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Understanding Your Body's Language

Your body sends you messages all the time to highlight that something is not right in your life, and to bring to your attention that there are lessons to learn that you haven't yet noticed.

However, understanding the body's language is difficult. Often, we only stop to rest if we fall ill. But if you think about it hard enough, you may realise your body was giving you signs that you needed to rest longer before you realised you were unwell.

We also tend to explain physical illness with physical reasons. If your arm hurts, maybe it's because you slept on it. If your legs are hurting, maybe it's because you've been standing for too long. Sometimes, we experience pain and never question it.

Pain and illness can also be explained by metaphysical reasons. When you go through an emotional experience, sometimes that emotional energy gets stored in the body and this can, for example, display as physical tension. You may realise that your arms are tight. Why is this? Is it purely physical or is there a deeper meaning?

The table below explains possible metaphysical causes of illness linked to each body part.

Left side of the body

Represents our feminine side and our inner journey, as well as creativity, imagination, spiritual and psychic issues.

Right of body

Represents our masculine side and our outer journey, as well as money or job issues, or other practical, physical and material concerns.


Who or what is being a "headache" to you? Are you living too much "in your head" and not paying enough attention to your feelings?


How do you see the world? What are you not prepared to see? Are you looking at things from an unhelpful perspective?


What is it that you are unwilling to hear? Are you avoiding listening to your inner guidance?


Have you "bitten off more than you can chew"? Has something or someone "left a nasty taste in your mouth"? Are you desperate to "get your teeth into something?"


Have you swallowed your anger and hurt? Are you expressing your feelings? Are you telling the truth? Are you feeling guilty about something you've said?


Are you carrying too many burdens and responsibilities? Do you always put yourself last in your list of priorities? Is you life too stressful?


Who or what are you holding on to? Are you afraid to let go? Who or what would like to embrace? Are you doing what you want to do?


Associated with giving (right hand) and receiving (left hand)/ What issues or situations can't you handle?


What can't you grasp? What opportunities are slipping through your fingers? Do you ignore the little details to concentrate only on the bigger picture?

Upper back

Associated with stored anger and resentment, feeling unsupported, and trying to be perfect. Are you pushing back your feelings?

Chest (heart/lungs)

Relationship issues, self-esteem, feelings of worth or worthlessness, suppressed emotions, feeling smothered or controlled by others, your public image, and deeply buried issues about deserving (or not wanting to) be alive.


Who or what can't you stomach? What are you finding difficult to digest? What are you worrying about?? Who or what would like to eliminate from your life?

Lower back

Survival, security and self-support; job, home and money issues; responsibility issues. Do you feel the people are you are giving you enough support? Do you often feel worries about inconsequential things that might be masking bigger issues>


Associated with progress through life, fear of change, fear of the future, and family or parental issues. Who or what is holding you back? Why can't you move forward?


Linked with stubbornness, inflexibility and indecision. What decision are you afraid to make? Are you being obstinate over something?


Do you need to change direction? Is your life unbalanced?


Associated with security and survival, reaching our goals or completing tasks, fear of tasking the next step, being "ungrounded". Who or what can't you stand anymore?


Touching and feeling issues; over-sensitivity. Who or what is getting under your skin?

Do any of the above resonate with you? It can be difficult to think about the questions listed under each of the body parts, however it may be useful to come back to this and think about how these questions could help if you are suffering from any pain or illness related to a particular body part.

The above text can be found in the book 'Reiki for Life' by Penelope Quest.

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