Focusing and Physical Pain
Focusing practice is explored in many ways. I myself have put it to the test in every aspects of my life, time and time again. One might think that going inside is more of spiritual or emotional practice, but one thing to remember about Focusing is that it is a body practice. It is all about going within, seeking answers and a sense of rightness that flows from within you.
Focusing is a BODY practice.
It is not mediation. We are looking for places in our body where emotional “stuckness” presents itself. Once we “tune in” we can discover the multitude of ways our body communicates through sensations, images and feelings throughout the body. These places tend to present themselves from the area around the throat (and I invite you to check in to that place in you now) the heart space, the stomach and the whole center of us.
Of course things can present in the head, as a headache, the neck as neck pain, back pain, cramps, muscle soreness. It’s all a part of how the body talks to us.
But what to we do?
How do we Focus around Physical pain, the kind we might experience after a major injury or surgery. What role can Focusing play in the moments before, during and after an event like this in our lives.
Early on in my Focusing life I had injured my calf muscle playing squash. At the time I thought that I had been hit in the back of the leg by the racquet of my squash partner. I was convinced that he had cracked the back of my calf with the snap of a bamboo rod. That my friends was pain. A shooting pain I had never really felt before that moment. Thankfully the injury did not require surgery, but it did give me the opportunity to examine the pain that was there.
I did not do this in an abstract way.
I used Focusing techniques to get inside that injury, to be with it, to talk with it in some way and to understand some important things. One memory is something around putting your best foot forward another is about pushing to hard. The important thing is that through this Focusing I gained a bodily Understanding of what happened and I could take this knowledge and Focusing into the healing process. I learned something more about myself, about the before and after and about a new way of self healing that took into account the whole.
Of course I saw doctors, homeopaths and other experts, but I included my Focusing in this healing as well. Since that time, I have applied this Focusing to various scenarios, from minor headaches to Flus, colds and Dental visits.
Some of you might remember recent podcasts with Barbara Dickinson. I learned that Barbara was going to be having Hip replacement surgery. In our conversations I shared some ways I had used Focusing around physical pain. She also agreed that after the surgery she would share the many different ways she used Focusing before, during and after her Surgery.
So please sit back and enjoy my conversation with Barbaera Dickinson.
Interactive Focusing teacher Barbara Dickinson finished a long career at the US Federal Reserve in 2010, and now consults on strategic organizational improvement. She has earned, among other credentials, certification as a Strengths Performance Coach from the Gallup Organization.
In 2006, she learned the practice called Focusing,
completing her certification as a Focusing Professional in 2009, and is now an enthusiastic learner and teacher of the many facets of focusing and the related practice, “Thinking at the Edge.” After volunteering her services to The Focusing Institute as a management consultant in 2011 and 2012, Barbara decided to share her expertise more widely as a strengths-oriented consultant interested in helping individuals and non-profit organizations innovate, think and work at their “edge,” improve emotional intelligence and build better teams.
Interactive Focusing (IR)
She is especially interested in applying the Interactive Focusing method to help people form healthier relationships at all levels.
Barbara lives in New Jersey with Holly, her Jack Russell Terrier.
A few Articles and further reading
TAME – The Evolutionary Tale of How We Came to Work at Multiple Edges
With Margaret Herrick, CFT
The Folio, Volume 27, Number 1, 2016
Focusing with “Baby On Board”
The Folio, Volume 24, Number 1, 2013
Emergence: A Glimpse of Life Beyond Sarcasm and Criticism by B. J. Dickinson, Focusing Connection, September 2010 (Vol. XXVII, No. 5)
The Focusing Chair by B. J. Dickinson, Focusing Connection, January 2008 (Vol. XXV, No. 1)
How I Spent My Summer School, by B. J. Dickinson (http://www.focusing.org/bulletinboard/insert-FISS.pdf)