The sciatic nerves are the body’s two largest nerves in the human body, extending from the lower region of the spine (lumbar area), crossing the buttocks, thighs, down each leg to the soles of the feet and big toes. Sciatic pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, a herniated/ruptured disk, pinched nerve or slipped disk. When its nerve fibers become inflamed, pinched or irritated, the pain is brutal! Striking/stabbing/burning pain can felt anywhere along the path of the nerve causing great distress. Most sciatic pain occurs down one side of the body, but it has also been known to affect both legs.
“The metaphor of sciatica is being frozen with fear around manifestation. Struggles with time and money and a fear around survival are significant contributors. A person is usually overburden and feels like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their back and have nobody to help carry the load or to support them. There is deep-seated resentment, survival anxiety, loss of direction, and avoidance to do what they know they need to do. A person is hypercritical, overburdened, overwhelmed, overextended, and overly independent. They don’t ask for help or want help, but get disgusted when no one helps them. Another metaphor for sciatica is a dog chasing its tail, visualize it going in circles and not sure which way to go.
Associated emotions: Resentment, frustration, anger, disappointment, and loneliness” Healing Happens with Your Help: ~ Carol Ritberger
Another cause of sciatica is ‘piriformis syndrome’. The sciatic nerve passes through the piriformis muscle (in the buttocks), which can spasm and entrap the nerve. Physically it is commonly caused by overuse and oversitting and is seen in people with low-movement jobs like office workers and truck drivers.
“The piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, causing pain in the buttocks and referring pain along the course of the sciatic nerve. This referred pain, called “sciatica”, often goes down the back of the thigh and/or into the lower back. Patients generally complain of pain deep in the buttocks, which is made worse by sitting, climbing stairs, or performing squats. The piriformis muscle assists in abducting and laterally rotating the thigh. In other words, while balancing on the left foot, move the right leg directly sideways away from the body and rotate the right leg so that the toes point towards the ceiling. This is the action of the right piriformis muscle.” http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/piri.html
“Nerves have to do with communication and sensitivity. Sciatica implies that there are emotional issues affecting the back and legs, and that these are deep, inner issues. These may be issues to do with being able to stand up for yourself. Perhaps something is happening that you cannot take anymore, and it is making you want to go in a different direction. Or perhaps you desperately need more support and cannot cope with everything on your own any longer.
Sciatica may indicate doubt or fear about where you are going and your ability to cope with what lies ahead.
Are you concerned about where you are going and what is going to happen?
What inner emotional pain are you sitting on or holding back? Is someone or something restricting your freedom to move?
Are there financial or emotional issues putting pressure on you or weighing you down.” YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND ~ Deb Shapiro
If you grew up in an emotionally tense environment, areas of the body that keep your feet firmly planted on the earth will be affected. These can show up as problems with the lower back (lumbar, sacral), pelvis, rectum, hips, legs and feet.
The hips and buttocks are the foundation of our physical being: the movement of the hip joint is crucial to our survival – whether in running away from danger, kicking an attacker, or moving in the sexual/reproductive act. Sciatic sufferers can display a lot of rage and anger when they are overly sensitized from being judged critically, verbally abused or punished. In fact they may often punish themselves because they’re afraid of trusting their own judgement.
When the hips are out of alignment so too are the liver and gallbladder meridians .. these two meridians help us to move forward to begin motioning towards something. Unbalanced, they can metaphysically be caused by feeling angry/hurt inside, feeling used, unappreciated, let down, alienated. Who or what are you carrying on your hips? What are you taking responsibility for? Who is it you are supporting when you should be supporting yourself? Are you feeling insecure about something? Do you feel controlled by someone?
(Other people’s thought forms, projections and hooks can be attached to highly charged areas in your energy field and influence your actions and perceptions. Highly charged areas in your field are where you’ve not integrated emotional issues, like, poor self-esteem, pain, fear, anger and so forth….. any part of you that works against your higher path and purpose can become a receptor site for lower energy.)
The liver and gallbladder meridians run down the sides of the body and reflecting our ability to choose which way to turn. An unbalanced gall bladder is associated with being either indecisive, or over-decisive, perhaps impatience, or possibly too much thought interfering in one’s decision making. When under stress, the gallbladder causes a disorderly flow of ideas, your head may spin with dizzying ideas; or talking nonstop about all the ideas and possibilities.
“In fact anything that makes us anxious (all unconscious) will tend to make us angry as well. You’re trying to do a good job; you hope it turns out well (anxious) but you’re also resentful of the problems with which you must contend, like other people and their needs.
“…..an important source of anger and resentment, of which we are usually unaware, stems from our sense of responsibility to those who are close to us, like parents, spouses and children. Though we love them, they may burden us in many ways and the resultant anger is internalized.” Healing Back Pain – The Mind-Body Connection ~ John Sarno
John Sarno in his book “Healing Back Pain” shows many examples of unconscious anger. One in particular talks of a young father with a first born that’s a non-sleeper. “He not only loses sleep, but his wife is pretty much tied up with baby around the clock. He has to pitch induring his free time, their social life is much curtailed and what was a long honeymoon efore baby came is now a grind. He develops back pain because he’s mad at the baby (ridiculous), and angry at his wife because she can no longer minister his emotional and physical needs as she had before (absurd). And to make matters worse he has become a part time nursemaid and cook. But he doesn’t know about any of these feelings—they are deeply buried in his unconscious and to make sure they stay their het get back pain—TMS”.
In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the body is seen as circuits of energy. The mind and emotions are closely related to health and dis-ease. When we look at the seven emotions – joy, anger, melancholy, brooding, sorrow fear and shock – an excess of joy can damage the heart, anger can damage the liver, melancholy the kidneys, brooding and sorrow the spleen and fear and shock to the kidney.
What we don’t often recognize when our problems stress us out is that, we are locked in old patterns—old beliefs, old ways of thinking and doing things, old wounds, old memories—that unconsciously undermine our conscious desire to be free of suffering. We are at the mercy of our past history. These deeply imprinted patterns and beliefs slow down our every move. We feel off balance, reacting out of habit and fear, and rarely in control.
Fears create a lack of confidence and when we lack confidence we are affected by other people’s moods .. kind of like a leaf flying helplessly in a storm. When we have a low self-worth it prevents us from using our imagination and to find a creative outlet. Fear also causes us to hold back and repress our emotions which can cause problems in relationships.
Past wounds that don’t heal, deplete and waste our energy. We just keep going around in circles with no escape in sight. Always with the same message, always eliciting the same reaction, every waiting to spring out at us. These reactions are an intrinsic part of your survival mechanism…your physical emergency response. If you were severely traumatized in the past, you may overreact or underreact to situations and relationships for much of your life.
It’s possible your mother may have been deeply troubled, psychologically or perhaps physically unavailable; whatever your situation, her negative responses to your needs and feelings, led you to believe that you had no right to have feelings. The hurt or trauma you experienced then may have resulted in a deep-seated decision never to make yourself vulnerable again. “I’d rather die than need you.”
Often sciatica signifies an inability to bond with the mother, though a deep inner bond with her exists. This bond exists because you need to hold on to her physically, mainly due to not being nurtured and loved by her. If your mother didn’t respond to your nonverbal (and verbal) signals, you learned to distrust closeness to other people and failed to develop a healthy degree of trust. Trust is about moving beyond your comfort zone. With sciatica we are afraid of diving into our feelings and needs because we associate them with attachment to home and family.
Most sciatic sufferers don’t know how to show their true feelings to others. They may have tried as children and found their words hushed or misunderstood. No matter how loving or caring their parents were, they couldn’t have possibly met all their needs. Sometimes our parents didn’t understand what we needed because our own needs were so different from what they needed when they were children. Sometimes our parents are unable to give us what we need because they didn’t get their own needs met.
When we aren’t able to express our true feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure. When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw or get angry. Either way, our anxieties grow and our self-expression shrinks because we can only access behaviors that are allowed to be seen. We’re unable to be who we are, so we become a characterization of what we think we should be. If you had to compensate your feelings/emotions to meet the expectations of your parents, teachers or friends, etc… your feelings/emotions might have become sealed in your sacral/hip area for a long time.
Many sciatic sufferers see themselves as chameleons, adapting to the likes and dislikes of the people around them. Most of them fear that their needs and feelings will upset or anger other people. Being uncomfortable with their own feelings, they are also unable to tolerate anybody else’s feelings. As you become familiar with your own needs and feelings, you will learn how to be comfortable with other people’s feelings as well.
As long as you are focused on outer solutions—you won’t be able to address the inner pain that drives you away from yourself in the first place. The process of recovery leads you inward to learn who you really are and what you really need
If you do not care for yourself or listen to and trust your own feelings, you can easily become dependent on others. If you do not trust the messages of your body due to a past traumatic experience, your body becomes numb and shuts off. A wounded heart has a limited capacity to trust and be open to infinite possibilities. Emotional numbness can create codependent relationships; dependency occurs when we lack self esteem or harbor a poor body image.
Sciatic pain can either make you reclusive, shy and retreating in nature OR it can cause you to become aggressive, overbearing and deceitful. When you get angry and really ticked off, you attract people who want to talk about the same problems you’re going through. This is where you have to pay attention to the conversations you’re having every week with others. How do they embrace your own issues? Were you able to see solutions to your/their problem. These are also your issues and we all have to embrace our stuff.
“Sciatica may be experienced if you are insecure about your future or have an unconscious fear of lack of material abundance. I emphasize unconscious because, in my observation, sciatica is especially common in those who are materially and financially comfortable, but would have a difficult time if that were lost. ….Sciatica. therefore, is located in the body at the level of having. You are probably not consciously aware of your fear of lack because you don’t think of yourself as attached to materials things……attachment makes you feel guilty because you believe it is not spiritual…..guilt however, impedes your progress and prevent you from taking a leap…..
If you are experiencing sciatica, your body is giving you a signal your way of thinking is a pain and is causing you distress; it’s really getting on your nerves. Pain always indicates guilt; therefore what are you punishing yourself for? What do you feel guilty about?” YOUR BODY IS TELLING YOU: LOVE YOURSELF! ~ By Lise Bourbeau.
Louise Hay in her book “Heal Your Body, describes sciatica as “being hypocritical”, not being straight with yourself. She continues to say, “A sciatic issue also relates to ‘fear of money’ and the future”.
“If you suffer from lower-back or hip pain, it’s time to look at your relationship both with yourself and with the people around you. Honestly assess your life and make some changes. Do you get support from your family that you’re not getting elsewhere? Notice where you are getting support and openly acknowledge it and have gratitude for it. Do you tend to always blame others when things go wrong? Try to see the whole picture and see whether you are doing something that might be contributing to the problem. Do you feel out of control when it comes to finances? Look closely at any financial downfall and try to pinpoint where things shifted from good to bad.” All is Well, Heal Your Body with Medicine, Affirmations and Intuition ~ Louise Hay and Mona Lisa Schulz
THE ROOT CHAKRA
“The Sanskrit name for this chakra is Muladhara, which means “root support.” The sciatic nerve, traveling from the sacral plexus down through the legs, is the largest peripheral nerve in the body (about as thick as your thumb) and functions much like a root for the nervous system. (See Figure 2.1, page 61) The feet and legs, which provide locomotion, enable us to perform tasks necessary to obtain life sustenance from the earth and its environment. Our legs touch the ground below us and connect our nervous system with the earth, our first chakra development. We respond then, kinesthetically to gravity—the basic underlying force of the earth—constantly pulling us downward. This force keeps us connected to our planet, rooted in material existence.” Wheels of Life ~ by Anodea Judith
The root chakra’s is linked with the earth’s energy. Its main function is to build the basic foundation of our identities; it’s here, we build a place called home—it’s a sense of belonging—a vital system that cannot be constructed without an identity. The root chakra is largely driven through our instincts and premonitions which help to build our personal and physical identities which are built from our conditions, upbringings and education.
Early in the healing process, many people have no idea who they really are and what their truth is. Not only have they used addictions and other distractions to hide their true feelings; they have also spent much of their time focusing on other people’s feelings and needs. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with caring or being concerned about other people. However, if it is at your own expense, it’s not only unhealthy for you, it’s unhealthy for the person for whom you are sacrificing yourself.
You are not responsible for everyone you care about. If your life is overwhelmed by responsibility, then it’s time to stop doing everything and let someone else share the load. Some have said that it’s almost like the bottom has to drop out of your world before you can grasp the significance of this stuff. Listen to your sciatic nerve, what is it trying to tell you? If old wounds surface, it means that the situation you are in now is draining your energy, and will continue to drain your energy until you acknowledge the emotional triggers. That’s really what your sciatic pain wants, to be acknowledged.
THE SACRAL CHAKRA
The sacral or 2nd chakra is connected to the sense of taste, the element of water and the lymphatic glands. It’s affected by our emotional mood swings and what we love in the sense of our “tastes for life” (fashions, money, relationships, creativity, sexuality).
The 2nd chakra interacts well with the 1st. The 1st chakra connects us with the element of earth, while the 2nd connects us to the element of water. Earth offers stability, water brings a sense of movement. Water is also linked to the moon, it connects with time, and tide, fertility, menstruation and ovulation in women and the production of semen in men.
Sexuality (sacral chakra) holds our greatest pain and denial. Every shred of unfinished business and all our emotional issues will keep reappearing until we get in touch with how our body is feeling. When we open the floodgate of our emotions they will turn our lives upside down. Anything not in harmony with our Self will come up to be processed and healed. All your fixed thoughts and ideas will come loose and you will feel as if you are shifting through time. It will feel as if you are being crushed as your past and future collide. However, this will also free-up an enormous amount of energy opening you to your creative juices and your joy.
Visualize a water fall over a rocky terrain, imagine looking closer and see how the water has slowly created (carved) the bed-rock of the earth into an expression of beauty; it looks alive, full of the “life-force” created from the power of fluid and motion. Without water the earth would “dry up” become sluggish, infertile, and lifeless; our bodies need water to stay healthy, young and productive.
Therefore water needs the earth to hold and “restrain” its emotional desire to “shape and control the world around it”. This means that the 2nd chakra relates to issues of power in the outer world and your need to control, people, events, and the way things happen.
In relationships, we look for someone who will validate, protect and connect with us on an intimate level. But if we suffer from low self-worth and unable to stand up for our rights, we’ll keep finding relationships that constantly reopen our wounds or traumas
Physically, sciatica means pain from a compressed or pinched sciatic nerve which can be felt in the back of the thigh, down the back of the leg, on the outside of the calf, on the side of the foot and in the heel.
Wayne contacted me, via email, because he had been suffering on and off from sciatic pain in his left leg (deep buttock/hip socket) area and lumbar for about 5 years. Each time the sciatica returned, he tried different forms of physical therapy, chiropractor, therapeutic massage, daily stretching as well as anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen and naproxen sodium) all to no avail.
Two weeks ago, he again developed sciatica in his left leg that was so intense he couldn’t bend over to put on his socks or shoes and he couldn’t walk because of the pain. An MRI revealed he had bone spurs, two intervertebral disks that had herniated and the doctor scheduled him for surgery in May. Wayne didn’t want surgery. He had recently read my blog on the metaphysics of lower back pain and decided to contact me.
Wayne gave me a quick run-down of his history and after sending emails back and forth, we scheduled a time that both of us could connect energetically at a distance. Healing this way, allows a client to actively participate in the healing, either by relaxing, or meditating. The vibration of a client’s name, birth-date and country they live in, creates a spiritual link and as they relax, I scan, listen and make notes of the symbols and messages the client’s body/mind shares with me….. distant Reiki is then gently sent to areas (chakra/endocrine glands/organs) where the body needs it most.
The hypothalamus in our brains sees everything as world war III so when a memory (young or old) is remembered, our bodies respond to the chemicals .. so the body is the one that suffers the pain of being fired, of losing a promotion or being rejected/abandoned by a parent. The body doesn’t have a clue if the event is currently happening or happened fifteen years ago. Just thinking about previous emotional hurts can cause the body to respond as if those hurts are occurring in that every moment.
Remembering emotional hurts causing the muscles to tighten and clamp down upon the adrenals, causing a huge output of adrenaline/cortisone as well as the sexual hormones. With too much adrenaline, the feeling one gets is of ‘being wired’, electrified—adrenaline interferes with the brains neurotransmitters, leaving you feeling scattered, irritable, confused—physically, the body’s getting ready to fight/flight or freeze.
This is what was happening to Wayne. Fear, anxiety and mistrust was having such an adverse effect on his insides, that his aura and body was instinctively pulling in to protect itself, causing his lower back muscles to contract and clamp down on his sciatic nerve, causing reduced mobility and depriving his cells of oxygen and life-force energies. When this happens toxic thoughts and emotions become trapped inside the body, creating a form of ‘muscular armor’ in an attempt to feel safer and less vulnerable, but it takes its toll on the adrenals and the body’s natural fluidness. When this happens the fascia tightens and becomes brittle.
Wanting to know why Wayne suffered sciatic pain to his left hip and leg, I posed this question to his mind/body/soul. The left side of the body is linked with the feminine aspect, which is about receiving, being and the inner self. When the left side is unbalanced or blocked it creates a feeling of unrest or a disconnection from the truth about ourselves. Wayne had literally cut himself off from his life-force and the left side of his body was telling him to stop denying this feelings. body is trying to tell him to stop denying
When we disconnect from the truth of ourselves, we are cutting ourselves off from our very life force, and we are in fact weaker, less … But in the beginning, it is simply the inner self saying, “No more denying these feelings!
Wayne’s mind/body spoke of feeling dissatisfied and confused about the self. Filled with self-doubt he always feels he has to be more.With the right side having to compensate for the left, there is delusions about oneself and one’s motives. This can cause a person to cling to a fantasy about their own identity. After the healing I asked Wayne if his father was estranged from him in some way. He told me his father was seldom at home due to his work in the mines, so essentially Wayne felt abandoned by his dad. The lack of a father, or authority figure, creates poor boundaries in a child and lack of what is normal in the reality of his life. The lack of life-rules can be very disorienting for a child, who will take great pains to hide the real self.
Hurting deep inside becomes a stumbling block, you can’t move forward and you can’t move backward. You hang on to what is ‘familiar’ refusing to let go of a stagnating job, a person or situation that no longer fulfills you. But you stay because it offers you some sort of security from the constantly changing world. Childhood traumatic events, which are so common, at any young age—jeopardize trust and faith—causing the exuberant wonder of a child’s spirit to falter.
When Wayne and I first made contact and I asked him to write about his life. He had written a wonderful story, painting a picture that his life was great……except he forgot to mention his father was absent for most of his childhood, that his parents divorced when he was seven and he suffered the loss of his brother five years ago from an accidental drowning. Wayne realized his life was incomplete and that he was seeing only one side of his life; this was why his sciatica kept coming back. He was determined to explore the reality of his life and get to know his inner self.
To heal, we have to make a choice to willingly explore the pain, to put forth the effort to grow or we’ll stay a victim of the pain. But once, we begin to understand it, we can start to grow from it and begin making new choices for ourselves…better choices…choices that allow us to heal. As we push through the pain and really examine it, we can ask ourselves, “Why is my sciatica resurfacing again and again”? “What thoughts are keeping my sciatica alive? Why did I choose to experience this”? Relax your body/mind and allow your soul/spirit a chance to speak. ♥