Pain is an epidemic across North America and the industrialized world. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
Persistent, recurring chronic pain is defined as pain lasting more that 6 months after the original tissue damage has healed. For example, if you sprained your ankle, this is an acute injury that generally takes 3 to 6 months for the injured tissues to heal completely. If the ankle continues to hurt beyond that 6-month period, the pain is classified as chronic – because the pain persists.
Pain is an Epidemic
The research on chronic (persistent/recurring) pain is compelling. The annual cost to industrialized countries in health care resources and lost productivity is increasing every year. Here are just a few examples:
- Canada 50 – 60 billion dollars;(Ciramedical.ca: Chronic Pain: The Importance of a Multidisciplinary Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment, 2014)
- USA 560 – 635 billion dollars;
- Australia 34 billion dollars;
Pharmaceuticals are a short-term solution
We now know that using pharmaceuticals to treat chronic pain is a short-term solution to a long-term problem and the associated comorbidities of anxiety and depression are further complicating the treatment of pain.
Painaustralia.org reports “that one in five chronic pain sufferers also suffer from depression or other mood disorders and that pain is the most common reason that people seek medical help—yet it remains one of the most neglected and misunderstood areas of healthcare.”
Ron Melzack developed the Neuromatrix theory and coined the word neurosignature. When our brain develops a pain neurosignature, a mass of neural networks in the brain that create a pain output, that neurosignature divides into two pathways. One that produces the perception of pain and one that produces a corresponding motor response.
The good news is that we can change those neurosignatures that perpetuate our pain.
What can be learned can be unlearned.
The brain is fabulously plastic, and neurons that fire together can wire together.
Pain Resides in the Brain and Can be Changed
Ample research confirms that pain does not reside in the muscles; it resides in the brain (Central Nervous System). The good news is that we can change our pain through a multifaceted biopsychosocial approach that can re-program these neurosignatures and bring the body/mind back to a healthy functional state.
The six- step approach that we teach is called The Method and it combines the brilliance of eastern philosophies with research and techniques to help you learn how to heal your body and get back to participating in a vibrant life. Whether it is a sore knee, plantar fasciitis, low back pain, painful hips or neck tension, clients typically experience a 50 to 90% reduction in pain within 6 weeks.
Reducing Pain Requires Your Active Participation
The key to success is that the pain sufferer must actively participant in their own healing. The key is learning how to sense and feel what you are experiencing in you own body so that you can respond appropriately to support the healing process.
Our bodies have the potential to heal themselves when given the right tools. As we learn to reconnect with our bodies, as we learn to get quiet and listen to the wisdom of our bodies we begin to get better. Getting out of pain challenges the Spirit, Mind and Body.
These things are not separate from each other.
When we shift one, we shift the other.