A Pain In The Butt
Who hasn’t had some kind of pain or discomfort in their gluteal area? Or how many times have we called someone with whom we are familiar, “a pain in the butt?” Examining that phrase, we can see the person who is the pain in the butt exhibits some kind of behavior that you find irritating in some fashion. So, when we are around a person like that, who gets the pain in the butt; not them but us?
We go to work every day and after a while with prolonged sitting, we notice the nagging ache in our buttocks area. We try different seating arrangements and try to position ourselves ergonomically, but we still get the pain. First, we try over the counter pain relievers and then after visiting the physician, we get prescription medications with all their side effects, but to no avail. Friends recommend chiropractors, massage therapist, and physical therapy, but they only provide temporary relief at best. Up until this point the entire treatment program is geared towards getting rid of the pain, instead of seeking the cause of the discomfort.
Upon examination of the person that has the pain in the butt, we most likely will find an asymmetry in the structure of the pelvic girdle (PG), meaning there is a difference in the structure from one side to the other. The PG is a basin shaped bony structure comprised of the ilium, the sacrum, and the ischium, that connects the trunk and the legs, supports and balances the trunk, and contains and supports the intestines, the urinary bladder, and the internal sex organs. The pelvis provides attachment for muscles that balance and support the trunk and move the legs, the hips, and the trunk. In order to have efficient movement of the trunk and the extremities, the muscles of the PG need to provide a stable base.
Also, the examination will show a weakness in the muscles that attach to the PG and upon palpation those muscles will also be tender. So a standardized treatment could be directed a bringing the PG into alignment and strengthening the musculature. But what caused the weakness of the musculature with the resultant structural imbalance?
In order to completely understand the process, we can look at the meridian system of the body. The meridian system is comprised of pathways that direct the energy flow throughout the body. The meridian also supplies the musculature with energy enabling it to function properly. If this flow is disrupted, then the associated muscles become weaker and lose their ability to act as a stabilizer. When the meridians have been influenced by injury, trauma, or emotional upset, the flow is affected and the muscle is unable to contract properly when given the command to “hold” against resistance. The inability of the muscle to hold greatly affects the stability of the PG. With the weak musculature, the pelvis is unable to maintain a balanced position and slips into a pattern of torsional and rotational twists. Our stress level generated from our thoughts and emotions greatly influences the flow of energy through the system.
The two main meridians that pass through the gluteal area are the bladder and the gallbladder. Let’s look at the emotions that are associated with these meridians. These two meridians are the only ones that start in the cranium and move down along the spine through the PG, into the legs down to the lateral foot. They are both “yang” meridians meaning the energy flow from top to bottom and is of a masculine nature. The associated emotion of the bladder is about the issue of control. If there is asymmetry, weakness, and tenderness in the muscles along the bladder meridian, then we can assume that we are out of balance with the concept of control. It does not necessarily mean that we need to be more or less in control, it is more of having the intuition, our deepest knowing, to know when to step up and take charge of a situation or when to step back and let the energy flow as needed.
Most of us are not in balance with control due to the fact that we grew up under the complete control of our primary care givers. We have been taught that our external environment controls us instead of learning that we have a great effect on what is happening around us by what is going on in our internal environment. Most of us were not taught how to control ourselves therefore relying on external cues for our behavior. We learn at a young age that it is “better” to be in control than to be out of control. But are we ever really in control? We try to control our external surroundings to make us feel safe and secure. If we do not really feel safe and secure, we will try to control our external world hoping to achieve this false sense of security. So we make our plans, go to school, and get a decent paying job sitting in an office all day so we can afford a nice place to live and drive a nice car. We are usually overworked and underpaid and there is always one person in the office or work situation that is a “pain in the a..”.
Anything you do to attempt to improve this relationship has always ended with you being frustrated which is the emotion associated with the other meridian of the PG, the gallbladder. So the pattern develops because we can’t control the other person and therefore we get frustrated, so the flow of energy through these two meridians is influenced leading to you to having a “pain in the butt.”
So, the next time you are putting someone in the category of being a pain in the butt, examine yourself to see who really is the cause of the discomfort!
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