Metaphors for Chronic Pain

I found new metaphors for my chronic pain while sitting in the Tillamook Rainforest for four days with no technology to distract me. During this period, I listened for wisdom.

Vision Quest and Metaphors

I wrote in my journal “Walk between the raindrops. Your thoughts about pain flow so closely together that you think you can’t avoid it. Look at science. There is a massive amount of openness within your own body. See the vastness in your cells. Think of this as the space between the raindrops. Vast.”

Once I returned home, I researched this concept and found “…your friends, your office, your really big car, you yourself, and even everything in this incredible, vast Universe – are almost entirely, 99.9999999 percent empty space.” Ali Sundermier  

Look for Your Metaphors

You will start to see symbols, words, and images in a different way.

When it feels like I am being stabbed in my ear, I use the rain metaphor. A vast space in my ear opens where there is no pain.

I ask, “How can empty space hurt?” It can’t. I always physically feel better after I sit in this way of thinking about pain. Not only is my discomfort reduced immediately after, but also for many hours later.

Imagine how relaxed you will be when you find your own metaphors?

Soothing Videos

You can start working with this idea by watching videos like Rain in the Woods of Oregon.

Then view some science videos of the vastness within you. You can start with this short one You are Made up of Nothingness on YouTube.

Walk Between the Raindrops Exercise

  • When your pain flares, sit down.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Repeat until you feel yourself relaxing. Return to your normal breathing.
  • Drop your shoulders.
  • Imagine the rain falling. Feel the space between each raindrop.
  • Now, take that feeling of openness into your body and feel the tension release. Stay in this soothing place for as long as you like.

Let me know how this works for you.

Need More Ideas?

Pop over to my Pain Management Tools and Resources pages.


Gail Sinclair, MHt, CNC is a hypnotherapist who helps those living with chronic pain go from discomfort to thriving by using hypnosis, pain management tools and resources.

She is a Master Hypnotherapist, Nutritional Consultant, and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has over 20 years in healing work and is an international award-winning speaker.

Gail lives in Portland, OR with her delightful husband, son, and cat. She can be found cooking, knitting, writing, and figuring out new ways to thrive with Trigeminal, and Occipital Neuralgia.

You can reach her at

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