Hives is My Emotional Pain Body

Posted On: December 30, 2014

Earlier this year when I wrote in a previous blog post of how I believed “I Broke the Hives Code”, I didn’t.

My thigh. 16 Sept. 12:03a.m.
My thigh. 16 Sept. 12:03a.m.

Many people who read it believed that I was 100% recovered. I wasn’t.

That was in Sept 2014. It is end of 2014 now. Hives didn’t leave me – not completely.

My Update

I was still experiencing hives attacks every night – though much milder… and bearable.

I didn’t share a status update earlier because:

  • I was still hoping that my hives attacks would go away completely.
  • I was embarrassed I didn’t have more good news.
  • I didn’t think I had anything else to share.

Instead, I continued to keep doing releasing (Lindwall Releasing method. More here.) around my fear of getting hurt emotionally. Eventually it did puzzle me that having done all that releasing and feeling less, if not, no more fear around getting hurt emotionally in a relationship, why was hives still coming up nightly?

My Emotional Pain-Body

With my room Jane Odham who was a great support through the training and my hives attacks
With my room Jane Odham who was a great support through the training and my hives attacks

It didn’t dawn on me until I attended Level 2 teacher training of The Art of Feminine Presence in early December that hives might be my emotional pain-body.

In one of the 44 practices taught in The Art of Feminine Presence, there is one called “The Upper Limit of Joy and Pleasure”. The practice explained how we sometimes shut ourselves off from feeling more joy and pleasure in our lives and our bodies.TL-Final AFP logo

As a sexologist, I, of course, knew about how people shut themselves off from pleasure, because too much of anything triggers us into thinking thoughts around: It’s too much. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to be too greedy. I can’t take anymore!

I’ve worked through my upper limits of pleasure, no doubt, as part of my explorations and training to be a sexologist. However, this was the first time how our emotional pain-body can get activated was explained.

What if our thoughts manifest in the form of some pain when our upper limit is met?

The pain we experience could come in the form of feeling sad, depressed, angry, or defensive about something.

I naturally begun to wonder if hives was how my pain-body manifested. After all, this bout of hives isn’t my first.

In 2012, I had previously had hives for ten months, and on medication which only suppressed the symptoms but didn’t actually get rid of it. In 2008 when I was pursuing my sexology studies in the United States, I had hives for a month and didn’t realise then that what it was.

You probably know that hives is commonly triggered by stress. I’ve certainly been stressed when hives appeared in 2008 and 2012. But this time, what else was I stressed about? Instead of being angry with hives, why not thank hives for showing up, having a conversation with this pain, and reassure (self-talk) myself that it’s all going to be fine?

My classmate who became a good friend, Macky Steele Scott offered to give me a healing session. During the session, she was able to detect that there was some hidden emotional pan around my relationship with my parents. I am grateful for the insight, and immediately started doing releasing around any resentment of my parents from my childhood.

This revelation actually didn’t reasonate with me because I have done so much work around this previously. Hives continued coming up for the entire duration of my stay in Australia.

It wasn’t until a few days after my return to Singapore (Dec 8) that I realised that I’ve started being able to sleep through the night for three nights consecutively and counting…!

Something Shifted

Practising Art of Feminine Presence when out for my morning walk in Melbourne
Practising Art of Feminine Presence when out for my morning walk in Melbourne

What changed was I was noticing what had been bothering just before hives came up, acknowledging the anxieties that existed, and releasing them.

What has changed was the practices I have learned from The Art of Feminine Presence has shifted something permanetly within me. I love, trust and believe in myself more than I ever have – even though I didn’t think it was possible – I already love and honour myself so very much! AFP truly transforms a person in deep ways.

What changed was how I was handling hives. I was no longer releasing my fear of getting hurt emotionally, but all fears, including my fear of not having enough money, especially having made such a big and expensive trip to Melbourne.

I’ve had two bigger hives attacks – once during full moon on 21 Dec; and another, tonight (I am battling flu as well).

I truly trust that I am on the mend. I feel positive, light and happy because I now know hives is my pain-body, and I am getting better at listening to my body.

Why am I sharing this again?

As a sexologist, coach and healer, people expect me to be in the pink of health, and have wonderful relationships. I, of all people, would have life all figured out, they insist. In short, they seem to project their own beliefs onto me. This is highly unattainable and unsustainable.

I can be upset about it, or I can choose to get real with the people who are open-minded and curious enough to form their own opinions. And you, undoubtedly, are – having read so far.

  • I am comfortable not knowing everything. No one can.

    Selfie taken when filming in office on Dec 24
    Selfie taken when filming in office on Dec 24
  • I am comfortable not having confidence in my abilities. I can only get better.
  • I am comfortable in my skin. And with my skin – literally.
  • I am comfortable with not being perfect. No one is.

I accept my limitations. I don’t want to hide behind the essence of an all-knowing guru. I want to show up as myself and talk to people – help them, support them, and serve them.

Authenticity is one of my highest values. The more real I am in life, the more life just seems to work out for me. I am me. You are you. I don’t know how to be anything or anybody else, but me.

I hope this post would have inspired you in some way. Thanks for reading.

Who is Martha?

Dr. Martha Tara Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and relationship coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. She is the author of the book Love, Sex and Everything In-Between, and the host of the weekly radio show Eros Evolution on OMTimes Radio. For more, visit or email

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