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How body signals differ from normal pain, how it comes to body signal chains and why it is worth dissolving these.

… or what back pain has to do with the feet

Physical pain is common in everyday life – and is not necessarily associated with past events, such as body signal chains. Physical pain is often not taken too seriously and given only the amount of attention needed to be able to carry out one’s tasks and duties without too many limitations.

Take back pain, for example, which is probably the scenario that most people can identify with. Either you’ve been sitting at your PC or sitting still for too long, or you simply need a new mattress. These deductions seem reasonable, at least if you’re looking for the cause of the pain in the here and now.

But not all pain in the present moment can be automatically traced back to current or very recent causes. It’s equally likely that you’re experiencing the pain associated with a body signal, the origins of which aren’t to be found in today’s events. In this case, the pain has nothing to do with physical ailments.

Body signal pain, whether as a single signal or a body signal chain, is the result of unprocessed experiences, its aim being to highlight to the bearer that something hasn’t been worked through. It’s an invitation to see something that wants to be seen.

How can you tell which type of pain you’re experiencing?

Purely physical pain is only similar each time while signal pain is always the same. There’s also the fact that it’s often an entire body signal chain in play, i.e. several signals with an unidentifiable connection between them, rather than a single signal.

Few people would instantly realise that acute night-time back pain, for example, is associated with prior itchiness of the skin as well as numb, dry feet, especially if these signals occur over a long period on a delayed basis. In addition, the natural tendency to avoid pain – i.e. to be gentle with, or not touch, the relevant area – unfortunately encourages the failure to deal with its underlying cause.

How do body signal chains occur?

Entire series of body signals are triggered through experiences that someone hasn’t been able to deal with (adequately). The excessive burden of the individual events lingers on and the non-processed material is stored in the body’s memory. Even if years have passed since an initial experience took place and we think we’ve dealt with it, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the case. Our bodies tell us what’s really going on, even without the occurrence of common symptoms, such as palpitations, sweating, etc. The body has lots of ways of communicating with us and it always produces those signals that occurred during the original experience. Even the sequence of signals in the present moment matches the sequence of signals in the initial experience – just that most people haven’t learnt how to interpret the various signals accordingly.

The initial signals are probably quiet and so not perceived as such, but the final link in a body signal chain, i.e. the symptom, in our example back pain, is recognised. While those affected don’t recognise their signals as such at all or not until very late, the outside world sometimes sees and may even recognise what’s behind the symptoms and signals much earlier. To the well-trained eye, another person’s eyes reveal a great deal about whether an unprocessed event has occurred. In addition, the signal chain of a non-processed event will always be triggered if we experience something in the here and now that our body memory associates with that event.

Yours or mine – the key role played by family

Mere recognition is complicated by the fact that not every symptom, not every body signal chain, is necessarily related to a person’s own experience. Non-processed events and information are also passed down from generation to generation in the family or via attachment figures (Bezugspersonen) [website in German only]) until someone finally looks at them, is ready to work through and let go of the things taken on from one’s mother or father, say, so that the unprocessed matter isn’t passed on to one’s own children.

Picking up on and dissolving body signal chains

To prevent the latter happening, and equally importantly to be able to live one’s life in a more light-hearted, authentic and independent way, it’s crucial to develop a sense of awareness. After all, we can only move on if we achieve a state of conscious perception of what our subconscious is telling us via the body. This is accomplished simply by picking up on the information behind a signal, seeing it for what it is and setting it in the right context. When we identify its origins, the chain dissolves.

It sounds simple but the process can last for different lengths of time, as each signal harbours a lot of information, all of which needs to be seen and heard in order to finish working through it. However big the challenge seems, that’s no reason to shun it. As soon as you start observing and scrutinising your inner self closely, you’ll very quickly develop a reliable gateway to yourself and will already be able to pick up on some of the information that is stuck behind your own signals.

How do I deal with body signals on my own?

In order to start becoming aware of them and begin the work with one’s own body memory, you should first ask yourself the following questions: what is my body actually signalling? What signs can I perceive? Which of these signals may form part of a body signal chain? It also helps here to ask yourself about the context in which individual signals have occurred and to look at it in detail: which situation or atmosphere was I/am I usually in when the signal occurred/occurs? What happened/happens immediately beforehand? This observation technique will become increasingly natural over the course of time and your perception of signals significantly more sophisticated.

Perceiving, understanding and cleaning up – Body Signal Work after Anke Sommer

If identifying symptoms and signals, and picking up on the information behind them, initially appears too great a task, Anke Sommer’s Body Signal WorkAnke Sommer, inventor of body signal work, supports you in becoming aware of the messages of your body and in understanding them coherently.... Read more provides the help needed to uncover the secrets stored in the body’s memory. As a facilitator, i.e. process guide, I support numerous ‘signal explorers’ on their path to increased awareness. Together, we identify signals and discover the underlying information. In this way, we recognise the origins of the signal chain and by doing so dissolve it.
Anyone whose interest is now engaged, who’s curious, or wants to see their back pain in a somewhat different light is warmly invited to discover more about this topic and one’s own signals in the LEADERSHIP Workshop “Body Signal Work as a (Self-) Leadership Method”.

Entdeckung von Körpersignalketten
Körpersignalketten entdecken, Bild©: Elijah Hiett

Anyone whose interest is now engaged, who’s curious, or wants to see their back pain in a somewhat different light is warmly invited to discover more about this topic and one’s own signals in the LEADERSHIP Workshop “Body Signal Work as a (Self-) Leadership Method”.

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