What is Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is the very real and often disruptive or debilitating experience of physical pain that may have originated from injury or illness or may have had no known physical cause.
Most people with chronic pain have seen multiple doctors and specialists and tried multiple medications, but still found insufficient relief. The medical model is not wrong or bad, it’s just incomplete and doesn’t take into account the full picture of how pain is processed in the brain and nervous system.
How Pain Impacts the Brain
Regardless of where the pain is felt in the body, we wouldn’t know we had it if not for the brain and nervous system. Researchers have identified 9 places in the brain where pain signals are consciously received. Within those 9 areas, only 5% of the nerve cells are normally dedicated to processing pain. However, in the case of chronic pain, the percentage of nerve cells focused on processing pain expands up to 25%. This occurs because the hyperactive pain regions steal cells from neighboring regions of the brain, thereby increasing the intensity of the pain in the body. In other words, the brain actually learns how to create more pain. To learn more visit neuroplastix.com.
Why Psychotherapy Treatment Helps
Researchers have discovered that we can disrupt the pain pathways in the brain and nervous system and re-wire them to a state of balanced functioning and reduced pain. The disruption and initial re-wiring process occurs using EMDR, a non-invasive brain-focused treatment protocol. EMDR assists the pain nerves to re-learn how to turn off again resulting in less physical pain.
The re-wiring process is further strengthened through self-soothing exercises which steal back neurons from the pain regions to their appropriate locations in the brain and nervous system. Repetitive and relentless self-soothing stops the nerves from constantly firing pain messages, thereby calming the nervous system and reducing the experience of pain in the body.
Laura has received advanced EMDRIA approved training in EMDR specific to treatment for chronic pain.
Chronic illness and chronic pain create an isolating experience for many. For adolescents in need of belonging and connection, this isolation can feel devastating. Laura offers a support group for teens with chronic illness to help build community with others who can relate. Together they can learn how their illness does not define them.
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