Pain Control Through Your Mind


Managing Chronic Pain

 
 
 
 
 
 

I’m sure you have heard this before: The mind is able to control the body. For the chronic pain patient who may have seemingly exhausted all treatment options, the notion of mind over matter becomes hugely appealing.

When there is some sort of injury or insult causing pain, the signal conveying pain travels to the brain via a sensory pathway and an emotional pathway. The emotional aspect of the experience of pain travels to the parts of the brain known as the amygdale and the anterior cingulated cortex. The mind-body treatments that involve such activities as hypnosis, meditation and relaxation likely affect these emotional networks.

Researchers have used functional magnetic resonance  imaging (FMRI) to allow chronic pain patients to “visualise” pain. These images allow a patient to actively participate in manipulating what has previously been an amorphous concept. The chronic pain patient becomes empowered, whether it be through hypnosis, yoga, biofeedback, or meditation.

Any such coping technique for chronic pain often can begin with controlled deep breathing:

1. It is best to be in a relaxed position in a dark or dimly lit room, with eyes closed or focused on a point.

2. Breathe deeply, while continuing to focus.
3. Continue with controlled breathing for a few minutes.
4. If you sense this control of respirations is allowing for a slowing down of breathing, then try a particular imagery technique.

Examples of imagery and chronic pain control techniques include:
1. Focus on a non-painful body part, and see whether this diverts the mind away from focusing on, say, chronic back pain.
2. Mentally separate the painful body part from the remainder of the body; use dissociation to keep the pain away.
3. Divide different sensations of pain into separate parts: If a patient feels burning associated with pain, he or she might find it helpful to focus solely on the burning sensation, and not on the pain by using such sensory splitting.
4. Imagine a numbing injection of some miraculous medicine.
5. “Travel” back in time, when the patient was pain free.
6. Imagine a symbol for one’s chronic pain, for example, a loud noise; turn the volume down, and reduce the pain.
7. Use positive imagery to focus on something pleasant.
8. Count silently to divert the mind from the chronic pain.

These tasks seem silly to some; or at best, self-evident. But for some chronic pain patients, they do help. A professional may be needed during the learning process; and it may take practice before these techniques can have a highly positive and beneficial impact on the chronic pain patient. Such a patient should work on these pain coping mental exercises at least 30 minutes three times a week.

You know you are doing good when you can reduce pain and increase relaxation with a few deep breaths. The sense of control that accompanies such mastery in and of itself can be responsible for a significant reduction in chronic pain.

When have you experienced a lack of pain when you would have expected to feel it or do you know someone who uses this or some other method to manage chronic pain?

I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Simon

Latest review of my new book


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I just received an email today with this independent review of my latest book, happy is an understatement. http://lnkd.in/dqJR7Wu

Check out the review and if it flicks your switch, why not get yourself the book, you never know it might just be the difference that makes the difference for you.

Whatever you do have fun.

 

Simon 🙂

General perception of weight loss/fat loss


I have been involved in physically training other people for around 25 years now, I started before there were any real governing bodies and I signed up to REPS, The Register of Exercise Professionals, from its inception and have been an Advanced Level 4 Trainer for the last 15 odd years. That combined with a BSc in Sports Psychology helped me enormously and over the last 10 years I have had much more success by starting the process with peoples minds and their perception of the many myths and legends disseminated by the fitness and diet industries.

It is almost as though many people are afraid of the word FAT, because it is all to common to talk about weight loss as opposed to fat loss. Weight in general terms is irrelevant, although their is a section of society where this is not the case because they are clinically obese and at huge risk of long term damage due to their excess weight. However, for the majority, they need to refocus their attention on how they look and how they feel about how they look.

When I work with clients, I begin with visualisation exercises to enable them to get a sense of how they want to look, how that feels and how long they realistically think it will take to reach. Most of my clients already have a pretty realistic idea of timescale and, once they get their heads around talking about fat loss, they find it much easier to create realistic and effective goals.

Now goal setting is hugely important and is one of  the key early elements in working with someones shift in mindset, because often people don’t really have a very clear idea at the beginning, it is a kind of vague and sometimes distant vision. By bringing that close and clear, it makes it much easier, along with the visualisation exercises to help that person set some simple and very effective targets to reach, while also building in flexibility to allow for a short plateau, unforeseen setbacks etc that happen in life.

Part of being that specific is consistently talking in terms of fat loss as opposed to weight and allowing clients to forget about the scales, educating them about body composition and how it will change and that leaner, toned muscle tissue will help them live a healthy and enjoyable life.

I run half-day goal setting workshops for the general public as well as trainers and I also run a 4 Day Sports Coaching Diploma that goes into great detail regarding the mindset of a client and how to change beliefs, perceptions and thinking patterns, which ultimately lead to a change in behaviour, for the better.

This is a big drive behind my latest brand of products, Brain2Body, because we are all driven by what goes on in our minds and when we learn how to us sit it, instead of it using us we can create a life that is far more enjoyable and satisfying than we ever thought possible.

I look forward to your thoughts and comments.

Up and running with the new Blog


Hi everyone,

Just got set up and finding my way around the new site and figuring out what I can do with it, which is apparently quite a lot.

Once I’ve got my head round it all I will be posting regularly and adding video where I will talk about my latest products, courses, ideas and research.

I’m looking for plenty of feedback from you all and ideas for posts etc, so get your thinking caps on and let me know. In the meantime have fun and I’ll post a short welcome video shortly.

Cheers

Simon 🙂