Chronic Pain – does it have to be forever?
In the last few months I have been developing some interesting work dealing with chronic pain. We are learning more than ever before about how pain works and how much our emotional brain plays a role in our pain patterns. I will come back to this and write some more in the near future but for now I wanted to share with you some feedback from a lovely lady I worked with recently. I would like to thank her for her candour and her generosity in sharing her experience.
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‘’I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia over a decade ago, and have learned to manage my life reasonably well to accommodate the condition, along with regular acupuncture.
During the last few months the joint pain was becoming constant and severe and the full dosage of painkillers was not touching it. I did not want to move to stronger pain relief, and Alison was highly recommended to me by a patient of hers, whose judgement I trust.
At my appointment I was asked about the condition, how it started and how it affected me, as sufferers can have different priorities. Recounting the onset of the illness, which I have not needed to do for years, was cathartic in itself. It was quite emotional for me, as actually articulating a combination of stressful work demands, and life events, made me so aware again of how much I had struggled to cope, even though I thought I was Superwoman! ( I realised afterwards that I had forgotten a couple of awful situations which had added to my overall high stress levels.) Alison was empathetic and used considered gentle prompting to probe my emotions and anxieties. Her reassurance and words of support were very helpful.
She explained clearly the treatment she was going to use which was reassuring for me. It would be similar to hypnotherapy, which I knew that I had responded positively to some years ago. I felt my body respond to her words, an involuntary response.
She told me that my brain needs to be reprogrammed, that the subconscious brain had dealt with the huge stress overload by sending messages of severe pain, and that it was now in that habit. This habit needs to be broken. I would be likely to find myself having conversations in my head. I certainly have! I have been firm with my subconscious brain, and keep telling it to stop. I am regarding it as a devilish Jiminy Cricket, which keeps reminding me of how I felt at certain times in the past, and “scab picks” at any latent anxieties.
I have been told many times to be kinder to myself, but really was unable to find a way to do that. After this session I certainly feel calmer and a little more at peace with myself and my mind. I stopped taking all painkillers, and now any joint pain is less than it was when taking the full dosage. I find that incredible. I am sleeping better, because of not being in pain and because my mind is not racing as it used to. Better sleep improves my energy levels and general wellbeing.
I still take afternoon naps some days, and still rest in between activity. At heading towards 70, so do my contemporaries!
Not sure how to scale my pain levels, as it was easier when I came back from holiday. It had been as high as 8 out of 10. Now 1 or 2. I still feel creaky and quite exhausted much of the time, but it is manageable and may well improve. I think feeling more in control of myself is a big factor for me. Honestly I feel better than I have for years. I am so grateful to you.’’
Just a short note to say that the treatment I used has its roots in NLP and isn’t hypnotherapy although it can have similar outcomes.
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For more information contact Alison directly on 07805 644125 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Alison Merrick ‘’Making people better along the Aire Valley’’
Clinics in Keighley and Saltaire, serving Bingley, Baildon, Bradford, Leeds, Skipton Saltaire, Shipley, Harden, Wilsden, Cullingworth, Haworth, Denholme, Oxenhope, Stanbury, Crossroads, East Morton, Utley, Sutton In Craven, Crosshills, Silsden, Glusburn, Cowling, Colne, Addingham, Ilkley, Otley, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, Grassington, Burnsall, Gargrave, Long Preston, Settle