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Reconnecting Mind and Body

When something hurts, we want to eliminate it. As a child, my legs hurt a lot. I convinced myself that my life would be so much better if I could just cut my legs off and throw them away. So mentally, I know I did that. My self image existed from my waist up, I did not need or want my legs.

My hip replacement surgeries relieved me of my pain. But here was the tough part, convincing myself that my legs could now be my friend. How could I begin to love something that had hurt me so much? And how could I trust that they would not betray me again.

It has taken me a long time to search for these answers on how to reconnect. Things that have really helped  have  been alternative therapies: reiki, cranial-sacral, healing touch, acupuncture, meditation, body talk and others. I don’t claim to understand how they accomplish this goal, but I feel a difference. And for me I know I feel better because I care more about my whole body and its well being. And that I believe that I can do things, like mild yoga, that were out of reach previously.

I continue going to professionals for this healing. I accept that it has helped and I am thankful for the role it has played.

Have you had experiences with therapies that have assisted you in reconnecting painful body parts?

About Mary Byrne Eigel

Before writing children’s books, Mary spent many years teaching in classrooms and creating art in her studio. She was born with bi-lateral hip dysplasia, a painful condition that causes normal activities, like walking, to be challenging. As a child, when Mary had to trek long distances, she often wished she had a wheelchair. For her, a wheelchair offered pain-free opportunities, not limitations. Mary grew up in Chicago, which is the lakefront inspiration for the town of Sail. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two dogs, Beaux and Trey.

9 responses »

  1. Good Morning Mary!
    I can relate to your post quite well! I spent a long time hating my body, but I have come to know that when I embrace it instead of fight it, it makes me feel a lot better. Does that make sense? I even try to embrace my pain and make it a ‘friend’ because when it is the enemy it takes way too much of my energy to fight it.
    My Mother is has her reiki certificate, and she has taught me how to do it on myself. I find that anything I can do to make me feel more balanced helps me. It might not change my pain per say, but it absolutely changes my PERCEPTION of the pain, which makes it a lot easier to deal with!
    I also make sure I get to the chiropractor regularly, I try to meditate when I can, and I carve out some time every day for relaxation… even if it is in the bath or shower.
    When one particular part of my body is really hurting, I acknowledge that my WHOLE body is playing a part, and try to work on the big picture… relaxing my shoulders when my lower back is in agony for example… it really does help!
    Hugs to you Mary dear!!

  2. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Great comments. I love that you acknowledge the part that emotions play in the pain game. And the importance of several interventions.
    Sending warm hugs back to you,

  3. I use my own version of creative visualization, again like Jolene, to deal with chronic pain. I am interested in alternative therapies and complementary medicine to deal with issues of chronic pain. (See my blog at I tried a naturopathic treatment which had some positive results.
    I find your blog very interesting and the artwork continues to be stunning!

  4. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thanks for your comments and complements. You just made a cold snowy day a bit warmer. Kudos on your blog! I love checking it out.

  5. Mary,
    I can really understand the part cutting your legs off. I was diagonsed 11 years ago with RA. I just woke up one morning and couldn’t walk. Now I have both knees replaced and my right shoulder. I hated my body so much. Now I am doing much better. I see a physical therapist and a pain specailist. I wish you the best of luck and thank you for sharing your story. God Bless

  6. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thanks for stopping by. I am sorry for your pain. You are wise to have professional specialists. There are so many layers to pain. And it takes a “village” to get through these things.
    There is nothing more frightening than having your own body invaded by pain monsters. God Bless you on your journey.

  7. Superb blogging! I find your blogging is natural to read! Nice going! =) Kylee

  8. Mary Byrne Eigel

    Thanks for the kind words. Mary

  9. Love Perusing your website… always interesting.

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