Mindbody Pain Institute https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au Live Painfree Wed, 02 Dec 2015 20:05:55 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 Winning the game of persistent back pain https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/winning-the-game-of-persistent-back-pain/ https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/winning-the-game-of-persistent-back-pain/#respond Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:00:32 +0000 http://prototypodesign.com/mindbody/?p=217 Back pain is complex and often difficult to find answers for. 99% of people believe the pain means “there must be something wrong with my back.”

In other words the pain is a direct result of an injury or tissue damage. This may be so the first time, but when your back pain doesn’t go away or if it keeps recurring there is compelling evidence that the back itself is not the cause.

Scientists have found that the problem of persistent pain lies in the nervous system or to be really groovy, the neuro-immune system. It’s a complex interaction between the nervous system and immune system which ultimately serve to protect us.

Pain acts a warning signal and is a primitive survival mechanism in response to a “threat”. It gets our attention so we take action to remove ourselves from danger. We can then rest and heal. That “threat” may be tissue damage but you can also get pain without damage occurring.
Pain is determined completely by the brain. It is the master organ and is ultimately responsible for the pain response. Whether you have back pain or not, how much it hurts and where it hurts is all determined by the brain.

Nerves in your back send messages to the brain and it’s up to the brain to decide how important it is, taking into consideration lots of other information like memory (has this happened before) and context (what are the circumstances and implications of this). The brain makes a judgement within milliseconds whether the incoming nerve signals from your back warrant attention and ultimately if that experience is painful or not.

Pain is not all in your head. It’s real! However it’s strongly affected by what’s in your head. Your thoughts, memories and emotions are all nerves impulses too and they contribute to the network of nerves firing together that create the experience of pain. They change the brain’s perception of pain. In other words they change the ability of the brain to judge what really is a threat and what isn’t.

Be aware! The environment in your brain matters. How you’re feeling, what you’re doing, how focussed you are, all change your perception of pain. A sports person playing in the grand final with an injury is not likely to feel pain whilst they are focussed on winning the game. When you are focussed on something you love, something that is important to you and something that is of benefit to you, you put yourself in a position to neutralize the “threat”.

So keep focussed on what you love and ‘winning the game’ to relieve your back pain.

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5 ways to make a deposit in the Bank of Resilience https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/5-ways-to-make-a-deposit-in-the-bank-of-resilience/ https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/5-ways-to-make-a-deposit-in-the-bank-of-resilience/#respond Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:59:48 +0000 http://prototypodesign.com/mindbody/?p=215 “Life’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

No one is immune to adversity. Life can throw some serious curve balls at us all at once and create our very own prefect storm. Resilience is the ability to not only ride out the storm but to rise to the challenge.

Some people are born with their glass half full and seem to triumph in adversity, however studies have shown that the rest of us can learn how to increase our resilience.

Resilient people understand that pain and misfortune are not end points and take positive steps towards seeing the silver lining and opportunity that adversity presents.

Here are 5 ways researchers have shown that you can build on your bank of resilience.

1. Build a community of support
Reach out to others. Many studies have shown that the number one factor in resilience is having positive supporting relationships within and outside the family. Surround yourself with people you love and trust, people who ‘fill your bucket’ with encouragement and reassurance. Connect with role models you admire for inspiration.

2. Forgiveness
“Having resentment or grievance is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemy” – Nelson Mandela
Studies have shown that adults who appear more resilient than others show characteristics of forgiveness. It is not about condoning the wrong but being able to let it go. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself and not for the person that has wronged you. It seems to be a necessity and not a choice, to be able to let go of the anger or resentment and move forward with freedom and resilience.

3. Gratitude
Being grateful for your present situation right now. Expressing gratitude will increase your energy, cultivate a ‘giving’ attitude and help you sleep better. It takes practice to see the glass as half full so start training now. What are you grateful for? Find 3 things every day that you are grateful for and write them down in a gratitude journal.

4. Self compassion
Research suggests that people who are more self-compassionate lead healthier, more productive lives than those who are self-critical. Self-compassion steps in precisely when we fall down, allowing us to get up and try again leading to increased resilience. Resilient people know who they are and are accepting of their own and life’s imperfections. Be kind and compassionate towards yourself. Accept without judgement who you are and your circumstances. Value your strengths. Be your own best friend.

5. Find meaning in adversity
Every pain contains a lesson. What is your pain telling you? The more you can turn challenges into opportunities to learn and grow, the more resilient you are likely to be. “Looking at pain as an opportunity to learn and problem solve – and building the confidence and the habit of moving toward the pain instead of running from it – goes a long way in terms of building resiliency,” explains clinical psychologist David Sabine. Finding the silver lining and the good even in the worst of circumstances and creating something meaningful out of it helps us deal positively with adversity.

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Feeling stressed? Just breathe……properly https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/feeling-stressed-just-breatheproperly/ https://mindbodypaininstitute.com.au/feeling-stressed-just-breatheproperly/#respond Wed, 11 Jun 2014 17:22:36 +0000 http://prototypodesign.com/mindbody/?p=208 Are you feeling anxious or stressed out? Never enough time to get everything done? Feeling under pressure and overwhelmed? Just breathe……..properly.

Whilst most of us don’t give it much thought, the way we breathe can profoundly affect our physical and mental health.

Breathing is as natural as it is necessary. We can live 21 days without food, 7 days without water and only 5 minutes without breathing.

How we breathe is altered by our emotional state. When we are upset, angry or frightened our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. We may hold our breath for periods of time without even realizing it, and when we do breathe it may be disordered.

Rapid breathing is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for the fight or flight reflex) and is designed to be useful in the short term to send oxygen to our muscles and give us energy in an emergency. This type of breathing is usually associated with upper chest breathing. It uses small respiratory muscles in the upper chest attached to the collarbone which consume a lot of energy.

When we are stressed for a long period of time, our altered breathing pattern means we are in effect constantly over-breathing. Breathing incorrectly affects carbon-dioxide (CO2) levels and acid-base(pH) levels in the blood. Apart from increasing pain, it leads to an increased heart rate, anxiety, insomnia dizziness and fatigue.

To breathe properly you firstly need to be aware of your breathing and then correct your technique. Try to locate your diaphragm, it is most efficient breathing muscle and sits in the upper abdomen. The diaphragm rises as you breathe in and falls as you breathe out. Slow, deep abdominal breathing creates feelings of calmness. This type of breathing stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (responsible for ‘rest and digest’) which results in a relaxation response. Diaphragmatic breathing will slow our heart rate, reduce stress, boost immunity, regulate digestion, change gene expression and is a useful tool for creating a calm and clear state of mind.

Breath is the bridge between mind and body. It is the only function you can perform voluntarily as well as involuntarily. Regular practice of simple controlled diaphragmatic breathing is one of the most effective relaxation techniques that has the added benefit of boosting the body’s own healing power. It’s simple, relaxing and healing…………………just breathe.


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