Boundaries are a skill

Should the need arise, one of the things we work on in mind-body informed chronic pain treatment is the importance of the right, and need, to say no.

Boundaries allow us to consider our health and well-being before we take on a task, attend an event, perform a role or increase our mental load. We learn to check into how our body feels about a potential scenario. Do we have the energy, health or time to take on something new?

Nam talks about this in our first interview. When a request arrives, both personal and professional, he doesn’t reply straight away. He takes at least two minutes to consider if he can and, more importantly, want to take on the request.

Poor boundary control has been linked to negative traits we learn in our childhoods to keep others around us happy, at the detriment of our own health. (Sarno, 2001). If you are aware that you have people pleasing and or perfectionist mentality, you may find that you take on more than you had capacity for.

Check in with yourself – Somatic Awareness

Without reasonable boundary setting, we diminish our bodies ability to heal. We stay continually in our ‘fight and flight’ systems and undervalue our need for rest and recovery.

If you can check in with yourself before answering a request from another person, what might you notice? Can you feel the increase in your heartbeat? A heat in your face or fluttering in your chest? These are all signs we can learn to look out for in Somatic Awareness that help us to decide – do I want this task and do I have the bandwidth for it.

It is helpful to remember, that people ask things of us because they believe we can, and want to do them. Nobody can read minds, and unless we develop the skill of ‘no thank you’, the requests keep piling on. To say no is to acknowledge we are human and deserve balance in our lives.


Resources: Boundaries, No, Somatic Awarness, Task, Role


John Sarno – The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain

TMS Personality Traits


‘Please note, though I am a Physiotherapist by profession, I am not your Physiotherapist and the advice shared on Liberation Found is for educational and informational purposes only’. The information provided here is not a substitute for professional, individualised, treatment. As such you should not rely solely on the information posted here. If you feel this content resonates with your lived experience, I encourage you to work with a SIRPA professional, or other qualified mindbody specialist to address your concerns.

If you would like to work with me on addressing your condition, please email and we can ascertain if I am the best fit for your needs.’