Somanaut's Blog

Just another weblog

Age and Pain

Does being older mean we have to hurt? No. The possibility of pain is always present, regardless of age. There is no necessity for older people to hurt! Most chronic pain is accumulated micro trauma- small injuries left unresolved. By attending to those injuries the overwhelmed nervous system can regain balance.

We make changes when we feel reasonably confident that we have the resources to handle the chaos of change. For older persons in our culture there is a pervasive message that those resources are not available. This is untrue!

I believe it is an unacknowledged fear of death that drives this shallow thinking. Our unwillingness to accept aging as a joyous part of life leaves us hampered by denial. We fall into fatalistic rationalizations for our choice to maintain painful habits. If we were to challenge ourselves to re-examine those habits, we would find we can often easily use our wisdom to overcome much of our pain.

Most of life is small and mundane. Our culture worships the heroic at the expense of the quietly wise. This manifests most dramatically in our attitude toward our bodies. Rather than take to time to fully learn how to use and care for our physical selves, we wait until dire conditions have been created and then take drastic actions, as in replacing joints instead of exploring movement.

For older persons, the patience and wisdom that have accumulated offer a great resource. The world of modern medicine is young and has a strong attachment to a heroic mythology. Those among us with many years on the planet would do well to access the wisdom that has accrued. Do not be led by those who are behind you.


September 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I agree that if we pay attention as we grow old before we become old that we can perhaps retrain the brain and “re-educate” the nervous system. It would be interesting to do a clinical study using Feldenkrais in the elderly population to see how much relief could be attained. Do you think that Feldenkrais could help mitigate the pain from arthritis as arthritis is one of the most common causes of pain among our elders?

    Comment by Maria Tadd | February 22, 2010 | Reply

    • I believe there has been a study like that. The Feldenkrais Method is great for elders. Arthritis is irritation from misuse. We can find new and better ways to move. Immediate pain relief is possible. If the wear and tear is reduced, then inflammation can heal.

      Comment by somanaut | February 23, 2010 | Reply

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