This video has my own chronic pain story and a more complete version of the demonstration that is featured on the home page. It is the first segment from a talk at the Goleta Public Library. A playlist that will automatically play the entire talk is below the individual videos.
If you understand the basic neuroscience of chronic pain in this video, it can really help you overcome it. Knowledge is power!
Learning is an essential part of any Multimodal treatment of chronic pain. Here you can hear about learning with the resources of this website, the books of John Sarno, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Knowledge is power to overcome chronic pain!
Resuming normal activities is valuable for overcoming chronic pain. Guided motor imagery can get you started. Qi Gong and Tai Chi are especially helpful. Remember and use the phrases: Motion is Lotion and Sore but Safe.
Biofeedback is a way to gain control of physical processes that are not normally under conscious control. For example, you can learn to warm your hands by watching a thermometer while focusing mental activity on trying to get the temperature to increase. Consciously relaxing to increase blood flow to the hands is the key.
Guided Imagery can involve visualizing the pain areas of the brain as glowing lights that diminish in intensity. Meditation can decrease not only the intensity of pain, but also the unpleasantness of pain.
You can become proactive rather than passive and plan a strategy for your own recovery. The cost of one strategy, given as an example in this video, is less than $100 for books and thermometers, and Qi Gong or Tai Chi DVDs.
You can get all these videos to play automatically with this playlist.
After you finish these videos, I strongly encourage you to watch the video lecture by Dr. Howard Schubiner. My talk is based on the science I have found on neurobiology of chronic pain, especially fMRI, and mind body therapies. His talk is based on the medical history of mind body disorders and is complementary to mine.
Note, there are four other names for the brain problem that I have called Sensitization:
1. Tension myositis syndrome (TMS), also known as TensionMyoneural Syndrome (TMS), which is used in the video by Dr. Schubiner, who was trained directly by John Sarno.
2. Mind Body Syndrome (MBS), as used in the name of Dr. David Schechter’s informative website http://www.mindbodymedicine.com/ that has links to great videos including an interview of Dr. Schechter on Between the Lines.
3. Psychophysiologic Disorder (PPD), which is used in another great video by Alan Gordon who eloquently talks about ways to come to an understanding that it is important to work on the brain problem of chronic pain.
4. Chronification, which is used by the Apkarian research group, which has done stellar work in brain imaging of chronic pain. The placement of the lights inside the glowing brain in my videos comes, in part, from this group’s work.
Here are videos by leading experts on the 5 sources of chronic pain, Signals, Thoughts, Emotions, Benefits and Associations:
- Signals. After you have seen your physician and ruled out things like cancer or torn ligaments or tendons, then a great place to begin is Dr. Sletten Discussing Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS). Sensitization, as I define the term, involves not only an exaggerated response to signals from the body, CSS, but also the ability of the brain to create the experience of pain without signals from the body as discussed in videos by psychologist Alan Gordon and Dr. Howard Schubiner. Please don’t be confused by the different names for the basic problem that I am calling Sensitization. Alan Gordon calls it Psychophysiologic Disorder. Howard Schubiner calls it Mind Body Syndrome / Tension Myositis Syndrome. It has also been called Chronification, Tension Myoneural Syndrome, Stress Illness and Autonomic Overload Syndrome. With apologies to those who use the different names, I use Sensitization because people in chronic pain easily understand and agree that sensitization is a problem for them. Also, it clearly points to the solution: reducing sensitization.
- Thoughts. Professors Lorimer Moseley and David Butler have a great cafe chat video about their new book, Explain Pain Handbook: Protectometer and Explain Pain Second Edition, which is a great tool for exploring your own thoughts that may be contributing to your own pain. David Butler has a wonderful talk about Danger in Me and Safety in Me that can be helpful in guiding your exploration. Professor Beth Darnall teaches “Harnessing the Power of Your Thoughts for Pain Control”
- Emotions. Dr. Howard Schubiner’s work on EAET, or Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy is a good place to start. Professor Beth Darnall has a clear YouTube video on the role of emotions in chronic pain. It is part of Stanford Back Pain Education Day with many excellent talks. Dr. John Sarno really helped me. His 20/20 Segment really motivated me to get started and I continued with his great books The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain and Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection. Many, many people have been healed with this video and these books. As a scientist, I feel compelled to mention that science has moved beyond Dr. Sarno’s mechanism for sensitization: the brain creating chronic pain by depriving tissues of oxygen. But, despite this minor flaw, Dr. Sarno’s books have a unique ability to communicate with the unconscious mind and reduce sensitization.
- Benefits. Professor Silje Endersen Reme”s Ted talk Pain, Is it all in your mind? gives clinical evidence for the role of benefits in chronic back pain.
- Associations. Scott Musgrave, MSPT, has a clear video emphasizing how associations to past trauma can engage a state of fight or flight and cause chronic pain.