimuli, such as the unusual pressure and pull of the taut and/or contracted (contracted) tendon cells and the muscle cells connected to them, without any tension, with larger muscles or tendons being noticeably tense. My RA proved to be the result of such overloads. My joints became inflamed “from the inside” without any previous mechanical destruction of the bony structure.
The effect of HeilÜben-practice showed me that depending on how far I reached the actual relaxation of my previously so soft and relaxed appearing muscles and tendons and thereby also relieved me some malposition, the inflammatory and thus destructive process in my joints went back and with him the inflammatory pain. As a result, when I could stay permanently under my upper limit, my rheumatoid arthritis healed. Healing from stress-related RA means, from the point of view of healing, that the destructive chronic inflammatory process eventually comes to a standstill. A distinction is made between the disease itself and its possible consequential damage.
The more we continue to reduce our burdens, the further we get below our upper limit.
The farther we get below our upper limit, the less quickly we will be able to cope with overloading burdens, which can cause a variety of illnesses.
My stress-related rheumatoid arthritis was completely healable because I could stop many overloads, prevent it from the beginning or learn to handle stress differently than before.
I found excessive tension in my entire everyday life:
• at rest and on the move, with strength, speed, stamina and coordination;
• in response to certain events and
• in response to the expectation of certain events.
Stress-related rheumatoid arthritis is at the same time from the point of view of healing:
◦ expression of the whole person,
◦ the visible tip of an iceberg from strains due to some very specific bad habits and
◦ a physical reality of its own, which also causes a further overload and works again through exactly the same bad habits and is maintained by them (chronic course.
Otherwise, one would merely work on the symptom in an attempt to fix something that is considered the whole problem, even though it is just the tip of the iceberg.
In the HeilÜben-programme rheumatoid arthritis is synonymous with the chronic inflammatory process and healing synonymous with the end of this process.
With my HeilÜben, I dealt with the completion of the rheumatoid arthritis-causing chronic inflammatory process and not with a possible regression of existing deformities or the reconstruction of destroyed tissue.
The quality of how we deal with ourselves makes the difference between if posture and movement are unpleasant straining or even painful and cause inflammation and wear or if they operate soothing and strengthen us.
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All the best!