First things first…your pain is real!
When you experience pain, your body is on high alert and signals to your brain that you are in danger. As a result, a neuropathway is created based on this pain and fear. When the body experiences pain, the pain-fear pathway is not only activated. In fact, it is also reinforced. This often develops after a traumatic event or accident.
Neuroplastic pain occurs when the brain misinterprets safe messages from the body as if they were dangerous. In other words, neuroplastic pain is a false alarm. Somewhere along the line, signals get crossed, resulting in this misleading message.
Did you know that people with neuroplastic pain have specific characteristics and traits?
It’s not surprising that these personality traits are common in neuroplastic pain clients. The very act of worrying, self-blame, and unrealistic expectations placed on yourself will often create hypervigilance and fear. Hypervigilance is when you feel often on edge. You may also have a keen awareness of your surroundings, and be waiting for something negative to happen.
What if you were told that repressing your emotions may contribute to your chronic pain or illness? Similarly, what if you could express everything you felt through the use of the therapeutic process and journaling?
Can you imagine your pain decreasing by making room and space for uncomfortable thoughts and feelings?
How about allowing your pain to be there, and only acknowledging that pain as a sensation?
These thoughts and actions increase the brain’s ability to feel safe.
Pain reprocessing therapy is a relatively new modality. In short, it incorporates emotional expression combined with somatic tracking and guided meditations. Through this process, you will send signals and messages of safety to your brain.
The Science Behind Pain Reprocessing Therapy
Research is demonstrating that there is a strong link to PRT actually reducing chronic pain. Patients are able to identify and express painful emotions associated with stress. As well as guilt, shame, and anger. Difficulty expressing and describing emotions has close connections to chronic pain patients.
Did you know that the same areas of the brain light up during an fMRI in regard to physical and emotional pain? Our brains are unable to detect the difference. Mindfulness “focused attention” has been positively correlated with decreased reports of chronic pain. This process is effective because it strengthens cognitive commands, emotional regulation, and self-acceptance.
PRT creates feelings of safety, where the pain is acknowledged but not feared. During PRT, major shifts occur in the body once you allow and accept the pain with curiosity instead of fear and dread. Through this process, you will learn to calm your nervous system. By doing so, you can decrease and eventually eliminate pain. After pain reprocessing therapy, the brain will no longer interpret triggers of pain as a threat.
The goal of PRT is to reduce fear and increase self-compassion
Coping strategies will be developed to help patients distance themselves from pain. In short, this simple process happens by creating new neuropathways in the brain. These new neuropathways are based on feelings of safety, joy, humor, and relaxing imagery.
We want to give you this message of hope. Yes, you can end the pain you experience. But, it will take effort but it can be accomplished. We can help you on your healing journey. We welcome you to add PRT to your chronic pain toolkit.
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