I recently wrote this to a client:

These symptoms are merely an access point to your core imbalance.  At the core (or beginning) are two parts, 1. an emotional imprint usually from childhood that affects our relationship with the world and causes us stress, and 2. lifestyle including diet, exercise, and sleep…

Most of us just want our symptoms to go away.  Nobody likes pain or discomfort.  Why then do you think we feel pain or have discomfort?  These feelings are being generated by us, from our body’s intricate system of communication.  They are telling us that something is wrong.  When we listen closely, we can learn a lot about ourselves.  What foods irritate, what movements are limited, what parts aren’t receiving necessary nourishment, which are being overused, and what triggers my emotional imbalances and why.

One of the worst things we might do is to make the pain go away or the problem disappear without actually resolving the issue.  Medications and other procedures are too often used in this regard.  Treating symptoms without affecting their root.  In fact, many of our “cures” are leading to more serious conditions down the road.  Alcohol or drugs for emotional upset, coffee for morning lethargy and headaches, ibuprofen or stronger for muscle and joint pain, anti-acids for heartburn, stomach staples and diet pills for obesity, are all examples of symptomatic treatment that sweeps problems under the rug only to suppress our ability to find a true and lasting solution.

When one successfully finds and fixes the root, all branches may resolve.  Ask yourself, am I seeking symptomatic relief or a lasting cure?  Most External or Passive approaches (receiving treatment & taking medications) cannot provide the lasting cure, as the problem originates Internally and the solution will require an Active role like modifying lifestyle, correcting nutrition, and facing your demons.

Note that in the majority of cases it was not the x-ray or blood test that made you aware of the problem.  It is also true that the xray and blood test, while very revealing in many regards, may tell us nothing about the actual disorder.  The first thing we should trust is ourselves.  Not necessary our logical-intellectual self, but instead our emotional-feeling self.  The one that speaks to us not in words.  If we focus on the symptoms, we often silence the only voice we can really trust to know what’s going on.

I used to be amazed at how accurately clients could identify the problem if I asked, “what do you think is going on?”  I am not surprised anymore.  The answer lies within.  Your symptoms have made noise and captured your attention in order to alert you to a problem.  Listen closely and as you learn about the problem you will also uncover the solution.

Folks like me are trained to understand the language of pain and other symptoms.  Many allopathic healthcare providers consider pain bad and their ability to make it go away good.  I agree that a life without pain sounds good, but at what cost?  How are we to find the healer within without something to be healed?  How are we to know our own strength if we are not challenged?  How can we develop the empathy and compassion without knowing suffering first-hand?  How can we really know a life without pain, without first knowing what is pain?

I am on a spiritual journey eager to learn all the lessons I can.  Pain can be a great teacher.  Like all great teachers, they want you to learn the lessons and move on to the next challenge.  To overcome difficulty and develop resolve.  Pain is your friend on that journey.  The one that tells you the truth despite you not wanting to hear it.   The one that returns even after you’ve pushed them away.  Be a friend back.  Listen, learn, and be present.

What is your pain telling you?  How can you connect the symptoms to reveal the source?  It can take great courage to deal with pain.  The truth sometimes hurts.  But the truth can also set you free!

I recommend breathing in a quiet place for an extended period (meditation) and asking yourself these questions.  Sometimes the answer will come quickly, other times it requires patience and inquiry.


Author: adamcoleshapiro

- just a man, father, husband, son, brother, and friend to many trying to make a difference by sharing what i've learned and think will be useful to you. My background: Mr. Adam Shapiro is a Nationally Certified (NCCAOM) and Colorado State Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.), holding a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MSTCM) from The Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, CA. Prior to becoming an acupuncturist and herbalist, Adam studied several ancient martial arts including Tai Ji, Bagua, Hsing-I, and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, as well as healing arts known as Qi Gong. Adam's love for these Chinese internal arts paved the way for him to become a hands-on healer and heart-felt teacher sharing the gifts he's gained from his years of dedicated study and practice.

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