Pain Education

Our brains can change

Pain is 100% an output of the brain and our brains are often times more capable of change than our bodies, known as neuroplasticity.  Through the work we do together you can rebuild your body's protection response to pain.  Research shows that pain education itself leads to less reported pain, and is an important aspect of healing the "threat detection system" which is the pain response.  

When there has been persistent pain our nervous systems will create memories which we can call neuro-signatures or "neurotags" to organize our experience in the brain.  A neurotag is essentially the interconnection of various parts of the nervous system to produce an output, which in the case of chronic pain patients is an output of a threat,  so pain is our body's protection response to that threat.  Things that we can do to alter such neurotags are not only mindful movement and relaxation work (yoga therapy), but re-introducing valuable and meaningful activities despite pain, gradually.  The science behind the empowerment that takes place when a pain patient begins to do this will change the brain's threat detection system, which translates to less pain.  When we strengthen our internal locus of control our world changes.  

 

 

Basic pain education video by Lorimer Moseley, pain scientist

"Every day I use time for some meditation and breathing.  I don’t think I can be without it now.  I saw my doctor recently and had a great visit.  He felt that I had made huge progress and deemed me a “Pain School Graduate” with what Dena was able to provide me."                                                                                                                   -- Connie

Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Clinicians who work in chronic pain understand that a biopsychosocial approach is absolutely essential for improved and sustainable outcomes.  Mind/body protocols should be a part of any team of pain professionals for developing pain coping and management strategies.   

It is known that prolonged use of narcotics can lead to dependence and/or addiction.  Studies show that these patients will report more pain (known as hyperalgesia) AND more depression as a result of this medication.  Not only do such medications fail to work to decease pain in the long term, it is common for users to suffer from poor sleep, addiction and constipation among other negative side effects. Furthermore, there is evidence that pain killers given before surgery may prevent plastic change in the brain's pain map, impeding the brain's natural ability to normalize an overactive pain response with training.