When it comes to chronic pain, everyone has a unique story to tell. But when it comes to the fears, doubts and struggles around pain, we all have much more in common. Join hosts Alan Gordon, LCSW (Founder of the Pain Psychology Center) and Alon Ziv as they respond to the experiences of real chronic pain sufferers and provide techniques based on the latest neuroscience to help listeners overcome chronic pain. Powered by Curable, an online program that teaches people to use evidence-based techniques to relieve chronic pain. For updates and more information about Tell Me About Your Pain, visit curablehealth.com/tellmeaboutyourpain
How Can I Heal My Pain by Making My Brain Feel Safe?
In this episode, Alan and Alon explain how making your brain feel safe deactivates chronic pain. Alan talks to Laura, a pain sufferer who's been in "danger mode" for many years. Due to her past experiences (getting bullied as a child) as well as the way she treats herself (pressure and anxiety), her brain feels very unsafe. Alan guides her through a somatic technique that calms her brain and puts it in "safe mode." Finally, Alan and Alon explain how you can use this technique to make your own brain feel safe, and overcome your pain.
How Can I Diagnose My Pain Like a Pain Specialist?
In this episode, Alan talks to Howard Schubiner, MD, one of the pioneers of mind-body medicine. Dr. Schubiner has developed a unique protocol to help patients determine whether their pain is caused by their brains, or by a structural problem in their bodies. Dr. Schubiner shares some of his landmark techniques (such as provocative testing) geared toward diagnosing pain. Then, Alan and Dr. Schubiner talk about how you can use these techniques to help figure out the cause of your own pain.
How Do I Use Both My Left AND Right Brain to Overcome Pain?
In this episode, Alan and Alon explain how you can use your left brain and your right brain together, to overcome pain. The left hemisphere of the brain is generally looked at as our logical side. We use our left brain to think rationally and gather evidence. The right brain is considered to be more emotional and intuitive. Alan talks to Amber, who suffers chronic pain in multiple parts of her body. She has a lot of fear around her pain and a lot of doubt that she'll recover. Alan works with Amber on two fronts: First, he uses a left-brain approach to help her see that her pain is coming from her brain and not her body. This calms her fear and her pain fades. Then he uses a right-brain technique to solidify those pain-free neural pathways. In other words, her left brain gets her out of pain and her right brain helps her stay that way. Finally, Alan and Alon give guidance on how you can use these two parts of your brain to overcome your own pain.
Can Changing My Thoughts Improve My Pain?
Many chronic pain sufferers struggle with negative thoughts like self-criticism, pressure, and fear. Not surprisingly, this type of thinking makes our pain worse. In this episode, Alan and Alon explore where these thought patterns come from and how you can change them. Alan talks to Lindsey, a chronic pain sufferer who constantly beats herself up and puts pressure on herself. Alan gives her the key ingredient to change these thought patterns and reduce her symptoms. Then Alan and Alon provide a set of concrete steps so that you can change your own negative thoughts to help break the pain cycle.
How Do I Get to the Root of My Pain?
Living with chronic pain means living with chronic worry. But it's actually this fear, frustration, and despair around the pain that keeps your pain signals activated. Even once you know how destructive these thought patterns are, it’s so hard to keep your mind from going there. In this episode, Alan and Alon explain why your brain keeps pulling you to pain, and how you can break this habit. Alan talks to Chris, a chronic pain sufferer with so much fear and frustration around his pain, he can think of little else. Alan teaches him a new technique to calm these thoughts, cutting off the fuel source for his pain. Then Alan and Alon describe how you can use this same technique to overcome your own pain.
How Can I Use Positive Sensations to Heal My Pain?
Alan and Alon introduce the concept of leaning into positive sensations, a technique that rewires your brain and deactivates pain. Alan talks to Emily, a back pain sufferer with a lot of fear and preoccupation around her symptoms. By embracing this new technique, Emily does something she thought was impossible: she sits without pain. After the call, Alan and Alon demonstrate how to use this technique to heal your own pain at home.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I love listening to these podcasts. I’m really hoping this will help me with my 6+ years pain. Need more podcasts please !
Excellent insightful podcast
I’m early into my journey with considering there might be a different cause to my 10+ years chronic back pain other than structural but this podcast is helping to open my eyes to the fact there may be hope! After major surgery 8 months ago on my spinal cord, I’m still struggling and my pain isn’t better. So this podcast and way of thinking is just so important to me. Thank you.
Dr Watson’s Pain
In a 10 minute GP consultation it’s virtually impossible to explore the patient’s pain, gather enough “evidence” to suggest the pain isn't likely to be structural and build a solid case for neuroplastic or psychophysiologic pain.
I really enjoyed your humour, compassion and gently persuasive stories. If I’d had doctors telling me my back pain was structural for 30 years - this is exactly what I’d need to help me ask “what if?”
So I’ll be sending patients off to listen to your podcast before their next appointment...
Dr Rachael Watson