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What’s forgiving got to do with chronic low back pain?

Posted Jan 21 2010 12:00am

Paul Schell shared this article with me and I thought it was worth sharing with you. The article was written by Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. for the www.GoodTherapy.org website.

It starts by talking about a guy named Garrett who is holding onto anger and is feeling helpless in the situation at the same time. Dr. Raymond describes how “his body became tense and stiff as if he was protecting himself from being taken off guard again. Garret got another attack of low back pain that always seemed to affect him when he was angry and unable to do anything about it.”

After an explanation of Garret’s scenario and pattern as an example, Dr. Raymond goes on to explain how research has found several important links between chronic pain and anger and forgiveness. A couple highlights are (read the article to see detailed explanations):

Expressing anger lowers leval of pain and increases recovery time.

Comfort with forgiveness reduces pain, and distress.

Muscle tension from anger strains the lower back inducing pain.

Forgiveness dampens the charged emotional brain that causes pain.

The article goes on to talk about how science has shown us how emotions and anger and resentment are linked to back pain and what you can do from an emotional standpoint to help get rid of the pain. , it is well worth reading!

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