Tiffany Wood Yoga

How to Heal the Root of Joint Pain

Ready for Relief

I woke up at 4:45 AM and thought how nice it was to awaken at such a reasonable hour. I checked in to my body with my breath and my awareness which revealed that while I was feeling better than I have in a while, I still had pain in my right hand, fingers, shoulder and right achilles tendon. I’ve been meaning to look into the metaphysical reasons for arthritis for quite a while now as I’ve been experiencing its symptoms since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve made some good progress with diet, immune supporting supplements, massage therapy, yoga asana and meditation. However, today is apparently the day I was ready to look at my emotional undercurrent and how it relates to this nagging inflammation and pain.

A search for “metaphysical reasons for arthritis” led me to a article written by Dr. Christine Northrop titled Release Fear and Anger to Heal Arthritis. This article references another brilliant woman named Louise Hay who wrote Heal Your Body; a trusted resource for me and since “losing it” in my divorce last year, I have yet to purchase another copy.

Pain has Emotional Roots 

Both of these well acclaimed healers have helped me make progress on my own healing path as well as offer guidance to those I support in their healing journeys. Through my studies over the past 24 years, I've embraced that pain is the body’s way of asking for a correction; a physical, mental, or emotional correction. I live within a paradigm that those three realms are inextricably linked. As I read Dr. Northrop’s article, I found the metaphysical piece I was looking for. Both Loise Hay and Dr. Northrop support the concept that pain has roots in our emotional body and that arthritis is related to the emotions of unexpressed anger, resentment, lack of support and fear.

Since joint pain can occur anywhere in the body, its important to also understand the metaphysical undertone of the different regions of the body. For example, pain in the hand can be associated with holding on to something and this 'holding on' can cause anger or resentment. I learned a long time ago in massage school that pain on the right side of the body can be related to issues such as career, finances, or the masculine relationships in your life.

Rather than getting in my head about what it is I’m holding anger or resentment towards or how it relates to the masculine or my career, I find it more productive to ask my body. Giving the body a voice and allowing it to be the heard is a powerful and insightful practice.      

How I use a Healing Affirmation

Naturally, the process of releasing anger, fear, and resentment from the body will look different for anyone willing to step into the inquiry. My method involves a gentle yoga asana practice that creates conscious attunement to the intuition of the physical body and one's higher wisdom through the simple repetition of an affirmation or mantra.

Today I employed the affirmation “I release fear, anger, and resentment from the joints of my body” as a way to direct the flow of intuitive wisdom. This simple affirmation started in child’s pose and here’s why:

Child’s pose is a way to attune to the inner child and to quiet the mind. It is a very introspective and calming posture that allows one to go inward with the intent to understand and listen to the body, the emotions held within the body while creating safety and softness.

Repeating the mantra “I release fear, anger and resentment from the joints in my body” softly, I could hear the words and feel the Matrika Shakti – the power of the words – come into my body. I stuck with this self-connection practice until I began to feel something stir within. I began to feel energy want to move out the wrists or fingers. I started to notice my higher wisdom wanted to fill in the blanks about a specific fear or resentment I have been holding. For example, “I release the grip of fear around being alone.” “I release the fear of speaking up for my emotional needs.” I combined these power statements with my breath, my awareness, and my willingness to actually let go. Allowing “it” to move out through breath and gentle movement, I rolled out my wrists and head while in child’s pose.

When I finally felt moved to come up to all fours for a cat and cow sequence, I notice that my hands hurt. I simply stated, “I resent that my hands hurt in this simple posture.” I repeated that statement until I was called to put my forearms on blocks so I didn’t have to use my hands. I breathed and waited for the next wave of intuition to guide me deeper. I was so grateful for what happened next!

I sat back on my heels and pulled my hands into Anjali Mudra, bowed my head to my heart and asked that whatever it is I need to release around fear, anger, and resentment happen with LOVE, kindness, respect, ease and Grace. I am aware that I no longer want life to come in ways that get my attention through the pain of staying the same becoming greater than the pain of changing. I am open to shifting how I hold life and how I show up for MY SELF.

Emergence of a Personal Mantra

This led me to standing in Tadasana – Mountain Pose – so I could do some gentle arm and shoulder movement and stretches. As I wrapped my left arm behind my back, I could feel my own embrace. Understanding the power of stating things out loud because it helps move subconscious to conscious awareness, I said aloud “I’ve got you, baby. I’ve got you, baby. I’ve got you, baby.”  I stuck with this powerful mantra until the emotions broke through in tears. Gentle tears of recognition that I am worthy of my own attention, my own love, my own tenderness.

I knew that moment of emotional release and the true positive affirmation would reveal itself eventually. “I’ve got you, baby” said with loving kindness and pure devotion was the secret combination to releasing a whole host of stuck and unexpressed fears and resentments relating to my career, my finances, and my masculine relationships.

Releasing fear &/or resentment is half of the equation…  

As I continued to use a gentle physical practice of movement and breath, each insight about where or how I was angry or resentful, opened up the wisdom of how I would like to support myself instead. For example; as I held one arm across the front of my chest so that I could stretch out the  shoulder, I heard the inner voice that said, “I resent not being held with tenderness and being allowed to have big emotions about the challenges of life. I resent my emotions being overwhelming to the man in my life.” I repeated those statements aloud until I heard the voice of wisdom speak. She said, “I’ve got you, baby and its okay to feel what you feel. You deserve to feel what you feel. I’ve got you, baby.” I took several deep breaths and let that sink in. I felt myself not needing anyone outside of myself to make the world a safe place to be.

As I opened back up to the Grace of mountain pose, I felt different. I felt my legs like steady pillars and I felt my heart expand from the inside out. In that moment the voice of wisdom spoke aloud again and I heard my own voice affirm that “I have everything I need to navigate the waters of these uncertain times.” (Uncertainty that has come with the 2020 pandemic and the dissolving my marriage of 15 years in 2019)

Integration and Practice in every day life

I walked away from this intensely revealing and productive hour of deep svadhaya – self inquiry – with the felt sense of knowing that I can release the grip of fear and the resentments of feeling misunderstood or unsupported.  I walked into the bathroom, looked into the mirror and celebrated the woman I am; all of me. I repeated the affirmation, “I’ve got you, baby” as I looked into my eyes. I allowed it to anchor into my cellular structure even more deeply by choosing to share this journey from pain to empowerment by writing this blog. Now, even though I have a renewed sense of trust and faith in the road ahead, I know that it’s now time for the rubber to meet the road. It’s now up to me to consistently look for how I choose to support myself in loving guidance; to look for how I can show up in my fullness and hold my boundaries around meeting my own needs for nurturing support.

As I mentioned, each person will have a much different experience and come away from the conscious inquiry of how they can release fear, anger, and resentment in order to help clear joint pain – any pain for that matter. Some key things to remember are:

If you aren’t sure how emotions are tied into physical expressions such as how joint pain can be triggered from unexpressed anger or resentment, check out the work of Louise Hay.

When you are ready to dive into releasing the stuck and unexpressed emotions underlying the physical symptoms you are experiencing:

  • Remember, you cannot do emotional release wrong. Trusting the healer within is part of your recovery.
  • Set aside some uninterrupted time. Create a safe space for emotional inquiry.
  • If you choose music, I suggest that is purely instrumental.  Lyrics may persuade the inquiry process; I don’t prefer outside influence in my internal inquiries. Try searching “instrumental chill” on your music App.
  • Start with the basic affirmation of “I release fear, anger and resentment from my joints.” If you are clearing physical ailments other than joint pain, see what Heal Your Body by Louise Hay offers and use that affirmation.
  • State the affirmation out loud and ask that it happens with love, kindness and Grace.
  • Start with the basic affirmation in child’s pose.  Stick with the mantra and the pose until you feel a connection with your body wisdom.
  • Trust your intuition to guide you deeper. The affirmation may morph to include more exact statements on what kind of fears or resentments you are releasing and from where.
  • Simple movements of the affected joints and limbs can help to bring emotional awareness to the surface.
  • Trust the secret combination mantra that really speaks to your heart will show up when its time. For example: “I’ve got you, baby” was the phrase my inner child, my heart, my soul needed to hear. It was the mantra that set the stage for healing at a subconscious emotional level. Your statement/mantra will be unique to you.
  • Let go of how you think this process should go and be open to your own healing adventure.

If you would like a private guided session tailored specifically to your needs, contact me at tiffanywoodyoga@gmail.com

Blessings to you on the path to greater wellness,

Tiffany