In the Bristol and Bath Team we often see clients who are dealing with chronic and persistent pain and discomfort. Medical understanding of chronic pain is increasing and changing all the time. Fascinating work has been done by Lorimer Moseley in Australia, by Golden and Moskovitz in the U.S. and many more. See References below
New Brain Pathways
What we now know is that pain is connected to neuroplasticity; that is, the ability of your brain to change in response to how you use it. If, for example, you sustain an injury or experience an illness or inflammation that causes pain your brain creates a new pathway. If this pathway is used often then it will become even easier to use. In chronic pain your brain can respond to what it identifies as danger even when the danger has passed.
All Pain is in the Brain
Although it feels as though we experience pain at the site of an injury, we now know that all pain is experienced in the brain. Acute pain is a useful response which helps us to know that we need to take care of ourselves in some way. Once it becomes chronic pain – usually thought to be pain we experience for more than 3 months – then this means that if we can find a way to change what our brain is doing, we may be able to change our experience of it.
Last week at our Lightning Process Conference I learned about the website http://neuroplastix.com. If you are interested in how chronic pain works and what can be done about it I can recommend this fascinating site. You can also look at the work of Professor Lorimer Moseley here www.bodyinmind.org
The ideas overlap with how The Lightning Process training approaches moving on from chronic pain in that the LP uses the concept of brain plasticity and new learning in similar ways.
Here is Lorimer Moseley’s explanation of chronic pain