I’ve been testing out those sensory deprivation float pods on chronic pain for the past week. Dealing with chronic pain while floating in pitch black for an hour really makes you start to analyze it.
One of the intentions of these weightless float pods is for chronic pain relief, but that wasn’t the case when I went for my session yesterday. Every pain I get throughout the day seemed to happen all at once when I was in the water. Arthritic joint pain, shooting head pains, stinging nerve pain over every inch of my body. Looking back now, I could have just gotten out of the pod and called that day’s session a bust. But I stayed, because I was enclosed in the complete dark with nothing to do but focus on the pain that I usually try and shut out. So I did just that. For an hour, I laid there and intentionally felt every single pain as it came, settled away, and new ones flared somewhere else. I remained still and focused my mind on each and every pain and simply….felt them.
And you know what?! It was so beautiful to feel.
Obviously pain seems negative, but with autoimmune disease, it’s constant and you need to find a way to look at it in a method that isn’t negative, or you’ll never get out of a hopeless mindset. So I am grateful for every single pain that shot through my body for that hour. It meant I was alive, and I was lucky enough to FEEL things happening in my body. Even though it’s pain, how COOL is it to FEEL your shoulder joint?!? It’s fascinating to me that my skin randomly just starts burning at unpredictable stimuli, because who gets to feel their nerves, even when they’re going haywire?! I feel closer to my body and its processes through pain, because it pulls me out of my surroundings for a moment and forces me to focus in on myself and what I’m feeling, no matter how unpleasant. How lucky I am to maintain perspective through and live with chronic pain, and how lucky I am to have a body that’s just trying its hardest to protect me.
The next time you feel pain, I implore you to zero in on it. Feel it, close your eyes and embrace your body’s way of signaling that something is wrong, but it’s working on it. It loves you and wants to protect you so much that it’s alerting you to something harmful, be it inflammation, gluten, an external wound. And give your body that credit and that thank you for sending you a warning signal. Appreciate your pain.