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  • Luke Clough

When pain is a signal for something else.

Some time ago I worked with a lady suffering from migraine.Although as we talked before we started the real work it became apparent that before the migraines she used to suffer from recurring back ache. Being a successful business person this would not stop here working many hours and dealing with high levels of stress. Having gone to a chiropractor and used other pain relieving drugs she overcame the pain only to find headaches came next. Still she persisted, work came first of course.

Then came the migraines and what migraines they were! She had to stop work and retreat to bed for three days. There was no way she could even think of work through these periods.

Even as we talked I could see she was beginning to notice the pattern. She said “it’s as if a part of me is trying to stop me working”

Now, there’s a great NLP (Neuro-Linquistic Programing) pattern/technique called ‘parts integration’ which really works so well in separating intention and behaviour.

So using this we found the intention of the part of her creating the migraines and stopping her working (the behaviour), which was to keep her safe and at its highest intention, to have freedom. And there was the conflict in itself. Without work she couldn’t have the freedom she wanted for her future yet working at the level she was the stresses she suffered would not allow her to have freedom now and probably a life after work ‘burnt out’. The flip side of this she really enjoyed her work and wanted to have the energy to continue until she retired early and have freedom with her friends and family ~ she had a lot of brilliant goals.

The ‘parts integration’ found resolution at a deep unconscious level as well as giving her a conscious awareness. (There’s an example of this on our videos). But we had to find a new way of working and resting. What did we do? Well the simple answer was to suggest to her unconscious mind to give her a signal, a pleasant signal, that when she got it she would take time to rest and look after herself and in return she agreed that if she didn’t honour that she would be more than happy to have a migraine. The result was she has been happy in her work and has seemed to have learnt a way to balance work, rest and play which is now a natural way for her.

The above is a true story but I guess if you haven’t someone to guide you through this what can you do? Are you stuck? Forever in pain?


Here’s what I do. I get to place where I can be quiet and be undisturbed. I put my attention into that place where the pain is and keep my awareness there. Sometimes I become aware the pain has a colour, a shape, a temperature etc. and as I keep my awareness there I simply ask “what do you want for me or what do you want me to know?”. The results can come in different forms, sometimes I hear a voice telling me what I need to do differently but usually I simply have a feeling that I can express into words or it’s like I just understand what I need to understand, what I’ve been missing.

Try it and let me know.

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