Every year that goes by, especially in the time of COVID, the underlying issue that is bringing people in for physiotherapy is increasingly a tension-based discomfort that doesn’t really make sense to the person experiencing it. It can be hard to understand why your neck or back hurt when you don’t have an incident or accident to attribute the pain to. Physicians default paradigm is that pain is related to some level of inflammation in your body so commonly start by prescribing you an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleeve), or diclofenac to help you with your discomfort. Although these medications can be helpful with your pain, they are targeting a symptom that may or may not even be inflammation and are providing you some relief without challenging you to question why you are uncomfortable or consider what you may need to do differently moving forward.
We are emotional beings living in a chaotic world on a planet that has an unrelenting force called gravity. Our brains are both our biggest assets and our biggest liabilities in that they allow us to think, explore, communicate, and create, but these processes also cause us to experience worry, fear, and loneliness. Our emotions and thought processes have physical manifestations in our bodies that can feel both good and bad. Unfortunately, because many of us become so cerebral, our bodies become more vehicles to walk our heads around, than the tools that we experience the world through. We hold tensions in our bodies as both emotional holding patterns and biomechanical strategies to deal with gravity, what you know as posture.
My first book Why Things Hurt, takes a deep dive into the biomechanical factors of posture, shoes, and hypermobility while starting to touch on the role of emotion and perseverance. My new book Why We Hurt, explores the physical manifestations of stress, anxiety, fear, and loneliness in the experience of being you. It explains how we hold our day-to-day tensions in our muscular systems and our deeper-seated issues in the tissues around our organs. It starts by providing a basic framework of anatomy and connects that anatomy to real-life stories of people navigating through an imperfect world of work, family, and strained medical systems.
Why We Hurt explains how stress and trauma are held in your nervous system and can create a regenerating source of tension in your muscles. It helps you understand the physicality of your heart and lungs being your emotional center and how grief and sadness can create tension that limit the comfortable movement of your neck, chest, and shoulders. It discusses the role of IMS dry needling in releasing tension, a manual therapy technique called visceral manipulation to connect you to your insides, and the potential role of altered states in breaking the tunnel vision created by chronic pain. Written from the perspective of a physiotherapist that has personally experienced trauma and helped others through their own for the past twenty years, Why We Hurt: Understanding How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Body, is Brent Stevenson’s tool to empower individuals with empathy and awareness while trying to draw connections between healthcare and education systems.
The book will be available in paperback, audiobook and Kindle formats starting January 10th on Amazon and most audiobook platforms. Click Here to Learn More