Being Present With Pain

Have you ever noticed that when we experience pain, our instinctive reaction is to touch it? While many people think that this is just a way to acknowledge the pain, there’s a good chance that more is going on. When we place our hands on any part of our body we are actually guiding attention, intention, and even life energy to that spot. We see animals do the same when they lay down on the earth in order to receive nurturing and healing to whatever hurts. Today, I’d like to explore a few ways that we can all be more present and conscious when we are in pain so that we can participate in the process that is actually trying to happen when we reach for the hot spot.

The Power Of Touch

There’s no question that the power of touch has endless healing potential. A hug, a kiss from your family dog, or hands held can literally transform any moment. When we touch with healing intent, we are recognize the pain or struggle that another person or ourselves are going through. This can be pretty healing in and of itself! It gives us permission to be humans, and to go through the process with less resistance.

Life Energy

The hands are known throughout many world traditions as being the main conduits for life energy. Qi, prana, mana, and ki are just a few of the terms used to define the mysterious energy that fuels life itself. When we place a hand on a place of pain, we are in effect channeling healing life energy into that place to help balance, repair, strengthen, and soothe whatever ails us. When we do this with the intention so send such energy and blessing, the process becomes even more powerful. Choosnig to channel healing energy, thoughts, and good wishes into places of pain on ourselves or on others is a powerful and healing way to be present with pain and work through it in a holistic way.


It seems that in the world we’re often told to suck it up, walk it off, and get over it when we’re in pain. I can guarantee you that this doesn’t lead to healing! Being present with our pain means that we don’t run from it – we sit with it. We recognize that there is a lesson in the process and we open up and become willing to experience just what that lesson is.

Anxiety Fuels The Fire

It’s been shown that anxiety makes pain worse. When we far or get anxious about pain, we end up ramping up our responses so that things just seem way bigger than they may be. When we accept and decide to sit with the pain we have, no matter what level of our being it happens on, we actually relax and let anxiety go. We face the pain instead of trying to fight it or flee from it – and this can be enough to lessen the pain all by itself. Choosing to look at and learn from pain means that we are in true control and in a true place of power – something anxiety can never give us.

Watch And Learn

The real blessing that comes when we choose to be present with pain is that we learn. We find out what the pain is about, we open up to our intuition, we connect with the part of us that knows just how to heal this situation, and we learn what we’re really made of. Pain can be a great teacher, and while we should take action to remove pain and heal any imbalance as quickly as possible, there’s great power to be had when we work with it while it’s happening instead of against it.

Josh Williams