The Journal of Pain recently published research by Leong, Kano, & Johansen that shows a connection between spousal communication and physical pain. [See link at bottom of post.]
The topic of this study supports my whole existence as a back-care and yoga practitioner. Part of what makes my work so effective is my unwavering validation of my clients' emotions and lived experience.
We all need that kind of validation of what we are feeling. And when we have pain, we really need our social environment to be supportive.
It's one of the many reasons why social integration and a strong support network help us live longer, healthier lives.
While earning my master's degree in communication, I focused my study on the methods of interpersonal communication that foster trust, respect, and partnership when one party is facing difficult life changes or emotional upheaval.
Unfortunately, most couples have not completed such communication training. So when one spouse is in pain, the pain-free spouse is inadequately trained to actually help the other feel supported and "heard."
Yet, that emotional support is crucial to the healing process.
Without such emotional support, people can cope very poorly with pain and, in fact, hold on to pain for decades . . . or a lifetime.
I'm so happy to read major peer-reviewed medical journals are publishing this type of psycho-social-medical research. Pain research has typically been focused on medications (which are more addictive than they are effective) and surgical interventions (which are shown to be less effective than just about any other pain treatment over the long-term).
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