About neck pain, osteopathy and balance

If you want to build a better world, start from within.

In 2007 I was struggling with neck pain. It was becoming a real issue, some days I wasn’t able to go out without pain killers. A friend suggested I have it checked by an osteopath. The visit started weirdly. I was standing in my underwear while the osteopath walked around me. He observed me from every angle without saying a word. After a few minutes, he asked me to raise my arms, parallel to the floor. He told me to keep them up and still while he tried to lower them applying pressure on my hands. I was able to keep my right arm up but the left one sagged without the faintest resistance. Then he told me to take off my eyeglasses and we repeated the experiment. This time I was able to keep both my arms strong and firm.

Surprise!

I’ve been using glasses since I was five. I am short-sighted in both eyes but the left one is weaker and astigmatic. This asymmetry in my eyesight has never been perfectly corrected by the glasses. I grew up with this unbalanced vision of the world around me. Unconsciously, I adapted my posture to what I was seeing. Just a little, but thirty years of this little adjustment compounded, affecting my spine and causing my neck pain. My body changed to blend into the world my eyes were seeing and my mind was perceiving.

It was an enlightening experience about the power of our mind and the importance of our eyesight. A fascinating topic indeed. In almost every book about personal growth, the importance of vision is a recurring topic.

You probably heard the expression “We see the world, not as it is, but as we are”. It states the fact that our perception of reality is filtered by our prejudices and beliefs. The same reality can be perceived in different ways by different people.

This is because our brain is flooded with information, coming through our senses at any given moment. To avoid collapsing under this storm of inputs, our brain adopts a strategy known as selective filtering or selective attention. We only pay attention to a fraction of all that information and we discard or at least attenuate the rest. A typical example is when you are selecting your new car. You choose your favourite option and from that moment you spot that model everywhere. The quantity of that specific car on the road didn’t increase overnight but now you notice them and filter out the others.

How can this help you to change your world for better?

Here is a simple trick: change your inner filters. If you adopt a positive attitude, you will pay more attention to the positive aspects of the world you see. And you’ll make it better.

Cheesy? Maybe, but it’s a first step that will start a virtuous cycle.

The inner model of the world that we use to assess what we see is the result of our beliefs and our past experiences. If we increase our level of awareness and we adopt a positive attitude we will attract new positive experiences. These positive experiences will positively affect our inner model. You can guess the rest.

The key is awareness. When you are unhappy or unsatisfied, you may want to change the things around you. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control of the world outside. You can’t change it. And because you constantly try to align your inner model with the world you see, you end up forcing yourself to fit into this unbalanced vision of reality. Maybe by making only little adjustments. But, compounded over time, these adjustments can generate tensions and stress.
Like with my neck pain.

The good news is that you can control the model within, your attitude. But you must be aware. When you are aware that you see the world as you are, you are in control. How are you looking at reality? Which filters are you using? How can you improve your inner model? It’s no longer about making your world better, it’s about making yourself better.

Reassess your vision.

Your journey to a better world starts within.


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