Rebel Health Radio

#35 Chronic Pain and Emotional Healing

December 20, 2021 Patricia Worby Episode 35
Rebel Health Radio
#35 Chronic Pain and Emotional Healing
Show Notes Transcript

In this audio I talk about the emotional drivers of #chronic_pain and how resolving repressed emotions (particularly anger/rage) helps the nervous system to adjust to relieve pain in 6 sessions of body-based (somatic) #healing that uses messages (sensory cues) of safety to decrease the perceived threat that your nervous system is under.

Modern medical approaches miss out the mind body connection and seek only to deal with the symptom (peripheral pain in the postural muscles) rather than look at the cause which results from unprocessed emotions in the early years. The failure to have emotional needs of safety and support met in childhood (and sometimes the outright abuse!) is the most potent driver.

Find me on https://alchemytherapies.co.uk and my group programme http://myemotionalaudit.com

Patricia Worby Alchemy therapies here and another in my ongoing chats around areas of interest in the field of trauma, emotional release and natural health and healing and i wanted to talk today a little bit about pain in particular chronic pain pain that lasts longer than three months generally is defined as chronic pain and sometimes if it persists for a very long time you know over a year it can be labeled or diagnosed as fibromyalgia which is a term which is just descriptive really it suggests that there are problems um in the soft tissues there's a myalgia which is just a description of pain really um but it is defined in a certain way that you generally have pain in the postural muscles those are the muscles head neck um also the back lower back is very implicated and sometimes also around the hips the pelvis um and this kind of pain is very different to the sort of pain that you get if you've i don't know torn a ligament or or damaged the tissue in some way in that rest doesn't seem to help it and that's what makes it very very particular and very debilitating so whether you rest or not makes no difference really to the pain and you often have very acute sensitivity to touch as well something we call allodynia and so even the lightest touch is perceived by your brain as being painful and so people who have these kind of chronic pain conditions can live a very difficult and challenging life because they they can't do normal activities they can't go out they can't have a massage they can't walk very far um everything becomes a strain and sleep is affected and often they are given pain medications which uh uh pregabalin is one of the most common ones given which are uh sort of supposed to change the peripheral nerve stimulus to reduce pain but largely ineffective because believe it or not the problem is not in the tissue itself although the blood flow is obviously reduced the energy production in the tissues is reduced causing lactic acid buildup so it's not that it's not a physical problem but the origin is not in the tissue itself the origin is in the part of the central nervous system that controls pain messages and that's actually in your brain and that's in you know the deeper parts of your brain particularly your emotional brain or your limbic brain and so pain meds that change your peripheral nerve stimulus don't actually seem to do very much and can actually be quite addictive and difficult to come off and when you do try and reduce them actually the pain just escalates so my message to people is that it's actually not something to deal with physically it's actually something to look at mentally emotionally when i say that obviously people get very upset because they think how how can a physical pain be caused by something mental emotional well the first thing you need to understand is that the mind and the body are not separate uh we don't have a brain that is sort of housed separately to the body it's bathed in cerebral fluid which is fed from the the blood supply and basically anything that happens in the body is communicated via the the fluids that bathe the brain to the brain um there are also other mechanisms there are um small proteins that kind of are produced uh in the gut that can travel up there are microbes that can produce different chemicals that travel up into the brain and pass the blood brain barrier which is something that is meant to protect the brain can it's it's a variable permeable membrane however and things can travel up uh obviously there's the whole energetic component of the human being which is completely missed out in modern medicine um but you know we are basically energy as well as matter and so if you're you're in a low state you know your low vibrational state you're feeling despair or hopeless um it's it's actually what's going to keep things going so pain is in the brain and pain is also a habit it's it's something that the brain gets used to and regards as normal it gets habituated in other words to certain levels of stimulus which it interprets misinterprets as pain now how does that come about well usually the pain message comes in from past experiences that haven't been metabolized as over things that have happened to you that overwhelmed you get stored in your limbic brain as a sort of implicit memory and that implicit memory of overwhelm can be retriggered in the life and actually come about to make you feel uh overwhelmed again quite easily but because it's an unconscious part of your brain and the stimulus is unconscious as well this this trigger from the past is an unconscious awareness it's unconscious in the sense of your front brain isn't aware of it at all you you may be triggered in ways that you're not you're not aware of and you don't have any control over it could be the time of year or it could be the way someone looks at you or it it could be the voice of somebody or an email or a letter that arrives or a bill that turns up these stimuli are everywhere in in modern life we're in very stressful times right now so it's very easy to be triggered but this idea that the uh the brain is kind of on alert that it's been sensitized to your situation from past experience that hasn't been metabolized past experience in your childhood particularly and even in your earliest experiences of birth and those early few weeks and months of your life this is a new understanding that we didn't have before and how it relates to pain is that it sensitizes your nervous system to threat and so threat becomes everywhere and threat becomes your normal if you like and so instead of responding to stimuli in a way that allows your nervous system to adjust it actually triggers a set of reactions which cause a sort of inflammatory response in in your nerves and in all the communication systems in your body and so nerves are very interesting because they are they're very high energy actually they need a lot of energy to run they're full of mitochondria in your neurons and they're not just in your brain they actually neurons are present in your in your heart actually sensory neurites have been discovered in the last 10 12 years and so it will affect your heart rate your heart rhythm it also affects uh how well your heart pumps so your blood pressure um they're also in your gut because they affect digestion i've talked about that in a separate video about the gut innovation which is similar to the size of a cat's brain so it's actually huge um and nerves penetrate virtually everywhere in your body as well in your bladder your lungs your kidneys your liver and so on and it's actually a part of your nervous system that links with your brain it's called the autonomic or some people think of it as a sort of automatic system that goes on behind the scenes without your awareness and it's constantly filtering information from your environment and transmitting messages of either threat or safety and now as i've said if from your earliest experiences you were ever overwhelmed without support and that's a very common experience with many of us if we had a difficult birth or um some experience in our early life where we didn't bond well with uh my the mother or caregiver um or we had experiences of being isolated in some way whether in icu or um even during you know chronic illness or hospitalization dental surgery there are so many ways in which we can have this experience that overwhelms us and it's it's the sense of having nobody there to hold that for us and to literally communicate with us that we're safe and so we don't learn that we're safe in our body if we're not safe in our body whenever something comes along in the current life in the adult life we've got this map of the world which says i am unsafe and i'm under threat constantly and pain is the inevitable result now why pain and not say fatigue because many people don't have so much pain they have more of a fatigue scenario and what i have found is it depends on the nature of the emotion that they're they're not dealing with that they've repressed and that's part of my phd actually was to look at what emotions have been repressed and how that plays out in the kind of symptoms that you express and the pattern i've identified is that it's largely rage or anger the suppressed rage or anger that causes uh body pain this kind of chronic unrelenting body pain and so i would ask you to look gently at your experience of life and where in your life is there unexpressed rage or anger often it's a child-like response because children do feel rage when they understand that the world is no longer revolving around them we call it the terrible twos when they're beginning to individuate as people who you know notice that not all their needs get met all the time and so there's a certain degree of rage that is natural and normal but what if your parent for whatever reason is not attentive in the way that you need or doesn't really understand you in the way that you need or humiliates you or criticizes you or just isn't there for you emotionally is emotionally absent for whatever reason maybe their own depression um maybe a bereavement or their own childhoods haven't been resolved and so they're unable to give you what you biologically are wired to need which is a soothing comforting uh attuned other and actually we call it attunement if that doesn't happen then there's a certain degree of rage that wells in all of us because we want to be heard and felt and seen by those around us that we depend on for survival it's an ancient system that's designed to keep us attached to people who will keep us bodily safe because when we're very young we have no ability to look after ourselves you know as human beings we're born very immature so it's actually a biological problem that has become more and more difficult and more and more problematic in the culture we live in now where you are raised generally not by a tribe not by a group of people not by an extended family um although obviously i know you know if possible grandparents do get involved if you look back in history this is probably the you know the last 200 years have been the time when we have separated out raising a child into nuclear families instead of by a community and so the child is very much more dependent on the quality of parenting that they get from parents who've maybe had similar deficits in their own childhoods and so we are perpetuating this trauma and and rage and anger is an inevitable result of disconnection a disconnection from love and support in the places that we absolutely need it and that's you know in our in our upbringing in our childhoods and we're seeing of course a huge disconnection now in our culture generally because of what's happening in the world with the pandemic and the response to the pandemic which has been one of uh a war-like footing we're on war or war-like footing against a virus that we can't see we can't even prove it exists we haven't isolated it yet we just know the results of it and maybe some fragments of dna so we are at war with something that we can't identify very easily and that puts us in an existential threat actually a constant sense of threat against something and because of the way we have formulated our battle and we've said that um we have to isolate each other uh from each other we have to go into either some sort of lockdown or we have to mask or we have to keep social distancing um which is very untethical to how we are wired to behave to connect we are in a constant state of stress actually all of us and so our bodies are naturally responding to this with rage with um a sense of uh despair in some people and and so we're seeing huge rise in pain um in anxiety and depression mental health uh problems are massive particularly in our children and our adolescents and an opioid crisis as people try and relieve pain and then get addicted to the the very drugs that are supposed to relieve it so that's that's what's going on and in order to solve this issue you can't there isn't a pill for rage they haven't come up with one yet i doubt they will um we have to look within at the real root cause of what's making us so um angry but in a very uh ancient kind of primal way we may not even be aware that we're angry we may be so dissociated from our experience and our rage that we may deny it completely and that was certainly what i found when i did my research um that there were people that were aware of it but they were a particular attachment style that were more vocal in their um their neediness if you like they would notice where their emotions were and certainly feel it and sometimes their rage was almost out of control but more likely it was the people that repressed their feelings and weren't aware of it and were very um kind of what i call left brain oriented or or cognitively intellectually aware but not emotionally heart-based aware and so they were often in spaces where they would say things like um my childhood was brilliant there were no problems in my childhood my parents were angels or they were wonderful people are wonderful people you know we have this excellent relationship which i don't deny is a great thing but it's not realistic to say that your childhood was perfect no childhood is perfect no childhood really is without pain or rage or some form of growth that enables um a challenge emotionally you cannot have growth without a challenge uh you cannot learn without hearing the words no you know you need to find within yourself the resources to overcome your challenges you need to be able to metabolize your emotions as that happens that's a normal developmental stage and so to say you haven't got any pain or any anger or any unresolved emotions from your child it isn't realistic and so my my approach is always to look at what is dissociated what is pushed away what is denied in that person and and so that's often a common trait of people who end up with pain um is that they're in denial of some of the things they've experienced even when we look at their histories we can see very strong patterns of maybe um being forced to be people that they weren't naturally or being having high expectations of themselves given to them by parents well-meaning parents parents who did the best they could by the way were not blaming parents um they were children too once and so it becomes a sort of a common repression of reality of how you feel and so you go into adult life believing that everything's okay as long as you keep moving as long as you keep active as long as you keep achieving things and so you become quite driven and that kind of a-type personality is another very common feature and so what we'd have to do is we have to somehow soothe and reach the part of the brain this emotional brain and to do that we sometimes have to disconnect a little bit the the critical intellectual brain the one that's based in our cortex the thinking brain so that we can get beneath that we can go beneath into the parts of you that do feel things that do really have a strong need for something that was never met or or the need was never met consistently in some way and there are many ways of doing that there are ways that involve psychedelic therapies that's just coming in there are ways that involve touch which is what i use self-touch haven'ing tapping or eft ways that use eye movements in terms of eye movement desensitization or schema therapy that's another one that uses eye movements and there are others that use audio or heart rate variability regulations so you can actually use sound or breath to re-regulate the nervous system because the nervous system remember is your interface so if you're feeling constantly under threat your nervous system is wired it's wired all the time it's totally exhausting and it reduces the available energy for rest and digest for natural functions like digestion and feeling joy and so on so we do have a problem but we do have solutions and if any of you are interested these solutions actually work very fast they work much more quickly than talk therapy which seeks to look at your thinking processes i look at working through the body so you're feeling processes and i managed to get pain reduction usually within six sessions so that's a lot faster than talk therapies if they work at all when it's certainly more effective than drug therapies which are largely useless to be fair so if any of you are interested get in touch any comments please i'm very happy to receive them so take care for now bye