Of the 6 people who have come to see me on a regular basis:
3 have totally overcome their chronic pain: diabetic neuropathy (10 years on opioids), painful cramping of the hand (3 years), and back pain (20 years). Each visited me 3 to 5 times and worked with the 1,2,3 method
The man with diabetic neuropathy wrote: “I had acute and subsequent chronic pain around my left eye after an episode of shingles in 2006. By 2017 I had been taking opioids for over 10 years for the pain. The pain varied between 3 with the opioids and 7 or 8 without. I had to manage the gastrointestinal side and sedative side effects of the opioids as well as the discomfort and distress of the pain. I was looking for a way to manage my pain without opioids so my physician referred me to Paul Hansma. When I talked with him, I learned the physiology and neuroanatomy of pain. I learned of other avenues to approach pain management based on this new understanding. I tried both EEG and hand warming biofeedback. Both were helpful, but the hand warming was easier to do and I stayed with that. My conversations with Paul jogged my memory of my experience of having a my Pediatrician stick a needle in the back of my hand after he had instructed me under hypnosis that the area would be numb; and it was. This memory contributed to my growing confidence that my brain could be retrained away from pain. As I learned more and practiced more my sensation of pain diminished to an occasional mild discomfort and I was able to stop any opioid or other analgesic use. The understanding of the ways that the brain handles pain and the mechanisms to retrain the brain to manage chronic pain have been life changing for me. This method of addressing chronic pain works!”
The wife of the man with the lower back pain wrote me: “This is Ken’s wife speaking. We’re planning a trip to Norway and Sweden for this summer. Ken’s excited…he hasn’t gone anywhere for so long. Thank you for giving me back my husband!” He wrote:
“The website www.activelifescientific.org has made a real difference in my life by educating me about mind-body medicine. I especially appreciated the concept that no medical defect (like mental illness) applies here, nor should any shame be attached to mind-body conditions.Many sections of the website were helpful, starting with the video on sensitization. It really explained how pain signals, if they have been lingering more than 3 months, can be amplified by the brain. I also found effective the phrase “sore but safe”, to be repeated when experiencing pain caused by sensitization.Valuable too, was the procedure developing the mind’s ability to raise hand temperature just with thought. This increased my confidence in knowing the brain can indeed influence the physical body. The Activity Section suggesting Qi Gong, a form of exercise scientifically shown to reduce pain, has also been helpful. The website included many reference to distinguished authors and institutions, all further convincing me that my brain really was the source of my pain.
Finally, Dr. Hansma’s personal story about his recovery from years of chronic pain made mind-body medicine much more believable to me. It helped me stick with the website’s suggestions and finally resolve 20 years of my own debilitating chronic pain.”
2 are still seeing me, one very much improved already and the other not yet.
1 dropped out, but wrote:
“Thank you so much for your time and
your caring way. It really does mean a lot! I do think the “glowing head” did help me in dealing with the pain. It definitely brought more understanding of the mind body connection. I have begun some basic Chi Gong moves along with some very gentle stretches.I believe all my experiences with (name omitted for privacy), my acupuncturist , my massage therapist, yourself along with my talk therapist have brought much healing and understanding during these very difficult times. Some days I truly feel I’m gaining on it. Other days not so much. I’m coming to understand that it’s part of the process of healing. Thank you again for your kindness and generosity.”