My Body Knows Where I’m Going … Does Yours?

Dreamstine Photo by Federico Stevanin

Dreamstine Photo by Federico Stevanin

It never ceases to amaze me how much my body tells me, if and when I listen to its messages.  Many years ago I had back problems.  At that time, the message was loud and clear that I did not feel supported, that I felt nobody “had my back,” and I felt as if I had the entire weight of the world on my back.  Over and over again, during the hundreds of body therapy sessions I received, especially The Rubenfeld Synergy Method, I would say to the practitioner “I don’t feel supported.”  Gradually, over time, my perspective changed and I was able to give and receive the support I needed.

Years later, when I was elected chair of my college department and I was about to move from my small office into the much larger chairperson’s office, I began to bang my knees.  I had been in that small office for over 15 years and never ever banged my knees on the desk until I was ready to leave.  Once I knew I was leaving, it was as if my knees were impatient for me to get out of there already.  The office space suddenly became too small for my body.

At times I have experienced a pain in my neck when I could not make a clear decision and other people were upsetting and confusing me.  At other times I felt an acute pain in my stomach or my chest when someone unexpectedly attacked me with harsh and critical words.

Lately, as my business model is about to expand beyond the limits that have been comfortable for me in the past, my body is again giving me lots of signals and not so subtle messages.  According to Louise Hay, author of You Can Heal Your Life, my current body symptoms are definitely connected to my business expansion – or my fear and resistance to the changes that are coming.  The symptoms in my toes, swelling and discomfort, “represent the minor details of the future.”  The symptoms in my fingers “represent the details of life,” my current life, my emotions (intellect, worry, anger, sexuality, family and pretending).  As I strive to be more authentic in the world, as I become more fully myself in the family of life, my body reminds me of all the ways that I am not yet there, not yet fully present, not yet fully free.  My shoulders, tensing up and creating painful spasms from years of holding on to the burdens of my life, are preparing me to expand and allow joy and pleasure and success into my daily life.

And when my neck pain limits my range of motion, it reminds me to keep my focus forward in the direction of my vision.  The spasms in my neck encourage me to let go of preconceived ideas, to be open to new possibilities, and to remain flexible, calm and peaceful no matter what is  currently happening in my life.

In my Rubenfeld Synergy Sessions, I help your body to become the center of attention and to teach you from its vast store of accumulated wisdom.  Does your body know where you are going?  Have you paid attention to the possible meaning of your own physical aches and pains and symptoms?  Your body stores all the impressions and memories of sensations and emotions that you have experienced in your life.  Pay attention to your own storehouse of wisdom.

What messages are you discovering in your own body now?  Does your body know where you’re going, maybe even before you consciously know?  Please share your insights in the comments below. 

If you really want to explore your body’s messages more deeply and thoroughly, I recommend one of my books, Touch Me … Please.

Schedule a private session, an online coaching call, or an email session at

Here’s to living the life of your dreams now.


Dr. Erica

40 thoughts on “My Body Knows Where I’m Going … Does Yours?

  1. Great article – and I do agree that we should listen to our bodies more. I’ve had more than a few occasions where only after the fact did I realize all of the signals and what they meant!

  2. I often refer to Louise Hays book and she never misses the mark. It’s amazing what our bodies tell us. Although, I think it is easier for a woman to be in tune with their bodies than for a man. It’s the nurture thing and, for the most part, guys just aren’t in sync.

    Thanks, Dr. Erica, I will hone in on those clues.


    • Rick,
      Women may be more in tune with their bodies in terms of appearance but not necessarily recognizing the meaning of various symtpoms. We are just as likely as men to ignore the elephant in the room, meaning the symptom that is screaming out to us with a specific message.

  3. I’ve been a fan of Louise Hay for years! My husband and I often say to people “your body knows.” This is a wonderful article because it brings people’s attention to what’s going on in the body. Our bodies tell us certain things we may overlook. Keeping in tune is the key. I must admit, I forget sometimes to listen, but the ache or pain gets worse until I remember to. As an intuitive, I work a lot with people and tell them something like “you know that pain you have on your shoulder….it is you keeping anger in” or what ever the case may be. Unfortunately, I cannot do it for myself 🙁
    I’m interested in one of your sessions and will be in touch soon.
    Thank you for this article.Donna

  4. Hi Erica,

    I had the good fortune to hear Louise Hay speak once. We have her book and it is very worn out!

    It is strange how many people just can’t comprehend this stuff. I remember a body harmony session in New York, where after I left my feet had realigned. I had to go get new shoes. Now 24 years later, I purchased some new shoes for Tennis. The shop had a fancy gadget that shows where you put pressure on your feet and the balance. Would you believe mine are almost perfect!

    I know they weren’t before that 1 hour session. Metaphysics is real and is the best guide we have to our life direction.

    • John,
      How interesting. A few weeks ago I presented a workshop on using social medai for my Rubenfeld Synergy colleagues at our annual conference. My room was 3 flights upstairs at this old mansion we were staying at. I have had a problem with one ankle, some swelling and discomfort ever since I got a new pair of Addidas tennis shoes that have less ankle support. I had difficulty going up the stairs until I had a brief somatic body therapy session in one of the workshops. Right after that session I walked up and down the stairs easily – the balance had returned. It was amazing to me and another reminder of how powerful this gentle body work can me.

  5. Erica,

    I understand exactly how you feel. Whenever I did something that was out of line with what I wanted my stomach started to hurt. It was a warning sign that this is not right for me. I spent one year at a company that I could not stand. My stomach was hurting constantly. The second I left the company I felt instantly better.

    Same thing with my own business. When I overwork I get sick. My body just knows when I have gone past the point of doability.

    Great post!


    • Andy,
      My body definitely tells me when I have been working too much. Today I spent time in my Sunday meditation group and then a leisurely few hours at my health club in the jacuzzi, sauna, steam and having health oriented conversations with some friends. Now, feelig refreshed and renewed, I am ready to be online and get some work done.

  6. Hi Erica,

    I can relate to your article and the examples you are giving.

    A couple of weeks ago I had backpain. I was already working with emotional stuff and was not surprised when another layer surfaced.
    I used Louise Hays book and Annette Noontil’s “Your body is the barometer of your soul” and managed to feel almost painfree. A counselling session helped to release more feelings – shame – included and then my back was back to normal.

    Thank you so much for your great article.
    Love and Joy

    • Yorinda,
      It really is amazing how much our body tells us with its aches and pains. If we just take medication to suppress the discomfort, we may be missing the message and later find we have even more intense symptoms.

  7. Hi Dr. Erica,
    Wow, I really enjoyed this post. I just ended up on bed rest because I hurt my back playing racquetball. I hadn’t thought about what feeling might have gone along with that injury. After reading this post, I realized that I had been feeling unsupported by my husband. The injury actually brought on the support I needed in other areas. I wish I didn’t have to go through the pain to get it. I never said to myself, I think I’ll hurt myself to be more supported. It just happened.

    • Shanae,
      You may not have consciously said to yourself “I think I’ll hurt myself” but your subconscious mind was paying attention to your feeling that you were not being supported – and it found a painful way for you to get what you needed.

  8. Hi Erica,
    yes, this is mind-blowing to so many people that our bodies actually communicate with us in these ways! I always knew to ask my clients in my clinic questions that related to the symptoms they were telling me and sure enough there would be emotional or physical events that related to those complaints. This was hugely powerful in my abilities to help people remove the blockages that were stopping them!
    Thanks for sharing this information with us!

    • Clare,
      Most, maybe even all, of our body symptoms can supply an important message for us – if we listen. Even some really horrendous accidents and injuries have led to life changing thoughts and behaviors because the person was forced to stop and pay attention.

  9. It’s no coincidence that disease is called dis-ease. Our bodies do know. Sometimes the symptoms are not that clearly tied to the problem, but the tie is always there. I’m glad you’ve learned to do that. I need to do some work on it myself.

    Willena Flewelling

  10. Hi Erica,

    Like many of those here, I too, am a fan of Louise Hayes and I’m impressed with your ability to read what your body is telling you. Not only do you have to pay attention but then be able to interpret the messages. Keep up the great work!

    • Actually, I am quite pleasantly surprised that so many of us like what Louise Hay has taught. I know a lot about the body from shiatu, polarity and ancient chinese medical theory as well as Hindu Chakra theories. Our bodies definitely reveal what is going on in our emotional life, if we only listen and pay attention.

  11. I find this post to be fascinating. I use body symptoms and interpret them much the same as dream messages. I loved the chapter in Gregg Levoy’s book, Callings, about body symptoms. It was very interesting. Lately my blood sugar symptoms are telling me that food has become the enemy, my knees are telling me I need to find conviction and my thyroid, well, I just have not figured that one out totally. It has something to do with being an alien. I don’t know why more people don’t practice this interpretation of disease. Maybe they think a pill is easier, but I believe there is no healing on the physical plane. It must take place emotionally.

    • Nicole,
      I am not familiar with Gregg Levoy’s book, but I will have to check it out. My take on issues with the thyroid gland is that it is somehow connected to the throat and the throat chakra which is all about expressing yourself, finding your voice. To quote Louise Hay, the thyroid is “Humiliation. I never get to do what I want to do. When is it going to be my turn?” And the affirmation or change comes about by saying “I move beyond old limitations and now allow myself to express freely and creatively.”

  12. Dr. Erica, thanks so much for teaching me to tune in to my body. One of the best things we can do, I believe, is to listen, and care for our bodies through yoga and exercise. Lately, I’ve been getting some of the same signals you talked about: usually it’s about tension at the base of my neck: probably meaning that I’m “too much in my head.” At that time, it’s time to get up and get off the computer! 🙂

    • Steve,
      Sometimes, if you have pain in your neck, it might mean that you are not able to see different sides of an issue. Probably the best thing to do is get up, walk away, do something else, let your neck muscles relax. And then when you return, you may suddenly “see” something you didn’t realize before.


  13. I feel like I am totally there. I don’t have any symptoms anymore and last time I had it checked all of my levels were normal. I was just left with a goiter which really bothers me sometimes. Only bevause of the way it looks. It is maybe more about me making noise in the real world instead of on paper.

  14. Aye Dr. Erica, ya don’t want to know what my body tells me sometimes! Aging was not part of the program when I was younger. 🙂

    I remember telling a friend older than me when I turned 45 that all of a sudden, the things that came easily to me were not easy anymore. He laughed and said wait until you’re 55!

    I turned 54 this year and I know exactly what he means!


    Keep the Smiles


    • Stevie,
      I love the way you started your comment, with “Aye Dr. Erica.” It is just for that reason that I started my web site and my Healthy Baby Boomers Network blogtalkradio show. Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, range in age between 47 and 64. This is the age range where we begin to feel more of those limitations, aches and pains and even disease processes in our body. This is also the age range where we still have time to re-create health, to change our old habits, and start on a truly healthy mind-body-spirit path.


  15. Great post, Dr. Erica! I know that there are times when I have to listen to my body to make sure that I know whether I am doing too much or not enough. The irony is that there are times when I don’t feel any energy, but it turns out that it is inertia rather than exhaustion. The real trick is to be able to tell the difference between the two.

    • Steve, There is also a reason for inertia. That is when we can take a look at the thoughts we are thinking and the words we are telling ourself. So we get messages from our body and also from our thoughts and words, if we pay attention.


  16. Hi Erica,

    Another post of yours that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading! Our bodies and minds are so intimately connected… everything that goes on within us is reflected there! There is, as you say, a storehouse of impressions, memories and wisdom in our body and all we have to do is watch, listen and take action. I know I’ve banged a two or two and bumped into things that have given me bruises in an attempt to propel me forward into unchartered territory! The power is in our hands to make choices and decide on the results we want to manifest from this wonderful source of knowledge. Sweet!

    • Loren,
      When I pay attention to my own body and its messages as well as when I listen to my clients share the messages they are getting from their body, I am always amazed. We keep looking outside for the answers that are truly within our own self.


  17. Hi, Erica,
    Luckily for me, I have, for a long time, practiced the habit of listening to my body. As a stay-at-home mom, with a husband and five children, I definitely had to stay healthy. Too many people were depending on me, and so I adopted a no-excuses policy to getting things done.

    Positive thinking and intentions go a long way, and I think I have developed my self-knowledge to the point that I can out-diagnose a physician. Well, at least I think I can in some areas.

    As far as listening to my body is concerned, I say, “Trust yourself. You probably know a lot more than you give yourself credit for.”

    Thanks for sharing another phenomenal post.

    • Angela,
      I read your comment and glanced at the title of your current blog post and the words flew out of my mouth, “Wow.” We have been talking about healthy diets and weight loss and I know that the raw food diet has helped so many people to fully regain their health after sometimes debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. Our thoughts, the sensations in our body and the food we put into our body, all lead to health if we pay attention.


  18. Whao Erica
    I thought I knew how to listen to my body, but you just showed me that I need to pay even more attention to what it says.

    And even though I don’t listen half as good as you, I am still amazed when people completely ignore what their bodies are saying.

    I will definitely return to your site to learn more

  19. Dr. Erica, For years I have known the importance of listening to the signals in my body. Many times I catch myself not paying attention or unable to pay attention due to the effects of seizure disorder(genetic). However when I do feel my body telling me something I listen and when I recognize the issue I clear it up immediately. Life is not meant to be wasted on trying to figure out “what’s wrong”. I often wonder if our resistance to listen to our body’s signals(once we know what they are)and take the right action (once we know what it is) is ego based. It’s my personal experience ego has always been at the root of my pain issues.

    Blessings for Bringing Healing –

    Terrific Tonya Heathco

    • Terrific Tonya,
      I think it is even more critical for you to pay attention to the nuances in your body and how your thoughts and feelings are affecting you. Then you may be able to pinpoint exactly which emotions, thoughts or body tension patterns tend to set a pattern in motion that leads to a seizure. You have been doing such a good job of educating others so the more you can educate yourself, about yourself, the more you can teach others. I have certainly been discovering that.

  20. We are whole people, so there is certainly a mind-body connection. I think you’re right — if we learned to pay more attention to our bodies, we’d find out a lot more about what was going on inside of us. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Pastor Sherry,
      It is so easy to get caught up in life and all our to-do’s that we don’t take the time to pay attention to what our body is telling us or to take the time to nurture our body. Even though I know this, I still sometimes forget.

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