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A simple I don't know allows you to resonate with your detour. You didn't know how. Instead you took a detour. Now tell yourself all the things that you imagine will happen out there. By moving around and speaking out loud, you release some of the pent-up energy so it can dissipate and flow on by. Once you have released some energy and imaginings, then step into the flowing energy of the wonder move, using the Hmmm? I wonder energy. Here are several wonder questions: I wonder how I have been holding myself back and creating a detour. I wonder how I can embrace this new energy. What the Mind-Body Connection Can Do for You There are a lot of options today for people who want to ease or control the physical pain they experience. Perhaps you've tried physical or chiropractic therapy, or taken various medications. Maybe you've even had surgery. Even after all of these tried-and-true medical solutions, you might still find yourself dealing with a stiff back, a sore ankle, inflammation in your wrists. Perhaps you have migraine headaches that go on for days. Whatever is ailing you, I want you to know that you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, nearly 25 percent of people in the United States have experienced chronic pain. That's about one in 10 people. This translates to a cost of more than $560 billion in medical care, lost wages, and disability programs.

C108: Well, I think there are several minutes more. S108: I was thinking about this business of standards. I somehow developed a sort of a knack, I guess, of -- well -- habit -- of trying to make people feel at ease around me, or to make things go along smoothly. I don't know whether that goes back to early childhood, or -- I mean, to our family situation where there was a large family, and so many differences of opinion and all that there always had to be some appeaser around (laughing) and seeing into the reasons for disagreeing and being sorta the oil that soothed the waters. Well, that is a role that I have taken for a long time. And -- I -- it's gotten so it really -- I mean, before this sort of thing came up I realized that as a person in a social situation or group of people like at -- oh, at a small meeting, or a little party, or something -- I could help things to go along nicely and appear to be having a good time. And I'd see where someone else needed more punch, or where someone didn't have a partner, or where somebody was bored with that person, and something -- somebody was standing in a corner, and I could go out and meet them. And sometimes I'd surprise myself by arguing against what I really thought when I saw that the person in charge would be quite unhappy about it, if I didn't. In other words I just wasn't ever -- I mean, I didn't find myself ever being set and definite about things. I could see what I thought was needed in the situation and what was the idea I thought might be interjected to make people feel happy, and I'd do that. I wonder how I can enjoy this experience. I wonder how I can create a sense of safety as I begin to take the first steps toward my edge. I wonder how I will know what steps to take next. Using Hmmm? I wonder allows both halves of your brain to work together as you face your unknown. Moving your body allows you to thaw your frozen pattern. Fire-breathing dragons are only trying to warm the frozen energy they encounter. Their approach is just a little too exciting for many people. As you breathe more, your fire-breathing dragon will calm down and invite you back from your detour. Then both of you can continue on your journey on the River of Gold.

Whatever brought you here, to the articles in this article, the fact that you are reading it shows that you're ready to try new approaches to better manage your pain. I know from my personal experience--as well as decades of helping patients with complex, multifaceted pain--that the exercises in the coming articles are powerful ways to manage pain. Mind-body medicine is an approach to health care that focuses on treating people as a totality of mind, body, consciousness, spirit, and soul. This type of treatment is an awareness that our emotions, thoughts, behavior, social surroundings, and spiritual beliefs all affect our health and well-being. It's clear that the brain and the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems all communicate with one another; Practicing medicine through the mind-body lens is now more mainstream than ever before, because science now knows that our thoughts and feelings create a chemical response in the body, which can then create physical and physiological changes. When you are exercising, for example, your brain produces its own chemicals called endorphins and enkephalins as a part of a complex system for regulating pain and managing mood. You've probably heard of the runner's high--that feeling of euphoria, energy, and reduced pain that many people experience after they've engaged in a long stint of aerobic activity. I find it amazing that with only a little bit of effort, we can begin making our own drugs to manage pain! My favorite saying that is used extensively in the pain and neuroscience world is motion is lotion. C109: In other words, what you did was always in the direction of trying to keep things smooth and to make other people feel better and to smooth the situation. I think that's what it was. Now the reason why I did it probably was -- I mean, not that I was a good little Samaritan going around making other people happy, but that was probably the role that fell easiest for me to play. I'd been doing it around home so much. I just didn't stand up for my own convictions, until I don't know whether I have any convictions to stand up for. C110: You feel that for a long time you've been playing the role of kind of smoothing out the frictions or differences or what not. S110: M-hm. C111: Rather than having any opinion or reaction of your own in the situation. Is that it? S111: That's it.

Action Step Begin today to spend even a few minutes on a long-ignored and partly finished project. Take note of what you have to do that would allow you to finish this project. Can you move forward without buying anything new? What small step can you take today? What step could you take tomorrow, and later this week? Keep taking small steps, one at a time, utilizing the warmth of your dragon's breath to warm your heart. When you are finished with the first project, look at another partly finished project. Do you still want to complete this project, or do you want to let it go and open up space for something new? If you do want to complete it, by when will you have begun to take action? Our bodies and brains have a beautiful relationship with each other. What we think affects who we are in one big, beautiful, human package. THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION THROUGH THE AGES The concept of the mind-body connection has been around for many generations. About 300 years ago, most medical systems throughout the world treated the mind and body as a whole. But during the seventeenth century, the Western world started to see the mind and body as two distinct entities. In the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton popularized the idea of curing illness with science. The discoveries of bacteria and, later, antibiotics led many doctors to believe that the mind had nothing to do with curing an ailment or illness. Basically, this new science created a separation of human spiritual and emotional dimensions from the physical body. Matters of the mind, soul, and spirit were left to the church, while doctors and scientists took care of the body.

Or that I haven't been really honestly being myself, or actually knowing what my real self is, and that I've been just playing a sort of false role. Whatever role no one else was playing, and that needed to be played at the time, I'd try to fill it in. C112: Whatever kind of person that was needed to kinda help out that situation you'd be that kind of person rather than being anything original or deeply your own. S112: I think so. I remember one summer. We used to go to the YWCA camp in the summers. And our family lived way out near the edge of town. We went with the school groups that went at a certain time during the summer. Well, we didn't know those children very well, because we didn't see them except on Sundays when we went to church. So going to camp wasn't an awfully satisfying experience because I felt quite strange among the children. Noticing our detours and the dragon's energy dancing in front of us is the very place where we can turn away from or experience some very uncomfortable emotions, body sensations, and thoughts. Few of us have been taught to turn, face, and lean into our emotions, to embrace and experience the very thing we run from. Instead we hope such uncomfortable sensations and emotions will wither and die. Dancing with your dragon is just that, moving with your body sensations and emotions, especially your fear. Your Creative Current is already flowing. Now see and experience the dragon's energy. Enjoy all of that flowing creativity! Action Step Look around your work and living space for the things that consume your time and energy and assist you in creating a detour experience. Do you really love these things?