Archive for May 7th, 2010

womansbackRCI never knew that my body came with a built-in “emotional stress pocket.”  This last week I became intimately acquainted with it.

It seems The Pocket is very low in the back and kind of off to either side in the hips.  In my case, it was my right Pocket that started hurting like hell last week.  I was pretty surprised about this.  After all, I have an unusually strong back (thank you, ballet training!) and only once before have I had really bad lower back pain.

Then again, thanks to the Idiot Black Belt who slammed me to the floor, I have lots of nasty injuries on my left side (which you know about ‘cause I keep reminding you).  This means that while I’ve been healing I’ve lifted and worked only with my right side and can only sleep on my right side. 


My chiropractor said that my poor worn-out right side was the main cause of my lower right back/hip being twisted out of place.  But after he fixed me up and I felt much better, he added a second reason.

“Of course, this is also where your body stores stress,” he said.  “It’s your emotional stress pocket.”

Strange, but I instantly knew he was right, and never mind how New-Agey his words may sound.  To put it mildly, I’ve been under a shitload of stress since this accident.  And the legal bitchery that’s been aimed at me is much worse stress-wise than my injuries.  So it really does make sense to me that my body has tried to deal with all this poisonous stress by shoving it down into that built-in body part emotional container.

Sounds flakey, I know.  But I swear to you that in the following days, when the stress temporarily went down, the muscles around that pocket relaxed and the hurt diminished.

You know how I told you that I’ve only had bad lower back pain once before?

It was years ago and the pain was different – it went directly across my entire lower back.  I figured strained muscles from trapeze were the cause.  But when the pain didn’t stop I went to a wonderful massage/physical therapist/yoga teacher named Hansa who worked all my muscles back into place.  And then she asked me, “Have you been feeling like you don’t have enough support in your life?”


I wanted to cry.  Loved ones not emotionally supporting me, feeling like I was weighed down too much with my life – that was EXACTLY what I’d been feeling in buckets and spades.  Hansa wisely knew that this was why my lower back was aching like all hell.  So while she healed my muscles I healed my lower back by letting those dark emotions go.  The pain has never returned.

What does all this emotional body parts stuff have to do with Layla or action heroes? 

Luckily for Layla, this is one experience I won’t be passing onto her.  I figure that between the injuries and an emotional trauma that I’ll be adding to her story, she already has enough problems.

Still, the fact remains that action heroes get banged up on a regular basis, and not only physically but emotionally.  If they’re really smart (Layla is brilliant), they know enough to be aware of their bodies and what it takes to heal them.  And if not a fact it’s more than a theory that our bodies never forget trauma and emotions get stuck into various body parts.  Scientists are even theorizing that a person’s mind is not only in the brain but spread throughout the body.  This is kinda scary, when you think about it.

What traumas or accidents or emotionally wrenching experiences are stuck away into different parts of my body like so many rabid bats?  I really don’t want them taking an emotional tailspin through me any time soon.  On the other hand, maybe they’re balanced by good stuff that’s also taken up bodily residence.

At any rate, we writers habitually take many of our personal experiences and give them new life within our stories.  So I figure that eventually my emotional body parts will find their way into print.