Have you ever felt discomfort in a region of the body and come to the conclusion that the cause of the discomfort is emotional stress expressing itself? I always say that the body is amazing. Whenever I notice discomfort or pain I fully believe in the body’s ability to heal itself. To me it is all about lowering tension and stress in the body – but it is not always that easy! Sometimes the body needs external help and I have often done acupuncture to kickstart a healing process. I believe the body hears everything. It hears our thoughts, it notices our feelings, and when we let it go too far with challenging or stressful thoughts it manifests physically as discomfort or pain.

I recently experienced this. A couple of months ago I started getting swollen behind both knees. At the start I blamed my walking on asphalt as I am not used to walking far on hard surfaces. I tried acupuncture, massage, super healthy eating, ibuprofen and rest but nothing seemed to make a difference. That started to stress me out as I want to walk my dog, walk to get my groceries, and mostly, as I find it hard when I can’t move the way I want to move. I also felt embarrassed for having this type of challenge when I am so into caring for joints in my yoga classes. After several weeks not getting better I instinctively knew the only right cure would be to 1) Relax mentally 100% and 2) Start feeling extremely good about life.

As a side note: I am in France and it seems there are many health practitioners here who view the knees, les genoux, as “je” and “nous”, which means “I” and “we/us” (it is pronounced the same way). They see discomfort in the genoux as an emotional attachment to the past. I actually believe that too. Especially when I googled the spiritual meaning of knees and it said that knee problems may indicate that one doesn’t feel safe or at home in the body and life right now… And that it may indicate an unconscious resistance to moving forwards.

I don’t want to view myself as a victim of the past, I am for the beauty of the present moment! So what I did was to really DECIDE that my legs and knees are amazing. I started visualising myself doing rope skipping, running up and down stairs no problem, getting into yoga postures fully trusting the strength and health of my knees. I made a mind movie – sort of an ad for myself – about how wonderful my knees are (yes, in the present tense) and several times a day I gave gratitude to my amazing knees. As best I could I tried to accept and appreciate the challenge I was going through so I wouldn’t create unnecessary resistance in my body or life. I also started doing fascial maneuvers to increase circulation flow in the body as I believe so much wellbeing comes with movement. Finally I met a doctor who scanned both knees. He ended up telling me there was nothing wrong with them at all?!??

I asked the doctor three times to look me in the eyes and tell me my knees were absolutely fine. I mean, I had to really hear it to believe it.

Here is what I learned:

  • Made-up fear in the mind has the power to get a firm grip on the physical body. With the uncertainties I was experiencing in my life I could see I had let fear take over and it had affected the body.
  • It is both crazy and amazing how powerful the mind is.
  • It is important to increase awareness of thoughts so we know what is happening. The body doesn’t know whether our thoughts are reality or made-up, so we’d better create good thoughts for our body to be well.

What happened after I had seen the doctor? The swelling disappeared in no time as I naturally stopped sending worried energy and attention to the knees. I am so thankful to feel free to move forwards now. Wishing you well! Annette X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.