Yesterday I mentioned how a student got to the bottom of a chronic headache. She’d been noticing that every time she sat down for her daily meditation her head would start to hurt. I casually mentioned, “Have you asked it what it wants to tell you?” Within 24 hours she had her answer: It appeared whenever she put too much pressure on herself, not just during meditation, but in all aspects of her life.
This is not medical advice. This is not universal advice. Headaches, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. I am not averse to taking painkillers or going to a doctor. But this anecdote is a good example of how we all have an inner intelligence, and when we pay attention to it, it gives us answers. In this case, I provided my student with no instruction on how to talk to her headache; I only suggested it was possible. She herself figured out how to go within and ask, and have her chattering mind step aside long enough so she could receive an answer.
This is the fundamental structure of somatic work: Notice a motion/feeling/sensation somewhere in your system. Open to it (using breath, curiosity, compassion to override the know-it-all ego’s urge to supply an answer). Receive its message. It is so simple, but when done in earnest (no pressure, no expectations) it can lead to tremendous self-discovery.
How do you know the answer you get is true? From how you feel. In my student’s case, her headache subsided. And instead of viewing it as a nuisance or problem, she now sees it as an ally, a messenger reminding her not to be so hard on herself.
I learned this work through the Akashic Records, but since then I’ve come across so many similar therapeutic techniques. I love sharing these tools with clients so they can do this work for themselves. Initially it helps to have someone hold space for you while you learn to hold space for yourself. Reach out if you wish to experience this in meditation or an Akashic Record reading!