Physical Pain and Forgiveness

Physical Pain and Forgiveness

Last update: 07 January, 2017

Forgiveness is a complex process that demands the use of many emotional resources. It hardly ever occurs spontaneously, especially if the wound is deep. It’s often very difficult to forgive, but resentment can end up seriously affecting your health and well-being.

Sometimes it seems like physical pain has no explanation, but that’s not it. Imagine how much bodily pain is actually caused by one’s mind and emotions.

Doctor’s offices are often packed with people seeking relief for this pain, and most of the time they only end up with a prescription that masks the symptoms. The problem is that, when the cause of the symptoms isn’t obvious, and the symptoms aren’t too concerning, they don’t tend to dedicate many resources to finding the origin.

“Let’s teach others to forgive, but let’s also teach them to not offend. That would be more efficient.”

-José Ingenieros-

Everything in the mind has repercussions on the body. The reason for this is simple: basically the entire body is associated with the nervous system, which is responsible for perceiving and processing emotions. So when emotions and/or thoughts are altered or not processed, they manifest in the same way.

Often, they manifest as physical irritation or pain on some part of the body. This pain has no identifiable cause, and there’s no evidence of a physical change. This can worry the patient, but it can also worry the doctor if they’re not familiar with functional diseases.

The body and forgiveness

Studies on the subject have been able to establish a clear link between physical pain and emotional processes like forgiveness. We’re talking about forgiveness because it’s a complex emotional process that involves very powerful emotions that are difficult to digest. It’s related to anger, sadness, paranoia, and resentment. Therefore, it can cause serious emotional harm, but it can also manifest as physical pain.

girl holding glass

The body speaks when words can’t. Not forgiving is living in the past, bound to a feeling that won’t evolve. This masked resentment sits and feeds into itself in a very negative way. Some say that it’s like holding burning coal in one’s hands, waiting for the right moment to throw it at the person for whom the resentment is felt. It causes more harm to the person holding it than the person it’s thrown at.

Some organs in the body in particular are related to the effects of withheld forgiveness. The throat, the respiratory system, the neck, the ankles, the back, and many others, are parts of the body that, when they hurt for no apparent reason, can indicate that the process of forgiveness hasn’t been completed.

The map of forgiveness in the body

It’s good to be attentive to physical pains that appear and disappear repeatedly, without a specific reason. This likely indicates unresolved emotions, in particular, forgiveness that hasn’t been granted. This is how the body talks about forgiveness.

flower hair
  • Throat pain and irritationA sore throat is related to words left unsaid, or the inability to express the pain caused by an offense.
  • Frequently having the flu: This is a sign of tears that haven’t been cried, likely because of pride, or because there’s so much anger that you can’t recognize the harm that’s been caused.
  • Neck pain: This part of the body reflects one’s flexibility, or lack thereof. If resentment has settled into your life, the neck region will probably be very affected. Resentment is a passion that creates a strong tension that is sustained over a long period of time, which is why it ends up affecting the neck muscles.
  • The ankles: When you don’t want to open your path up to the process of forgiveness, your ankles will likely reflect this. One’s ability to move forward in life is reflected in this joint. When the ankles are in pain, it’s almost always because you’ve been holding onto a negative feeling.
  • Back pain: In this case, the absence of forgiveness is experienced as a weight that’s unconsciously rejected. Resentment produces an emotional weight that is translated into back pain, especially in the middle area. If the resentment has to do with money, it’s more frequently projected in the lower area.
  • Knee problems: This is often associated with unwillingness to bend. Here, pride dominates one’s actions. The person believes, consciously or unconsciously, that forgiveness is an act of submission.
  • The teeth and gums: These parts of the body are closely linked to all kinds of aggressive feelings. When one has difficulty expressing anger, the teeth will likely crack or the gums will inflame. If the anger is greater, the teeth tend to move out of position.
naked woman and apple on vine

The body is like a map where you can follow the route of the emotions contained within it that haven’t been expressed. We are neither just an organism, nor just a mind. The mind and body are united; they complement and influence each other. So when you feel physical pain, you should always reflect on the emotional component that might be associated with it.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.