Excerpt from my book about “body idioms” – This Pain In My Neck – Truths Underlying Common Things We Say.
“This pain in my neck”
Meaning: To pinpoint a source of annoyance, a nuisance, an irritant.
Origin: Original phrase, “pain in the arse or butt,” dates back to the 1900s; the above saying is seen as a euphemism to replace these two less polite variants.
Chadisms: When you use this phrase more often than not, it’s because someone or something is irritating you, forcing you to pay attention. The pain is in your neck, because you are deciding what to do and are unsure of what course of action to take.
Representation: The neck represents connecting your head with the body. It is the bridge between your mental thoughts and your actions or feelings.
Action steps: Identify the person, situation, or thing that is creating a strong disturbance for you. Different ways to approach this: See where you possess the same trait that irritates you about another person; identify how it will benefit the person for you to address the situation, whether it is to stop enabling, or for you to hold firm on your boundaries.
When we feel neck pain our usual justifications are either sleeping “wrong” or your head in an awkward position. What I have discovered over the past 18 years is that many times, the degree in which a particular situation or person is bothering us, determines how intense the neck pain is. The location of the pain, whether it is in the upper, middle, or lower neck can be determined depending on the situation.
Anytime someone is dealing with a situation or person that brings up a past trauma or experience, they tend to feel the neck pain in the upper neck, at the base of the skull. If the person stays stuck on the past experience for an extended period of time, the pain will start to radiate upwards and create headaches, tension, or pressure. Addressing the current situation and reminding oneself that it’s not the same past experience (although it feels eerily similar or familiar to the past experience), will help reduce the neck pain. The moment you acknowledge and accept this awareness is the key to eliminating the neck pain. Recognize that a lot of your reactions are due to past experiences that left their indelible mark on your psyche. Break this repeating cycle by tuning into your feelings, and then make a choice to not succumb to this old, knee-jerk, reactionary pattern.
Pain that shows up in the middle neck is often due to a person perceiving they have feelings of being controlled by another, loss of control, or the desire to control a situation or another person. The second bone in your neck, which is called the “axis” appropriately since it allows the head to rotate to the left or right. It is the initiator and the muscles that connect to this bone and the third and fourth neck bone giving the person control to turn their head. So if you find yourself feeling out of control with your life or feel that someone is controlling you, it’s paramount that you decide what you want to do. There are different options such as surrendering and allow yourself to be controlled, to stand up for yourself and stop the manipulation, or recognize where you are and are not in control of your life. Acceptance, again, is key towards being able to free your neck from the vice grip that you are creating.
Finally, pain at the lower neck or the base of your neck is caused by future worries or projecting into the future. Anytime you have something weighing on your mind about what’s to come, that moment you stress and tense up about it, is when the lower neck may become very stiff. This often leads to extreme neck pain preventing one from moving their head at all. Projecting into the future or worrying about what may happen is futile, since it’s the choices that you make in the present moment that will determine the future. So bring your mind and emotional state back to ease, recognizing that you have the power and freedom of choice now. One way to ease your mental and emotional state if the future event does manifest itself, is list out the benefits of it happening. The moment you can see that the future event has equal benefits and downsides your anxiety will diminish. All anxiety and fear is a mental construct that something in the future will cause you suffering and misery.
By recognizing and understanding the location of your neck pain and reflecting on what’s currently happening, will help you achieve more ease and peace of mind. My book, This Pain in My Neck! Truths Underlying Common Things We Say, is finally uploaded and I am just waiting to approve the proof! I will keep you posted and until then, tune into your body signals and create a relationship with your body.