How do we understand pain? For me it is a little different each day, but today I want to go back to my oldest understanding that I'm aware of. I know about Owie Theory from my mom. I've heard her use it recently to talk about her arthritis in her hands or the bruises she gets sailing, but when I was a kid, I was the owie haver. Owie is a noun, it's whatever it is that occupies painful spaces. It can be chased out with love or by using a bandaid as a physical manifestation of love. Man, those Johnson + Johnson ad execs get the job done! The more I learn about pain in the nervous system, the more I go back to the owie. Today I was receiving some work from a colleague and she was focusing on the pain I still get in my hips 2.5 years after a bad injury. As she found the deep places to work I had this feeling of owies swarming. They were like a nest of little ants or something. As my attention was drawn by her work, I thought of an ant farm. A super-deluxe one I never saw in person. An owie farm all through my hips and low back. They were made of my fear that I would never feel any other way. She changed the angle she was working through and I felt the owies start to walk out. An owie exodus. They marched off my screen. They pushed wheelbarrows and had their gold sewn into the linings of their little coats to avoid theft on the road. As my muscles relaxed, as my joints aligned themselves better with a sigh, I could feel my body become less hospitable to owies. After she was done, I got up and marched around. I stretched and did funny looking movements that felt really good. I will surely have many more owies in my life but maybe not this weekend.