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chronic pain & my part in it all
bringing to light what the body is saying
There are a lot of folks who struggle with persistent aches, pains, and nagging tension. I often find myself surprised at just how many people I encounter in life (not just in my practice) that experience chronic pain and aren’t finding the answers they need or getting long-term relief. And honestly, the options most readily available for chronic issues such as these are often not helpful at addressing the root cause of the problem or actually resolving it—instead, they often mask symptoms, provide temporary relief, lead to no improvement at all, or potentially even make things worse or lead to new issues such as over-dependence on pain killers. And oh the money people sometimes have to spend in pursuit of getting to the bottom of their pain! Scans, nerve testing, physical therapy, injections, specialist appointments, etc. add up and, even with insurance, can still include high out-of-pocket costs. Getting to the root of the problem of chronic pain is not a pretty picture! It can be wrought with so much frustration, and sometimes despair.
I really do believe that most everyone working with those in chronic pain have the best of intentions and truly want to see their clients or patients get better. In fact, I think that if we wish to make progress on the issue of chronic pain as a whole in this country, we’re going to need all hands on deck, working together, ALL the various professionals: primary care doctors, pain management specialists, surgeons, physical therapists, massage therapists, etc. AND we’re also going to have to ask hard questions about if what we’re doing is actually helping to resolve the issue or not. Patient-centered therapy that is individualized, that allows ample time during appointments to really get to know our clients/patients and understand what they are facing, that puts them in the driver’s seat of their decisions, and that includes an openness to complementary or “alternative” therapies that are harmless at worst and life-changing at best—this kind of care is what I long to see more of as we think about how to serve those in pain, and to do it with excellence.
My part in all of it
The 8-week small group program I have put together, called Feel to Heal Program for Chronic Pain, is my part in helping to address the problem of chronic pain. It is not an end-all approach (I am wary of anything that claims to be), but it provides an important and often overlooked piece to the puzzle of pain: namely the role that stress, trauma, and stored/repressed emotional experiences play in causing or exacerbating chronic pain. I look forward to the day when these things are finally common knowledge:
“Trauma” includes much, much more than we typically associate with it. It’s about way more than just assault and attacks, folks. It’s any of the “hard stuff” we’ve been through that overwhelmed our system at the time and led us to become “stuck” emotionally, mentally, or physically.
The physical body—particularly muscles, fascia, organs, and the brain, but really all of it—is exquisitely responsive to our environment and our experiences. It shows so much of the history of a person! To trained eyes and hands, the body reveals a story about what a person has been through and what it’s still carrying around. The body is the literal storehouse of the subconscious. So while you may never think about a particular event in your history, your body may be expressing it.
The body communicates via sensations, including pain. Pain is not the problem; rather, it points to a problem. Similar to a “check engine” light in a car, you don’t just want your mechanic to turn off the light (how ridiculous! and dangerous even!), you want him to fix the issue that is causing the light to turn on.
Until those things are commonly understood by our society at large, I feel I have an important job to do. Educating people about how their body works when it comes to emotions, stress, and trauma is my passion. Once people have that deeper understanding of what their body is up to and why they may be in pain, they can then make more informed choices about what to do about it.
Next round starts in 6 weeks!
The next round of Feel to Heal starts on March 31. It will run for 8 weeks, meeting every Friday night from 7:00pm to 8:30pm through May 19. The cost is $230, which is about the same cost as 2.5 hours of one-on-one therapy at my studio, or not quite 2 one-hour sessions with a mental health therapist. It includes 12 hours of in-person instruction and experiential exercises, a binder chock-full of supplemental material on the topic (research articles, guided exercises, diagrams, etc.), and a safe, small community of 7-9 other folks on the same journey. And actually, if you sign up by Feb 24, you get the early bird rate of $207. That is only $26 per 90-minute class.
Some other advantages of this program are:
If you are wanting to work one-on-one with me, you’ll potentially be waiting for a long time (there’s an ever-growing waitlist). But this program gives you immediate access to what I’m all about and what I’m constantly working with clients on.
Once you’ve gone through Feel to Heal, you are primed and ready for one-on-one somatic work, because of the way the content educates and prepares your system, so you know what to expect. I can take one-on-one clients from the waitlist more quickly if they have been “prepped” for the work with a program like this.
I would venture to say that all future endeavors towards alleviating your chronic pain will land better after this program, because it will put you in the driver’s seat and empower you with a deeper understanding of what’s going on.
Have I talked you into it yet? 😉 You can check out a fuller list of what we cover and what’s included, here on the website. Share this with your friends, family, and colleagues if you know they struggle with chronic issues. Let’s make holistic, trauma-informed resources such as this known to those who would benefit!
Simply reply to this email or leave a comment below if you have any questions about Feel to Heal or about my work in general. Be well!