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Posts Tagged ‘median nerve’

“The true source of chronic musculoskeletal pain is rarely the site of the pain. That means if your wrist hurts while you are pointing and clicking with a [computer] mouse, the pain probably has nothing to do with the device and everything to do with muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment and structural (joint) instability elsewhere in the body. Those conditions can be reversed without drastic measures – and you can do it yourself.

I’ve also learned that muscular weakness, skeletal misalignment, and structural instability usually precede the onset of pain that is attributed to accidents, overuse or aging. That’s right, precede.” Pain Free at Your PC: Using a Computer Doesn’t Have to Hurt ~ By Pete Egoscue, Roger Gittines

CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME (CTS)

CTS Pain

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Wanting to be numb. Doing what you don’t want to do. Blocking the energy flow in your life. Holding on to grief and sadness from the past. Struggling; too much strain and difficulty. Feeling like you can’t handle something.” The Secret Language of your Body, The Essential Guide to Health and Wellness ~ Inna Segal

Carpal is from the Greek word that means “wrist” and ‘carpal tunnel’ is just as it sounds—like  a passageway or tunnel through your wrist that protects nerves and tendons. The median nerve runs from your neck through the shoulder and elbow and ending at the wrist and hand.  When the tunnel becomes swollen, the median nerve is compressed in the wrist area, which affects feeling in your thumb and all fingers except the little finger and half the ring finger, passes through the carpal tunnel. When the tunnel becomes swollen, your median nerve is compressed.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a nerve compression disorder in which a peripheral nerve is compressed or pinched, causing pain in the front side of your forearm or wrist, coupled with numbness and tingling in the fingers. CTS occurs when the nerve (which controls movement and sensation on the palm side of the thumb and most of the fingers) becomes compressed inside the carpal tunnel, (a tunnel formed by 8 small bones of the wrist and the transverse carpal ligament (flexor retinaculum)) which houses the median nerve.

CTS has become of the most frequent type of work-related illnesses in the U.S. and Canada today. CTS stems from a problem with the nerves, muscles and joints and is medically known as musculoskeletal or neuromusculoskeletal problems.  CTS is characterized by pain in the wrist caused by pressure to the middle nerve in the channel that houses nerves and tendons.

(Over a long period of time CTS can become more like an illness, causing tissue strain and cell damage; this is known as “repetitive trauma’ or  repetitive strain injury (RSI).. )

carpal tunnel median

CARPAL TUNNEL AND EMOTIONAL PAIN

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body. In fact, every cell in your body works in unison and shares an interconnectedness to each other; therefore a change in one cell affects all the others.  It is the nervous system and fascia that helps the meridians to directly communicate with all your organs and glands; this intimate communication system continually expresses what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment. Emotional tension can inhibit this direct communications as well as circulation, causing fatigue, inability to focus and concentration. This can also cause muscle tension, and stiffness,(stress) which may also affect your perceptions and moods. Over time, emotionally distressful experiences can hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment.

“Fascia is a graphic expression of how we feel and think—it reflects our past experiences, our attitudes and our patterns of behavior.  The fascia also dictates our basic body shape, and our upbringing, physically and psychologically.  Therefore, the fascia expresses the movement within us as well as our conflicts and confusions.

Pain is caused by a lack of proper circulation or a blockage in the flow of energy—it can also impede the flow of blood throughout the body. This can result in pain, numbness, heaviness, stiffness and swelling of the joints and muscles. Stress and tension also slows down our circulation and becomes an inflammation in certain areas of the body.” Metaphysics of the Fascia

“The meridians are a network of channels that transport Qi. An Organ Meridian is a channel that transports Qi to the related internal organ, sense organ, and body parts-including, of course, the tissues along its route. Generally named for the related internal organ, the twelve Organ Meridians are: the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple Warmer, Gall Bladder, and Liver Meridians.” What are meridians and points

If you are holding on to a lot of emotional pain, your outer-world will begin to reflect this back to you as your reality is actually a projection of your inner-world of thoughts and emotions. When we suppress our feelings of sadness, grief, anger and/or shame, we also suppress the love and joy along with them.

Accepting your pain is the first step in healing as it stops you from struggling and fighting with yourself, allowing you to sit and feel with your painful body sensations and noticing your reaction to them.   When we sit with difficult body sensations and notice our attempt to control or resist them, they gradually let go. When this happens we may discover the pain isn’t quite as intense.  Once you’ve learned to sit with your painful sensations, you’ll react more openly to them and accept them instead of tensing your body against them.  We’ll explore ‘sitting with your painful sensations’ towards the end of this article.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?

How many of you with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are doing what you really want to do in your lives? Are you really free to express yourself; are you coming from a space of loving and caring? Are you with someone who you’d love to hug with all your might? Do you really want to participate in life, or is fear holding you back creating roadblocks for yourself? Are you afraid to be yourself, to act freely, to do what you want? Do you pull back, withdrawing or holding back personal ideas so as to avoid a confrontation? Are you worried about what others may think?

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

“….problems in the wrist indicate a lack of flexibility or difficulty in deciding what your hands should be doing.  You don’t acknowledge the right to use your hands to do something that gives you pleasure, for fear of making a mistake or of not being capable. Therefore, you choose to use your hands for activities you feel are “worthwhile” – activities that will prove your worth. ~ YOUR BODY IS TELL YOU : LOVE YOURSELF ~ Lise Bourbeau 

When the body is forced to work ‘unnatural motions’ on a repetitive basis, (long hours of sitting, bending, lifting, stooping), these take a toll on the body.  Most complaints of repetitive jobs at the work-place are low back, hip, shoulder, elbow, hand, and wrist.  Most cases of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) are caused by any profession that involves repetitive use of the hands and wrists, causing numbness, tingling, burning, swelling, weakness and joint stiffness.

“The musculature of our hands has to do without competence and ability to have a grasp on things.  If we feel we are losing our grip then the hands may reflect this through cramps, weakness or damage. Or they reflect our feelings of incompetence, a fear of failing, of being unable to produce what is required of us.  When we reach out too far, extend ourselves too much or push ourselves forward at an inappropriate time, invariably we will cut, bruise, burn or otherwise damage our fingers.” Deb Shapiro “The Bodymind Workbook

Deb Shapiro also speaks of wrist problems indicating that there is something we should be or want to be doing but are not; if this is the case, why are you holding back? From the wrists we reach the hands, which express how we think or feel about what we’re doing in the world.  Are you pushing your hands too far? Are you trying to do too much or confused about you’re doing?

“Carpal tunnel syndrome has been associated with certain tasks including:

  • Repetitive hand motions.
  • Awkward hand positions
  • Strong gripping.
  • Mechanical stress on the palm.
  • Vibration.

Cashiers, hairdressers, or knitters or sewers are examples of people whose work-related tasks involve the repetitive wrist movements associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bakers who flex or extend the wrist while kneading dough, and people who flex the fingers and wrist in tasks such as milking cows, using a spray paint gun, and hand-weeding are other examples. Excessive use of vibrating hand tools may also be related to carpal tunnel syndrome…..

… Carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with several diseases and situations. They are:

  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Gout.
  • Amyloidosis (infiltration of the liver, kidneys, spleen with a starch-like substance).
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland).
  • Tumours of tendon sheaths.
  • Wrist fractures and dislocations.
  • Wrist cysts.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Use of oral contraceptives.
  • Menopause.

All these diseases and situations increase the volume of the contents of the carpal tunnel, resulting in compression of the median nerve. Also some individual factors, such as the size and shape of the wrist and the shape of the median nerve, may contribute to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.” https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/diseases/carpal.html

I’ve also received emails from nurses, surgeons, computer workers, golfers, tennis players, musicians, hair stylists, mechanics, waitresses/waiters wanting to know and understand the deeper (emotional issues) from their carpal tunnel.

Most people who suffer from CTS are  hard-working, conscientious, meticulous and well-organized. They’re proud of their work and their dedication to duty, and can always be depended upon to get the job done. What carpal tunnel people lack in creativity they make up for with effort .. they don’t see themselves making a name for themselves as they identify themselves with the common people rather than making a splash out into the world.

Generally, the clients I’ve met with CTS are close to workaholics in many cases. Somewhere, workaholics have lost touch with their deeper emotional and instinctual nature .. in fact they can be ‘destructively compulsive’ which tends to depress the vitality of the office and the people in it.

Carpal Tunnel people need relaxation more than being pushed to work harder. If the client is in a high-pressure job or required to work long hours, it’s important that once the work is done that they do something ‘for the love of it’ which also induces relaxation. Meditation and spiritual activities often prove to be helpful antidotes as well. Many clients have been drawn to these.

What I’ve learned (from clients) about the deeper emotional issues of CTS, is that at some point the job they’ve been working at for quite some time isn’t pleasurable for them anymore.  The enjoyment, the passion they once had seems to have vanished.  But rather than look at why their unhappy, they avoid it at all costs. Emotions are the key to creation but many of us have deeply hidden beliefs about expressing our emotions, we may have been told to ‘stop crying’, and therefore grew up with the belief that to express any emotion is a no-no!

Some people with carpal tunnel had parents who were highly efficient, super-critical and demanded perfectionism. This frustrated and inhibited their emotional growth and fragile self-esteem.  As children, they learnt to hold back emotionally, and carpal tunnel people are not unemotional, they just find it difficult to express what they feel. The problem is that, others might consider them cold, detached, perhaps a little prudish and stuffy. Actually, they are quite sensitive and their feelings are easily hurt. They try to hid it behind a mask of being aloof or coolly professional – even in situations that call for warmth and openness.

Tony (not his real name) was a former client who had  been diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Working as a mechanic, for a major car manufacturer, his job required a lot of flexing and grabbing with his hands. He was quite upset when I received his email, because he desperately needed the strength back in his hands to do his job. 

Tony’s hands were constantly going numb; the most noticeable pain was at the base of the thumb .. he was losing his grip and dropping tools more often.  As we wrote back and forth, Tony felt frustrated and exhausted in many areas of his life, not just his work and these emotions were triggering physical symptoms in his wrists and hands.  

The hands correspond to how we are handling our lives, feelings about how we reach out to others, and others to us, as well as our ability to cope, to create and to express ourselves. When we have problems with our hands, we can look at these different aspects from our inner-self/inner-wisdom and see where the conflict lies. If we continue putting out the same thought and tightening in the same area, then damage to the tissue will slowly increase. When we can recognize the messages we keep sending out, then we can connect with and help release the source of the problem.

Your emotions are the way your body naturally expresses itself from your life experiences. Emotions are stored in the organs and muscles and tissues of the body, but they just don’t sit there, they are in constant communication with your brain and entire body.  And as we learnt earlier, the slightest bit of information sets off a whole communication system through your nerves, fascia and meridians (an intimate communication system, expressing what you’re feeling (sensing) from moment to moment).

Attempting to hold back emotionally, causes muscle tension and stiffness (stress)  which can also affect your circulation, cause fatigue, disrupts focus and concentration.  Over time this will affect your perceptions and moods and hamper your ability to be fully responsive and in the moment. If you are holding on to a lot of pain, then your reality will begin to reflect that back to you as the outer world is a projection of your inner thoughts and emotions.

Let’s look at the symbolism of an interesting tarot card for the moment.  It’s the ‘Eight of Shields (Pentacles) from the tarot deck “LEGEND The Arthurian TAROT.  Why did I choose Anne-Marie Ferguson’s art-work?  Let’s take a look ….

8 of pents

It’s a painting of a blacksmith working deep within the bowels of the earth. Blacksmiths learned with their hands to take nature apart and put the pieces together in a new and more powerful combination.  But in this card, the blacksmith doesn’t look too happy.

If we look at this card symbolically, what do you see?

Metaphysically, this blacksmith (Wayland) looks separated from his ‘aliveness’ or disconnected from his mind and body—he’s lost the joy and passion of ‘present awareness’ of being in the moment—instead, he’s doing a job that is machine-like, routinely repeating the same procedure over and over again. Look at how he’s slouched over, how one arm and hand grips the shield, while the other hand holds a small tool-like screw-driver that involves repetitive action of his wrist and fingers. Remaining in this position would definitely affect his hands and hurt his back.  Repetition, force and posture are risk factors that can contribute to the development of CTS.

If we look around the room, there’s nothing, except the fire that would force him to get up and put on a log, to keep the flames going.  Without enough motion, Wayland will lose his full range of motion (major muscle groups will start to atrophy from disuse); as he moves less and less this will reduce his physical activities causing a reduction in oxygen to the brain and affecting his function to move his arms, head and spine.  When this happens, the musculoskeletal system is affected and begins to shut down weakening the body’s internal systems and organs.

Why is Wayland not relaxed and enjoying his work?  Is he so afraid of failure he can’t enjoy what he’s creating? I wonder if the shield is for King Arthur or perhaps his knights? No matter who it’s for, working long hours for someone else and ignoring the body’s cry for help will cause this ‘bent-over position’ (day-after-day) to become Chronic.  CTS can become severe enough to limit a person’s ability to work. Without adequate care or rest, permanent damage to the soft tissue and nerves of the hands may result.

Maybe he’s unable to express himself with people of authority or maybe he fears them. Fear puts us on guard and makes us anxious and defensive. It breeds suspicion and doubt and causes us to not trust anyone, including ourselves. It fosters envy, jealousy, helplessness, disappointment, despair and hopelessness. It separates us, making us feel alone and isolated. It can cause us to lash out at others, to be hurtful in our words and actions.  Back pain can be caused by feeling you have to carry everyone and everything while ignoring your own survival issues .. stooping or rounded shoulders indicate trying to hide or withdraw from the world because of lack of confidence.

“When we live in an environment of danger or deprivation, we experience fear. … The sense of fear is our only feeling of safety, as paradoxical as that might sound. We feel safe only because we are hypervigilant and become even more uncomfortable when we try to relax.   The nervous system and the adrenal glands remain overworked. In this state of hyperarousal, our triggers are more sensitive and more likely to react to extremes.  Our foundation is literally shaky and concentration may be difficult. As a result, the body is in a constant state of stress, which becomes normal.” Eastern Body Western Mind ~ Anodea Judith

Aeclectic Tarot forum (now closed but still online as read-only)  was a great forum where tarot-minded individuals and astrologers enjoyed learning and sharing with each other.  Of the many tarot decks discussed and researched was, Legend ~ The Arthurian Tarot.  You can see the many different posts on the Eight of Shields here. https://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=37801

An individual’s username ‘Sophie-David’ commented in this thread … “In A Keeper of Words, Anna-Marie tells us that Wayland is deep within the earth as he practices his craft. I can’t help but feel sorry for him as he works on the shield out of the light of day. This deprivation of natural lighting and fresh air is common to so many modern workers in factories and maintenance shops, underground malls and office towers. Space seems to be at such a premium, or security so tight, that we can’t afford windows any more. Although he wears a protective leather apron, Wayland has no shirt because of the heat. Whether or not he enjoys his work, this can’t be good for him, no sunlight or good air, the heat of the stifling furnace, and the fumes given off in the shaping and annealing process.

This is an Eight of Shields (Pentacles) that really gives one pause to consider the modern nature of work. Anna-Marie tells us that “Wayland was the master craftsman to the gods, whose weapons were so fine that they sang in the air”. But no matter how good the product produced, working hours seem to be going up again, conditions in many places are deteriorating, and spending power is decreasing. Wayland is an admirable worker, but his wild grey hair and the poor conditions make this rather a sad Eight.”

Carpal tunnel people are comfort-givers and empathizers, you couldn’t meet nicer people on this planet. They go out of their way to help you because your time is more valuable than theirs.  This is because deep down they struggle with feelings of unworthiness, they don’t believe in extending their kindness and empathy to themselves. This is because they can’t see themselves for who they are, so they go out of their way trying to make everybody else happy.  They can’t say no and give too much.  As a result they become exhausted from overwhelming responsibilities causing self-esteem issues to arise.  This leads to a form of paralysis or feeling incapacitated in some way, forcing them to stop what they’re doing. Carpal tunnel then develops as a way to force them to look at doing something new.

CARPAL TUNNEL MIND/BODY HEALING

When we self-doubt ourselves, we tend to keep a low profile.  We pretend everything’s ok by faking it and being something we’re not. When we are unable to express our feelings or fears, we don’t feel safe or secure. When we don’t feel safe, we either withdraw (keep a low profile) or get angry.  We get angry but we don’t express it; we keep it shoved down pretending everything’s okay. Pretending and faking is so exhausting -it feels as if your life is totally out of your own hands – experiencing actual symptoms of pain, coldness, and numbness flowing down your arm(s) to your hand(s).  You see other people who  hunker down and get things done.  Why them and not you?  I think it all has to do with self-confidence. Self-confidence allows you to be who you are .. fully and freely.  It’s possible you’ve had to compromise yourself, or mould yourself to fit the image of ‘what you’re supposed to be? That’s when we lose a sense of who we are … and we find ourselves banished in the dark regions of our unconscious (the shadow).

Some people in their attempt to find themselves, are ‘lured’ by programs that promise ‘unlimited power’ or a life without fear, guilt or other not-so-good feelings. When they fail to reach this ‘perfection’ they take it as another sign that something is wrong deep within.

TUNING INTO THE HEART

Before we start, I want you to know you don’t have to become a better person or develop a different attitude to have a life you love – you are good enough as you are!

The area of the breasts and chest reflect the ‘self to the self’. It is our private and personal area and symbolizes our sense of self-identity .. notice how when talking you touch the chest to indicate self or when talking about your feelings or opinions. We express heart energy through our mouth, lips, through our arms, hands and through our genitals. Heart energy also has to do with the Self. Its message .. We have to love and accept ourselves before we can really love others.

Problems with the arms and hands (extensions of the heart) can be metaphors for carrying too much for others, feeling like our hands are tied in certain situations or that something in our life has become too hot to handle.

Remember Tony, the mechanic with carpal tunnel?  His story was a little bit different. After looking at and discussing his astrological chart, we were able to understand why he was having problems at work and gripping/holding onto his tools.  Tony realized it was his mother that dominated the home and constantly criticized his father for his incompetence and lack of interest in the home.  As a child, Tony took on the attitude that if his father had been a better provider in the home, his mother wouldn’t be so miserable.  So Tony decided he didn’t want to be anything like his father. With his trade as a mechanic, he continually worked hard to prove he wasn’t going to be a patsy like his dad.

But Tony overestimated what was expected of him at work and went to great lengths to prove he was a valued and competent employee.  His employers greedily took all that Tony gave and more until he became mentally and physically exhausted.  No wonder he developed carpal tunnel, he had become a ‘willing victim’, working day and night to put together a lifestyle that ‘seemed’ solid and steady.

But then he started to worry about all the things that could go wrong.  The other employees didn’t seem to like him much.  So he tried to work harder to be accepted by his peers causing him to build up even more responsibilities.  He took on working weekends for the other mechanics so they’d appreciate him.  After all, they had families to care for, Tony hadn’t had anyone in his life for a very long time.  But hey what about himself?

Tony was struggling with a great deal of confusion about his personal identity. He realized his unconscious values and attitudes were the driving force behind his life .. as long as he repressed them, they remained out of his control.  But if he could sort out which of  his childhood beliefs made sense and served him well and changed those that didn’t, he’d be able to stop taking responsibility for others and take charge of his own well-being.

Tony suddenly felt resentment towards his mother, which is a normal reaction when he saw that his father actually did his best to ‘try’ and make her happy.  He realized no matter how much his father did for his mother, it wasn’t enough, she wanted more!  Tony realized no matter how hard he worked, it wasn’t acceptable .. he had to keep trying harder.

I’ve found that people who go, go, go, over committing themselves are going out of their way to avoid conflict (both internal and external). They try to keep their pain (fears, aggression, or sorrow) hidden from their day-today living and hidden from themselves and everyone else. Unfortunately these fears/aggressions/sorrows are projected onto other people, who then feel compelled to act out what you’ve been hiding. It’s time to withdraw your projections and fears and return home to your heart for healing …..

I asked Tony if he’d ever done anything creative for himself that wasn’t for others?  Since Tony loved creating with his hands, I asked him if he’d tried painting, wood-working,  gardening, playing an instrument, writing or drawing.  Any of these could help him get in touch with his feelings and help balance his energies.

AUTHENTICITY

The greatest challenge in life isn’t to succeed to but to feel at home with who you are and where you are and what you’re doing.  

To be authentic means that you ‘observe’ your inner fears.  It doesn’t mean that you act them out or allow your fears to lead to you. Being authentic means that you notice it, you are aware of it, you work with it, and you decide how to deal with it.  This way you make sure your actions are aligned with what you intended.  

There are four basic components to building your personal power .. grounding, centering, and maintaining boundaries. Grounding helps you to stay ‘solidly connected to your body’ your vehicle of awareness… when you’re present you will have access to all sensations, feelings, energy flows and emotions going on in and around you.

-Learn to recognize when you’re acting out of character..
-Give yourself a break and time to relax ..do a body check and ask how you’re feeling? -Balance your emotional and physical well-being.
-Share your deepest feelings with someone you trust.
-Enjoy a hobby or take on one, painting, writing, drawing .. anything to get in touch with your feelings and help bring you into alignment.
-Meditate or do ‘nothing’ .. which might not make sense to you … but it does make sense to your soul.
-Learn to work and cooperate with others ..

SELF-DISCOVERY EXPERIENCE

Choose a quiet place to sit where you can do this introspection without being interrupted. After reading each question, close your eyes, take some deep breaths to relax your body and calm your mind, then begin to let the thoughts, images and associations flow.

– Reflect on a recent situation in which you were conscious of experiencing tension in the form of impatience, fear, anger, irritation, guilt or blame. Allow yourself to relive that situation in your mind’s eye. See clearly the person(s) involved and reexperience the thoughts that came. Let the emotions flow over you, as if it were happening now. In this setting, you don’t have to control or hide your feelings for social reasons, so just let them envelop you. Sink into them without judging or rationalizing them.

– After a few minutes, notice what is happening to your physiologically. Has your breathing changed? Do you feel hot or cold? Is any part of your body tense (tight jaw, clenched fist, tight abdomen, frown?) What are your thoughts? Are they clear and objective, or confused and blurred?

– Ask yourself “How do I feel about the person(s) involved? Can I clearly see a solution? —What is it I wanted and didn’t get?
-Do I know exactly what to do next to remove the stress?
-What do I want to do, right now, to feel better?

When these answers are clear to you, slowly open your eyes and write them down.
a) Physically, I felt/noticed …
b) My thoughts were …
c) About the person(s) involved, I felt …
d) I wanted to feel better by …
e) In this situation, what I wanted (and didn’t get, .. or thought I wouldn’t get) was …

– Repeat for several situations, to get a clearer picture of your reaction patterns.

ravenstarshealingroom@gmail.com

Great LINKS

5 wrist exercises for Carpal Tunnel

Forearm Pain Relief

Acupuncture & Acupressure for Carpal Tunnel

Carpal Tunnel – Check your Thyroid

10 natural & Home Remedies for Carpal Tunnel

 

 

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