I would like to draw your attention to an article published in the 'Australian Magazine' this last weekend called Training the brain to beat pain (Norman Doidge The Australian January 31, 2015).
Some of you may recognise the name of the author, Norman Doidge. He has previously written a best selling book called The Brain that changes itself.
Once pain in the body becomes chronic, the way it is represented in the brain becomes different. Acute pain garners your attention, which is fine in the beginning. It's a survival mechanism hard wired into our system. But as time goes on, and you 'survive', the brain says, 'well, I actually have some other things to think about as well, and seeing as I'm no longer under any immediate threat, I'll hand the pain over to more subconscious, automatic parts of myself so I can still keep a check on it but it'll be more in the background, thus saving myself some energy.'
When this happens, many anatomical and physiological changes go on at a central (brain) level. The brain becomes 'wired' a little differently.
There are many different systems that converge in the brain, for example: The motor system (movement); the autonomic nervous system (which controls automatic actions within the body like breathing or digestion); and the limbic system (emotions) amongst many others. The systems in the brain that deal with pain, share some of the same anatomical structures as these other systems. This is one reason why chronic pain can be so complicated and hard to shift, because it lends itself towards changes in other systems and becomes integrated.
The good news is, however, that something is being done about it. This is the link to the article I mentioned:
Training the brain to beat pain
Of particular interest to me was the next to last paragraph ....
"He was helped by Marla Golden, an emergency physician who specialises in chronic pain, whom he met in 2008. Golden also trained in osteopathy, a hands-on practice using touch, sound and vibration. They have pioneered a true mind-brain-body approach to chronic pain in which patients receive simultaneous neuroplastic input from the mind and body to influence the brain. Golden’s hands are so sensitive, Moskowitz says, she sometimes seems to “see” with them, finding problem areas and rapid ways to ease chronic pain. I have followed a number of their patients and seen remarkable progress."
The work would seem to be very similar to the Brain Therapy work that I do in my practice. I'll write about this in an upcoming blog article.
Yours in Health,
Paragon Health Industries