Q. I recently went to my first yoga class because a friend recommended it. I had been complaining of stiffness and pain in my neck for quite awhile. When the yoga teacher was talking to me about my neck she asked if I had a counselor to talk about some stressful issues that I might be holding on to and storing in my neck. Really? Is that possible?
— Janie
A. Yes Janie it is possible to store trauma, anger, resentments, etc in different parts of your body. You are very lucky to have found that yoga teacher!! When traumatic or painful events occur the sooner we begin processing them the better. We may not even realize we are holding on to painful feelings, so talking may not be the first thing on our list.
A real test for determining if we are long overdue for an in-depth talking, sharing, venting session is if we are consciously aware we are still feeling angry, resentful, etc and continue ruminating or we notice we have more aches and pains that previously. You may even go to the doctor, share your symptoms, run tests, spend lots of money and find that there is nothing medically wrong with you.
Pamela was sent to me by her primary care physician because her physical complaints continued even though he could not find any medical test to prove she was sick. He referred her to counseling which made her very angry. She thought he was dismissing her. But actually he was very astute (like the yoga teacher). In therapy she was finally able to talk out loud about how miserable she felt in her marriage. She had so much resentment towards her husband, stated she should never have married him and felt she could not divorce him. This is powerful energy, it has to go somewhere.
Janie you shared additional information that you also had a very intense and traumatic event that occurred in your life. You mentioned resentments that you harbor but also stated that you try not to think about them. Again, resentments carry powerful energy, this energy doesn’t just float around forever, it settles somewhere. That is why talking to a trusted friend or therapist is called therapy, it is good for your health, even though at that moment it may not feel like it.
Your stiff and painful neck could have a medical cause, getting it checked out might be a good idea. But talking therapy might surprise you with symptom relief. If nothing else it may give you insight to make some life changes.
Remember all life events are stored in the body. The body does not forget. So when our body talks to us, it is wise to pay attention.

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