Dr. Ardeshir Mehran

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ARE YOU IN PAIN?

We live in a society awash with resources and guidelines for effective communication.

Yet, when it comes to understanding the language of our pain…we are tone-deaf.

Every day, around 30% of visits to adult primary care clinics in the US are due to pain complaints. Patients keep returning with complaints of lingering physical pain, aches, and soreness. Physicians prescribe various tests and medications. The relief is short-lived. Such visits are categorized as “functional illnesses,” meaning tests show no discernable medical complications.

Data shows that depression is the leading factor in such ongoing pain and frequent patient visits.

I see similar patterns in my current role as a depression treatment expert. My clients often report physical pain intertwined with emotional pain.

The most reported physical pains by my clients are: lower back pain, migraine headache, shoulder pain, neck pain, shooting pain down the arms, pain in the knees, pain in the throat and jaws, chest pain (mostly men), and stomach pain (mostly women), and fibromyalgia.

What Is Pain?

Think of pain as “body armoring.”

At its core, pain is about physical tension.

Pain is a signal of the occurrence of physical or emotional injuries (hurt, neglect, trauma).

Pain is a healthy reaction to injury or illness. It nudges us to slow down to heal properly.

When in pain, the body “armors up”—it becomes watchful and vigilant, with a high level of adrenalin and cortisol in the bloodstream.

Pain leads to persistent tensing of muscles—as if you are bracing yourself, anticipating more blows, abuse, emotional overwhelm, or trauma.

When pain lingers, muscles become overworked and grow exhausted, leading to chronic tightness, fatigue, and strains. It is at this stage that frequent doctor visits for pain management occur.

The Language of Pain

When emotional pain lingers, it means the aching body still remembers the original distressful incident(s).

These are incidents when we could not have protected our boundaries—we were overwhelmed, too young, scared, isolated, or lost our own sense of agency. We may have moved to freeze, please, or appease responses.

Pain is nudging us to close the loop of “unfinished” emotional experiences, to stand up for ourselves.

Release Your Pain

You need to feel the pain to heal the pain.

Consider working with a therapist trained in somatic/trauma psychology.

Resolving lingering pain accelerates when the underlying tension stuck in the body is released.

An effective somatic practice begins with a gentle and compassionate noticing of physical pain.

Pain intensity shifts and dissolves once dormant emotions and experiences are noticed and expressed. The healing could be achieved relatively swiftly or may take a few sessions.

My hope for you is to go from tolerating or medicating your physical pain to full resolution.

Allow your pain to be felt and addressed for good.

You deserve to live a life of health, vitality, and fulfillment.

BONUS: Recently, I was a guest speaker at the METAL Men global community. Members are leading entrepreneurs, founders, celebrities, innovators, and leaders in various industries. Read the recap of my talk here: Feel Depressed Sometimes? It’s Not a Disease. It’s Fuel! 

 

With love and gratitude,

Dr. Ardeshir Mehran
hello@ardeshirmehran.com
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Bestselling Book: You Are Not Depressed. You Are Un-Finished.