Specializations

Hypnosis and Discomfort – 3 of 4

Stress and Chronic Pain

When confronted with threats, the most primitive areas of our mind seek to stimulate action in our muscles. This ancient programming is beyond conscious control. Just as with a weaker wolf threatened by a dominant wolf, that program is still in play in socially threatening situations. Tension builds in the muscles, building toxins while restricting blood flow.

Eventually the muscles and joints begin to suffocate, screaming in pain. That pain lightens and interrupts sleep, minimizing the deep restorative rest required for healing. This vicious cycle causes the condition to grow worse.

It is only recently that medical science has come to recognize this connection between stress and chronic pain. Once established, discipline is required to exercise weakened tissues, loosening them so that normal blood flow resumes. In extreme cases, we turn to doctors for pain medication, while chiropractors and massage therapists can manipulate joints and muscles to increase flexibility. Even so, if tissue degeneration has spread to the joints, exercise may seem too painful to resume.

In desperation, many patients turn to surgery to restore ease of motion. The most common target of surgery is the back. A federal study of outcomes, however, shows that it in almost every case back surgery fails to provide long-term relief.

Ref: Ozanich “The Great Pain Deception”

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