Podcast: Episode 102: Feeling Is Necessary for Healing – One Key Component That Most People Miss

Our society doesn’t typically honor feeling. It tends to honor more stoicism, pushing symptoms aside and carrying on. But feeling your feelings is a crucial part of the healing process.

You can’t just think your way to healing, you have to feel your way there. This is something so many people miss, but naming and acknowledging your feelings will enable you to change habitual patterns and make progress in your recovery.

In this episode, I’m sharing the reasons that feeling is necessary for healing and the power that comes with naming what’s going on in your body. Hear why feeling your feelings is such an important concept, and some tips to help you name, acknowledge, and feel your own feelings.

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What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why naming your feelings will allow you to chase your symptoms less.
  • Some examples of how this shows up in my work.
  • How to build new habitual patterns and the importance of doing so.
  • Why you cannot change anything you are not aware of.
  • How I approach this in my work with clients.

Featured on the Show:

  • If this is resonating and you want my support, or you are a health professional looking for certification training, email us at [email protected] and see how we can help.

Full Episode Transcript:

Male Announcer: You’re listening to From Pain to Possibility with Susi Hately. You will hear Susi’s best ideas on how to reduce or even eradicate your pain and learn how to listen to your body when it whispers so you don’t have to hear it scream. And now here’s your host, Susi Hately.

Hello and welcome, or welcome back. With this episode I want to dig into this idea of naming feelings and why this is an important part of the healing process. I spoke briefly about it in the previous episode on listening to your body, and I want to dig into it a little bit more here because it's such an important concept in the healing process. Because, number one, you can't change anything you're not aware of.

So by naming something you innately enable your awareness to grow around whatever that naming or whatever that experience is, right? So where attention goes, energy flows, awareness grows. You'll find yourself chasing symptoms less. You'll understand more about contributes to the way that you're feeling.

But before I get into this, if you are finding that what I'm saying is really resonating for you and it's like deep down you're like, “Yeah, okay, this makes a lot of sense for what I'm experiencing,” and you want my support for private sessions, then do send us an email at [email protected].

And if you're a health professional or a professional yoga teacher and you're wanting certification training, and getting the same kinds of results that I do, then do the same thing. It all starts with a 30 minute call with Kiya and you can book that directly through our email at [email protected].

Okay, so let's dig in. A lot of people will ask me how is it that I get the results that I do? Like, why is it that my clientele consistently get better? What is the key to the process? And the reality is, is there's a lot that contributes to why I get the results that I do. But the first part that's really important is that I'm not the one getting the results.

I fundamentally believe that that's not my job. And by owning that that's not my job, it enables me to have a healing relationship with my client. I like to say that my client is the one who's really doing the noodling through this process of becoming aware and tuning into their body and their feeling. And a lot of people, when they come to me, they really struggle with the feeling piece. And oftentimes they're chasing symptoms.

So as I can help the person feel, they tune into their own innate experience and then they can come back to me and express that experience, whether it's through our actual session or through our Slack channel that we have communication back and forth between their sessions. But it's in them expressing like, first of all, experiencing the feeling and then expressing that feeling. And then through that, we can then map out more about, okay, what's contributing to what? So that they can start to see the pattern.

The power really is in the pattern, not in a single data point. So then my job becomes one of allowing and taking that data that they're sharing, and helping them see the pattern, right? Helping them noodle through that, right? So when someone is not in that space of really like noodling through it, becoming aware and feeling, they often are circling around and chasing after symptoms.

That's not uncommon, right? Symptoms are what gets our attention and symptoms are what we want to have gone, right? And sometimes people would really just prefer to have relief. Of course, we're all human beings, I'm no different, right? So taking a quick fix, whether it's medication or an adjustment or whatever, cannabis, whatever that is to help relieve the pain, then do it. To get that relief can give you that breathing space of like, okay, okay, I think I've got this.

And then that's where you then get to do the work because you get that relief and then you can begin to notice and pay closer attention to what's going on. Because as I said at the beginning of the episode, you cannot change anything you're not aware of. So fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your view, you've got to learn how to feel. You have to learn how to feel, right.

And so there is going to be some time there. If you are someone who's taking medication or other support of that nature, there's going to be some point where you'll use the medication for relief. Then you'll start to use that medication as a pause. And then as you become more and more and more aware, as you're able to feel more and as you're able to see those patterns, you're going to notice that you're able to do more from a body, breath, and brain perspective to support your healing process.

You'll recognize more of the patterns that are contributing to why you're feeling what you're feeling. And you're going to notice the use of the medication going down. Now, I can't tell you exactly the way that process works. It's just something that I’ve noticed happening with the clientele that I work with who are utilizing medication. They have a desire to reduce the medication and they're starting to recognize what's contributing to what it is that they're feeling. So feeling.

When someone comes in for their first session with me, I will often say something to the effect of, okay, tell me everything. Tell me all of the things that are contributing to what's going on in your body, in your brain, in your breath. Like whatever wording that makes the most sense to help them share with me as much information that they feel comfortable sharing.

Now, they will have already sent me health forms and documentation, but there's a distinction that I find hearing it directly from them and taking that moment of time to really listen to all of the things that you sometimes miss out on with text on a page. So I first get all of the details. And all of those details are really outlining the past, the present, what they can't do any more, what they could do, really give me a sense of where things are at now.

Then what begins to happen after a session as they start to notice the pain or the symptoms reducing, I will then ask them to name that experience. The reason why this is important is that as people start to get better, they feel the symptoms of pain reducing and they're in a space of, oh, the symptoms of pain are reducing. But there might be a bracing or a gripping of waiting for them to come back because they're used to having that happen.

So it's just that the symptoms aren't there, but kind of whispering behind them is, “Oh yeah, but they're coming back.” So what I like to do at that point is say, “Okay, hold on a sec.” So the pain symptoms, or whatever the symptoms are, because it can be flare up symptoms, it could be migraine symptoms, it could be really any symptom. But as those symptoms go down, then I ask them, I want you to name what that feels like.

So if there's something that's not in existence or it's less than it was, name what it actually is. As opposed to less than something or not there, what is there? Do you see the distinction there? It's really subtle, but I find super powerful. Because when we can name what's actually going on when the symptoms aren't there, now we understand what that feeling is.

So is it lightness? Is it strength? Is it stability? Is it freedom? Is it flow? Is it I'm in my legs? Is it better breath? Like, what does it feel like when the symptoms are down? Now again, the reason why this is important to do is because this now starts to be one of your yellow lights. And I've spoken about yellow lights on previous episodes and listening to the whispers so you don't have to hear the screams. That's what we're talking about here.

This is one of those yellow lights and we don't have enough stamina around this particular yellow light, meaning the particular neuromuscular pattern that you're developing, because it's new. You've been in an experience of pain, or your client has been in an experience of pain or other symptoms for so long that this opening of relief is new, right?

So it makes sense that it can be tricky to name because it's like, I don't know what to name it. It's like but hold on a second, you don't have to come up with something to name, just what is in existence? What's this sensation that's in existence? Now your brain is focusing on what's now in existence. What's this evidence that's now present?

Now I will often say as well it’s like, okay, so now you're naming it, whether it's like you're in your legs, or your breath is better, or there's more ease, or more freedom or whatever. I will say to them very clearly, this will likely fade, what's important to notice is when it begins to fade. Because what will happen is as this new sensation that you're now naming, this new feeling that you're naming, as it starts to fade, what's going to arise are your other symptoms quite likely.

So now you're starting to notice the trajectory. I say this with a very directed, clear, loving way because I want people to understand that, A, the pain symptoms aren't bad or wrong. They're uncomfortable, yes. They're aggravating, yes. But they're not wrong. It's an experience that their system is providing them to let them know that something is up.

So then they have an experience where their symptoms are going down. They can name what that feels like, better breath, in their legs, lighter, easier, whatever those words are. Now they start to go about their life and then notice when it starts to fade. If they can notice when it starts to fade before more of the screaming type of symptoms arise and they can intervene at that place, now they can start to build out that neuromuscular pattern more of that better feeling feeling.

Then what will happen is they will now have that better feeling feeling, it will start to get a bit more traction, it will start to get a little bit more endurance and stability. Then they'll start to notice what happens before that and they'll start to be able to name that.

Now they've got a greater experience of what feeling better feels like. And it becomes less about my symptoms aren't there or my symptoms are less, and it becomes more about okay, this is what feeling lighter feels like. This is what feeling more vital feels like. This is what feeling in my legs feels like. This is what feeling easeful feels like. They can start to name it more and they start to get more traction with the process.

There's more clarity on what's contributing to why they're feeling better. There's more clarity for when that good feeling starts to fade towards those pain symptoms or other symptoms that they don't want to have. There's more clarity to understand what's contributing to that. There's less chasing after a symptom and more understanding of like, oh, okay, this is what I need to do here. Ah, this is what I need to do there.

It's a process of slowing someone down enough to really tune into the dynamics of their system. Not just their body, but how their brain and their body interact, how their brain and their breath and their body interact.

Now, sometimes it can feel a little bit scary to start to feel. It makes a lot of sense, our culture's, our societies don't typically honor feeling. A lot of cultures honor more stoicism, if that's the how I say it, stoicism. It’s about getting it done, just push the symptoms aside, carry on.

I've had clients of mine tell me that all of their success has had to do with not feeling their feelings. That it's all about just intellectually pushing forward and, you know, mind over matter, no pain no gain. Like it's just about mindset and being tough in your head.

But here's what I've noticed in my practice, is you got to feel in order to heal. And you can't think your way to feeling, you've got to feel your way to feeling. And sometimes it does feel so excruciatingly slow. But just remember that in the game, in the race of the turtle and the hare, the turtle wins. So bit by bit by bit notice one aspect of what it feels like to feel better. Name one aspect of it.

And as your brain starts to see the evidence of you're feeling better, then you're going to start to notice more evidence of your feeling better. So again, the key here is when your symptoms start to reduce, when there's less than or when the symptoms are gone, then name that space, name that experience, whatever it is.

I have a client who is now a certification trainee and when I worked with her on a one to one level, what she came up with when her symptoms were gone was peace. I had never ever in my whole career had anyone tell me that what they experienced when their pain went down was peace. I'm like, that's new. Okay, then now let's move in your peace range of motion.

I didn't have to know, as her teacher, as her trainer, I did not have to know what peace meant to her, it's the word that was important. So it's like, okay, you name that, now you move in your peace range of motion. Okay, now as we're going through strengthening exercise, move in your piece range. Lift the weight according to what feels peace.

When she got into that peace space everything changed. When peace wasn't present, that's when her pain and her strain and all the other symptoms started to come back again. It was just that simple. And then she started to develop more and more evidence of what peace did for her when she had that experience. And then more of it showed up more and more and more.

This is the key to progress, name the experience that you're having when the symptoms are down, when the symptoms are gone. Name it, acknowledge it. Progress is not you going through the line and then being done, much like weight loss. It takes a change of habitual patterns to lose weight, and if you go back to what you've done, then you're just going to put the weight back on. This is the same or similar thing when it comes to recovery and healing.

There are new habitual patterns. You've got to name the experience so that you can repeat it and you can experience it over and over and over again consistently so it becomes that habit. All right, so take some time to name the experience. And if this resonates and you want more, fire me off an email [email protected], it would be a true pleasure to work with you.

If this episode has resonated and you're looking to deepen this idea of getting your body back on board, of listening deeply to your symptoms, of listening to the whispers so you don't have to hear the screams and you're looking for one to one support or professional training, then reach out to us at [email protected], we can customize your learning path. That's he[email protected], looking forward to hearing from you.

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