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The Hidden Wisdom In My Shoulder Pain

Jeanette Davison

November 1, 2023

I’m Jeanette.
My mission is is to inspire and educate women to live a healthy life using ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine and whole foods to balance your hormones in every stage of your life, from puberty to menopause
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Jeanette Davison


“Imagine waking up one ordinary morning, only to find yourself trapped in your own body, your shoulder pain seized by an excruciating ache, and your once-easy movements reduced to a painful struggle. 

This was my reality not too long ago, a sudden awakening to the harsh reality of a frozen shoulder. Little did I know that this unexpected journey would lead me to profound insights into the mind-body connection and the transformative power of our thoughts.

I learned these three lessons from my shoulder pain and made the pain disappear. Seriously, I couldn’t believe it myself, but it happened.

I had a frozen left shoulder, and it hurt.

You know how when you have pain in the body, you tend to ignore it and hope it goes away. So, it starts to talk louder, tries harder to get your attention, and you can no longer ignore it. 

Well, that is what happened to me with my left shoulder. You think I would know better since I have treated patients with body pain for over a decade. 

I was convinced it was because I was 43 and had started heading into peri-menopause, and a frozen shoulder has been said to be connected to menopause.  

Do you know what I tell my patients when they are in pain?

To get still and listen, and you know what I was doing? Everything but that. 

After being unable to comb my hair, put on my bra or shave my left armpit, I finally decided, well, my body decided you need to freaking deal with this shoulder pain. 

Drawing from my own profound understanding, it’s crystal clear that pain is a realm where the physical and mental elements are forever intertwined.

I was getting massages, my physio friend gave me exercises, and I did acupuncture. Yes, I was giving acupuncture to myself. This is the number one question I get asked as an acupuncturist. Can you do acupuncture on yourself? 

The short answer is yes.

So I sat down, took some deep breaths, and asked my body what you need right now? I received an answer: put your hand in a bucket of ice-cold water and don’t remove it, even when the cold becomes unbearable. 

I immediately set up a bucket of ice-cold water with some doubt because I would never have considered doing this. It was no joke; within 4 minutes, I felt the pain in my shoulder travel down my arm into my hand and then disappear.  

The pain never returned. I still had stiffness and limited mobility, but the pain was gone. Never had I experienced anything like this before. 

A few days later, I sat down again and got still, only to find myself starting to break down into a puddle on the floor, balling within minutes. 

I lost my mother seven years ago to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease); it is horrible if you know anything about this disease. I am so sorry if you have watched a loved one go through this because it is relentless and excruciating.  

There are no treatments or cures; you slowly watch their body failing them, and they are trapped inside.

I spent the next few hours sobbing and thinking about my mother, and my shoulder pulsed. I had spent the last seven years feeling relieved she was free from this disease, and I had not grieved or allowed myself to miss her.  

I tell you all this intending to help you understand how closely related pain in our body is to our emotional state and traumas. I had no idea my shoulder pain was connected to my mother’s passing.  

The three lessons that I learned from this experience

1. Embrace the Wisdom Within. Take a moment to still your mind and connect with your body’s inner wisdom. Ask it, “What do you need right now?” I vividly recall the day I dipped my hand into that bucket of ice water to ease my pain. A profound moment allowed me to zoom in on the deeper issue. I often tell my patients that healing is like peeling the layers of an onion, just as Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches. As you unravel each layer, you journey closer to the core issue. Heal that root cause; like magic, the symptoms will fade away. It’s about examining all aspects of your life, not just the surface

2. Release, Reconnect, Renew: Surrender to the emotions entwined with your pain. Embrace the discomfort and let go of the emotional weight it carries. Doing so creates a sacred space for your body to mend. When you harbour stress and anger because of your pain, you unwittingly intensify the inflammation and tension. Your emotions are a vital part of your healing journey.

3. Nurture Your Inner Sanctuary: Treat yourself with the utmost kindness and grace. When your body speaks, listen closely, for it has a language of its own. Don’t attempt to power through the pain, for we both know that only worsens the situation. Believe in your capacity to heal, and envision yourself whole, engaging in the activities that light up your soul. Rest when needed; it’s your body’s way of guiding you. Your journey to wellness begins with the tender care you bestow upon yourself

Maybe I had a frozen shoulder because I am in peri-menopause, or maybe not. 

In my experience of treating thousands of women in my clinic practice, menopause symptoms are about more than just your hormones. 

Women are having problems adjusting to aging, feeling invisible, unresolved trauma, grief, relationship problems, adjusting to an empty nest and work pressure, and it is all happening while they are transitioning through a significant hormonal shift. 

We all have injuries and pain in the body, but it is ultimately up to you to make the changes necessary to heal your body, and in my experience, you need to treat your body and mind like your life depends on it because it does. 

As a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine with over 14 years of experience, I understood the intricate web of musculoskeletal health.

However, my experience with shoulder pain rewired my perspective, unveiling a deeper connection between our mental state and the physical manifestations of pain. 

Today, I’m eager to share my personal journey of healing, a voyage that illuminated the remarkable potential within each of us to transform our lives through the power of our thoughts, habits and beliefs.


You can grab my free 3-day video series here.


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