The subject of pain is a HUGE one and deserves much more time and space than I have here, but I will do my best to cover the key points.
We all know what pain is like, but to clarify…. acute pain is short lived, the term chronic pain is used when pain has lasted for 3-6 months or more.
In a Lancet study carried out in 2014 (Michaleff et al), it was found that reading about how pain works for 30 months plus two telephone conversations, worked as well as twenty, yes TWENTY sessions of physiotherapy!!! Therefore, understanding how pain works is key to recovering from it.
So here, and in my clinic, I teach people why they still have pain and help them out of it.
Its important to recognise that initial pain is often an indicator of danger. It tells us to react and can save us from further injury or death e.g. if your finger is burning on the oven for example, you will automatically withdraw your hand from the heat (without even thinking). When we have just injured our back, pain is helpful, because it warns us against further injury.
However (and this is the important bit) what we now know, is that after 3-6 months, pain is rarely in the tissues but in our nervous system. That is, pain has caused our nervous system to change. Our nervous system has become too sensitive!
“Sensitization means we turn the volume up on our alarm system, but are very poor at turning the volume down.’, Steve Haines, Pain Is Really Strange.
The medical profession used to believe that chronic pain was held in the tissues of the body, now we know that it rarely is. The answer to resolving the pain issue is to show the system how to down-regulate / desensitize / ‘turn the volume down’.
I should also say at this point that unresolved emotional trauma is held in the physiology and in the limbic system, not the cognitive (thinking part of the brain) as previously thought. It often shows itself as physical pain. So whilst we may be looking for the cause of our pain by having MRI scans for example, there may well not be a structural cause.
So…..hopefully all of this goes some way to explain why Craniosacral Therapy (in my experience) is so effective in terms of reducing or eliminating pain from the body.
I could go and on about this subject, but I am passionate about helping people with pain. The people I see in my clinic have often been in pain for decades. They may have limited mobility and their quality of life / ability to work may be seriously affected.
In a treatment, we find that the body has it’s own sense of priority. Number one is showing the system what safety is, this may be something which is a new experience, but is it key to everything else. We then teach the system to notice sensations other than the pain. This is all HUGE in terms of down-regulating the nervous system (turning the volume down).
Gradually, trauma, whether that be physical or emotional will come to the surface and release and the pain gets less or goes. This is an amazing experience for someone when the pain has been there for a long time!
So, hopefully that gives you a brief summary of why I see so many people’s pain levels reduce or disappear. These steps seem counter-intuitive I know and how can something so simple be so effective?? If you would like to understand more or see if this therapy can help you, please do get in touch.
Resources why do they matter – a little test for you ……
I have been working as a Craniosacral Therapist for about 7 years now and I have learnt many things along the way. One of the main things I have discovered, is that some people are more likely to suffer ill health than others.
There are many factors that can predispose us to disease, of course. But what I see time and time again, is that people who are suffering ill health, pain, depression are under-resourced. When we are under resourced, we have few coping strategies and we struggle more with life’s challenges. We neglect ourselves, year after year, often putting other people’s needs before our own. We just carry on and on and on, ignoring the signs (no time for that!) until our system, one way or the other, FORCES us to stop (pain, disease, depression etc take over) and we have no choice but to ask for help.
When we are well resourced, we are resilient, strong, feel supported and are far better equipped to cope with life’s stresses and problems. In a nutshell, we are less prone to disease.
There are many reasons why people become under-resourced. A Craniosacral Therapist can sense how well resourced your system is through touch and then they can work with your body to build the potency passing through it. That is one way to build up the resources within the system. There are also things that the patient can do, outside of the treatment room to help themselves.
Here comes the little test……..So how well resourced are YOU?
I encourage all my patients to write a list of 10 things that resource them. Go on, have a go. Your list is unique to you. There may be things on it which you are not able to do right now, but still, put them on if you consider that they would ‘feed your soul’. So, grab some paper and a pen and have a go before you read on (it works best this way)……
How did you get on? Did you get to 5? Over 10?
Often, simply putting our attention on that list is a useful exercise. It can really help us to focus on our own needs.
I find that well resourced people can write their list quickly and easily and could often write way more than 10 things down. These people are well aware of what they need to keep themselves well and they make their health a priority.
Whilst people who under-resourced either look at me blankly, or as if they think I am mad (new mums fall into the latter category – their focus is naturally on their young baby and they have little time for themselves), and they struggle to think of even two or three things that should be on their list. It may even take them a few days to get to 10.
If you are struggling, examples might be:
• Having a Craniosacral Therapy session
• Taking a walk in the woods
• Writing a diary
• A trip to the seaside
• Going out with friends
• Talking to your best friend
As I say, there is no right or wrong, everyone’s list is different.
More to the point, if you struggled with that exercise, how would it be for you to do something about it? This is YOUR life and it’s important that you enjoy it and stay as healthy as you can!
I’m too busy
If this is the case, please pause and take an honest look at your life and how you are living it. Do you want things to stay the same?
I need help!
I am offering free telephone consultations now! Do get in touch on 07956 390419 and you can tell me more about your situation and I will see if I can help you.
Recent revolutions in science tell us that chronic pain is usually NOT in the tissues! This contradicts many old ideas of how to “fix” pain. Want to know how to overcome chronic pain?
What we now understand is that pain is a complex process and that it can often become a habit which we don’t know how to stop. The practice of feeding the brain new information, “tricks” the brain into experiencing the body in a different way. As a result of this, the pain is less, we sleep better, anxiety levels often reduce and generally speaking, life is better!
In Craniosacral Therapy, we guide the whole system towards safety, encouraging it to move into the present moment and we help to develop new neuropathways, so that the old ones don’t “shout so loud”. At Cranio Kent, I often see people who have been living with pain for many years, sometimes even decades and with Craniosacral Therapy, they very often find great relief. It is simple, but incredible. Why not try it for yourself?
This graphics book, Pain Is Really Strange was written by Steve Haines, and explains these concepts in simple terms.
What is Pain? Lorimer Moseley discusses pain, the reasons we have it and how we can achieve relief from it. Pain isn’t always in the tissues. We can learn new ways to experience our bodies. He says that, ‘The best interventions focus on slowly training our body and brain to be less protective.’ This is often the focus with Craniosacral Therapy.
Read more here: https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-pain-and-what-is-happening-when-we-feel-it-49040