Where I Began
I was a little overconfident the first time I went paddle boarding. I got on the “wobble” board and thought:
WOW! My balance sucks!
But, my friend Chris was watching and I was not about to back down. So, we paddled out towards the Port of Tampa Bay for what seemed like five minutes when—out of nowhere—a boat came racing through the bay and caused a large wake. The wake hit my board, causing me to lose balance and jump into the water.
I hit the ground. The ground I thought was below 12 feet of water. My ankle twisted under the impact and left me in shock and excruciating pain, in the middle of the bay.
Next thing I know, I’m headed for the emergency room. A series of x-rays, a prescription for pain pills, and a cast with crutches followed suit.
But, that’s only the beginning of my story. The ankle left me handicapped for 8 weeks, and the painkillers almost left me addicted to opioids. Then I took a bad spill on my crutches which left me with lower back pain that lasted for nearly nine months.
I felt ashamed, fearful, weak, and helpless. At that point, I knew something had to change.
A New Perspective
After working with some great surgeons, chiropractors, and pain specialists for almost a decade, I’ve realized that many approaches for chronic pain relief exist. However, these approaches are often hard to find because the medical industry itself can be complex and difficult to navigate.
For instance, your age, sex, occupation, activity level, medical history, and many other factors all influence the amount of pain you experience. Also, just because something worked for your friends or family doesn’t mean it will work for you. Not to mention all of the alternative treatment options you haven’t heard of or experienced yet.
It’s possible that considering something new may actually help you find relief.
Here’s where a shift in perspective is vital. Chronic pain is rarely just a physical experience. In fact, most people with chronic pain also have other factors that negatively impact and exacerbate their pain.
For example, stress plays a large role in how we experience pain. So does a history of physical injury and deep rooted mental and emotional issues you may not want to deal with right now.
These issues are real and may be causing you more pain, especially if you’ve been suffering for three months of more.
This would place you in the chronic pain category, which requires a more personalized plan of care. But—before we get into plans—I’d like to share a discovery with you that’s changing the chronic pain industry and is flipping the conventional approach upside down.
The Three Pillars of Health
On my journey to uncover the best ways to deal with chronic pain, I spent months combing through the latest research and used some of the best practices the industry had to offer to relieve my own pain. After all that work, I discovered three major pillars everyone should consider when looking at getting long-lasting relief.
Pillar 1—Physical State:
The first pillar is the most obvious, because it’s the physical pain you experience every day. It deals with your biology, examining muscles, tendons, bones, tissues, and nerves. The physical aspects of chronic pain are often obvious deformities or derangements like bulging or herniated discs and sciatica.
Pillar 2—Mental State:
This pillar is mostly related to your ability to think and rationalize. It deals with your belief systems, cultural experiences, and thoughts in general—both positive and negative. The mental aspect to chronic pain is sometimes difficult to spot. Some mental factors stem from high levels of stress and anxiety, problems at home or work, or a recent death or separation. Mental issues and illness actually cause chemical reactions in your body—like increased cortisol levels from stress—that can make your pain symptoms worse and cause you to spiral into a negative loop-cycle.
Pillar 3—Social State:
The final pillar is the most overlooked in the medical arena. Most medical professionals will not ask about the friends you hang out with, how your family life is going, how strong or meaningful your relationships are—both personal and professional—and discuss how all of these relationships impact your pain levels.
You see, your social circle and daily environment are outside the scope of practice for most medical professionals. It’s a difficult pillar to have authentic conversations about, especially if you don’t have a strong relationship with your doctor.
Issues like having a lack of love, no connection or higher purpose, feeling trapped, lonely, or associating with negative people are almost never discussed between doctors and patients.
The Old Model
These pillars are part of a new model of pain management, which we will contrast against the “Old Medical Model of Pain,” which is currently under serious reconsideration.
This old model believes that the severity of an injury or disease is directly related to the amount of pain you feel. That pain will then influence how you behave and which daily activities you complete.
However, the old model has a major flaw.
Let’s take a look at the spine. Research has found that a large population of people with disc issues or spinal nerve compression live completely pain free.
In contrast, many other patients without bulging discs on their MRI scans are always in pain. This has caused quite a bit of confusion among doctors in the medical community because—according to the old model—this should not be possible.
The New Model
In the 1970s, the medical community accepted the paradigm that humans were born with a limited number of central nervous system cells which did not replicate and only performed one predetermined function.
Today, both aspects of that paradigm are being replaced with the Biopsychosocial Model.
The research conducted on this model has created a breakthrough in how we understand and manage pain. And I have made it the basis of the Pain Mentor Challenge.
The Biopsychosocial Model works by integrating your pain generating cells with information sent to your brain from your genetic coding and environmental experiences.
I know, it sounds a little weird, right?
Essentially, this means you will experience more or less pain depending on the physical issue, your genetic conditions, and your environment.
These factors can come from a family history of addiction, depression, and anxiety. They can also come from personal history, like premature birth, separation or detachment issues with your mother/father, sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, or being an adult child of an alcoholic.
All of this history is processed and sent to the brain where it influences how we experience pain.
Conversely, some genetic and environmental factors predispose some of us to manage pain more effectively. These are linked to a personal or family history of psychological and emotional well-being.
For example, early exposure to pain while playing sports—where kids are rewarded for performing through pain. Some researchers claim young children “condition” their spine and brain to lower the pain they feel from an early age.
Now you’re thinking, “Well, that’s great, but what if I wasn’t born ‘lucky’ enough to experience higher pain thresholds?”
Don’t worry there’s a solution for you, too. It may be difficult to accept at first and it may take some time to experience results, but most lasting change requires time and effort. The solution is to focus on a new way of thinking.
You see the latest scientific research states that our nervous system produces cells that are actually flexible. The function of these cells is dependent on the environment, and that’s the key to finding relief from chronic pain.
The function of our cells is determined by the environment we’re in.
Try to realize that your DNA is not a fixed blueprint. Instead, it’s a data processing center which responds and changes based on your environment.
This means, your DNA can also respond to the way you think and make decisions in your life.
If you experience chronic pain, changing your mental state and environment can literally change your DNA and make you feel better! I know, it sounds crazy. But this is what the latest research is saying.
Consider the people you surround yourself with. Are they positive people who create an environment that facilitates your growth, recovery, and ability to feel better?
If so, you will literally begin the process of transforming yourself from the inside out.
Now, whether you found this information bizarre or you’re intrigued, you can learn more by working with a Pain Mentor.
In fact, we designed a breakthrough step-by-step mentoring program that helps people with chronic pain finally get relief.
We’ll teach you how to use the Biopsychosocial Model to create a better treatment plan that actually works.
We’ll also help you transform your old ways of thinking and support you every step of the way.
So if you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, click here and see if we’re a good fit.