25 Aug Can You Turn Off Chronic Pain?
Yes … You Can Now Turn Off Chronic Pain, and Here’s the Proof
There are a growing number of physicians and scientists who recognise that it is actually possible to turn off chronic pain.
But forget medication, physical therapy, or the usual psychological approaches that are rampant in the chronic pain industry. We already know that those strategies are no better than placebo.
Clin J Pain. 2002 Nov-Dec;18(6):355-65.
Clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of treatments for patients with chronic pain.
CONCLUSIONS of this meta analysis:
There are limitations to the success of all the available treatments … None of the currently available treatments eliminates pain for the majority of patients … none of them appear capable of eliminating pain or significantly improving functional outcomes for all treated.
So What Is the Latest Research Saying?
Our groundbreaking clinical research in the year 2000 showed conclusively that chronic pain could be switched off by treating it in an entirely different way – as if the pain signalling were merely sets of conditioned responses.
Since that time, Dr Yves De Koninck, Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, is just one of a growing number of researcher/physicians who have seen that chronic pain is exactly like emotional pain, sharing exactly the same nerve paths and brain regions.
Chronic pain signalling is nothing like acute pain from injury, and that is why current approaches appear to do so little to help.
Dr Koninck, who is about to be formerly recognised by the Canadian Pain Society with a Distinguished Career Award (May 2017) has shown that by specifically interrupting perception of chronic pain (a process he calls “recall and erase”) the pain can be effectively and permanently turned off.
There is just one problem.
Dr Koninck believes that the way to interrupt the perception of the pain is to deliver a particular drug to the brain, and his work is supported by studies done by hundreds of researchers around the world.
Why do we describe this as a problem? Because there are non-drug, non-invasive ways to “recall and erase” pain perception, and we have been using and refining this process for nearly 20 years.
The Key to Turning Off Chronic Pain
The “recall” part of dealing with this problem is not simple, and any therapist who wants to work with chronic pain needs to understand that what we are doing is exploring and identifying specific conditioned responses around pain production. These include but are not limited to:
- Specific sensory awareness of the pain
- Metaphors that are associated with the pain
- Beliefs around the pain
- Meaning of the pain
- Emotions around the pain
And in addition we need to be aware that the nervous system itself may be in a hyper-sensitive state and that also needs to be identified and addressed.
The “erase” part of turning off the chronic pain signalling appears deceptively easy. We use the patient’s specific language to trigger at least two very different sets of conditioned responses simultaneously, and add further neurological complexity by adding sensory stimulation to the process.
What Happens During Treatment?
While some people will notice no or little change immediately, most patients will experience significant relief and even total elimination of their pain almost immediately.
This is not to say that this is the end of treatment because although spectacularly exciting, this is not a magic wand. For most people, the brain needs to practice switching off pain, for a few minutes each day, over days or weeks, in order to be able to stop treatment and enjoy permanent pain relief.
In between treatment sessions, the patient becomes more skilled at recognising the conditioning at play, and in applying the treatment themselves. A free support group helps them to keep on track.