«An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.»

Personal complexes; troubling and pervasive thoughts. Core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes. E.g. in the form of shame; painful, social emotion that can be seen as a result from comparison of the self’s action with the self’s standards, or from comparison of the self’s state of being with the ideal social context’s standard.

Do you have one? A troubling and pervasive thought? Regarding your looks, your body or your abilities. You probably do have at least one, at some level. Can you think of any, small or big, troublesome or manageable? Do you know or remember it’s origin? Ideas can arise and change in indefinite ways. Also from words.

About your complex, was it something someone said about you, or to you? In your childhood, your youth or in adulthood. A cruel or unthoughtful comment. That you never forget. Something that hurt, took a bite at your self-confidence and self-esteem, or manifested a fear or an anxiety, made you embarrassed or insecure. An idea that still lingers to sting your heart and make you feel inadequate, sad or nervous.

It could for example be relatet to a social context, or before entering one. Maybe it was something about your appearance, body, weight, talent or physical abilities. Something about your way of moving or about how you managed something badly. A word or a comment you always will carry with you in your consciousness with everyday cues that remind you. Maybe it’s a belief that you are weak and fragile, or that you have narrow eyes, a big nose, too long feet, pointy joints, a crooked spine or just not good enough for something.

Can you remember a thing like that? Something someone said? Maybe something your mom or dad said or used to say, or a friend, a colleague, a teacher or a coach. Even a stranger met once. That echoes in your mind every time you face a certain situation, look at yourself in the mirror, walk at the beach, talk at a meeting or going to a party.

Surely you must have at least one complex, an imperfection, something of a defect in the narcissistic eyes and the expectation of your social sphere. Everyone has something.

Maybe you heard it from a health professional, wouldn’t that be a paradox? Anyway, imagine if it really WAS from a health professional! A negative and harmful idea or a feeling tattooed in your mind, originated from the mouth of the very person helping you. It could have been said in good intention, but also in ignorance. The thought virus that lingers, because of what a provider of healthcare once said, planting the infectious seed for a musculoskeletal complex.

Now, can you think of anything YOU as a health professional, have said about someone, to that someone, a patient, that potentially haunts them in front of the mirror or in the gym, when they have pain or when they believe some normal body parts are broken? Have you labeled someone too weak, asymmetric, crooked or misaligned? Have you tattooed someones mind with the belief that some specific body parts are designed from the wrong blueprint and therefore will not hold under the activities of daily living? Do you also tell that fairies come to the rescue if they call?

Ben Cormack just wrote: Pain science can help us to understand what NOT to say, but not what TO say. I’ll say that makes a god totem for now, and…

«An elegant solution for keeping track of reality.»

And as Darlow et al. (2013) concluded: Health care professionals have a considerable and enduring influence upon the attitudes and beliefs of people (with low back pain). It is important that this opportunity is used to positively influence attitudes and beliefs.

Picture & quotes from the movie Inception