to move to a desired state of
Pain Management and Stress
Power of your Mind to Change your
Over 14 million
people over the world live with persistent pain and of
those, almost one in four said that pain had kept them from
their usual activities (including work) on at least 14 days
in the last three months. This also included becoming less
active and unfit and creating a 'no go' list of things to
Our work in our
clinic has shown that many people get stuck in a vicious
persistent pain cycles that repeats and escalates over time.
In the USA alone 100
million American adults suffer from chronic pain. As the
incidence of chronic pain grows, so does the number of
opioid prescriptions, surgeries, and visits to the doctor’s
office. The annual economic cost of chronic pain is
estimated at $600B, and the impact on the individual is just
as severe. On average, chronic pain sufferers earn 37% less
income, are more prone to depression and opioid addiction,
and are 4X as likely to commit suicide.
scientific research is beginning to paint a clear path out
of the current chronic pain epidemic. Study after study -
from the best scientists and institutions in the world -
show that the brain-mind-body union play a much more
significant role in chronic pain than we once thought. This
means that chronic pain is not solely a condition of the
body. And therefore, by offering therapy to the brain, we
can break the ongoing cycle of pain.
AAIA’s mission is to
provide widespread access to evidence-based, safe, and
effective chronic pain therapy for those in need.
When pain persists,
becoming “chronic” research shows that psychological and
emotional elements can play a major role. These non-physical
components can help the brain “learn” to be in pain,
re-wiring the body’s neural circuitry to perpetuate the
sensation of pain.
With our cognitive
plasticity tools attention the brain can "unlearn" pain,
paving the way to physical pain relief. Research shows that
methods like education, mindfulness and meditation,
visualization, and cognitive behavioral therapy can
successfully help the brain to stop this recurring pain
methodology is tailored to meet each pain sufferer’s needs.
PAIN CYCLE AND HOW TO FIND A WAY OUT!
RECOGNISING THE PAIN
Becoming aware of
this cycle can enable you, to gain back control and release
the pain. Learning how to manage your pain well and lead to
you begin to live a full and satisfying life again.
USING AAIA's PAIN
By calming our brain
and central nervous system down (which is after all what
sends the pain!) it allows us to regain control of our life
instead of the pain controlling what you can and cannot do.
program helps ease muscle tension/ discomfort and enables
the Autonomic Nervous System to switch from "fight and
flight" (sympathetic) to "rest, relax and repair"
Everyone in fact should learn pain self-management skills
and use them in everyday activities. It is certainly is not
all up to your doctor or healthcare team to manage your
Science-Backed Way to Relieve Stress
When we experience stress our body enters a
self-protection mode and gears our immune
system, heart rate, attention and memory for
However, when stress is chronic it turns
into bad stress—also known as distress. It
can impact our health; we literally feel
under attack. It’s not just a feeling,
either. Our body physically and
automatically reacts as if it is under
threat of siege.
When our body is constantly (rather than
just momentarily) geared up for
self-protection, our systems fatigue and
start to decline. Immunity drops,
inflammation creeps in, attention and memory
start to fail and sleeping problems arise.
Other physical changes can also occur, like
shallow breathing, tense muscles, anxiety
and the release of stress hormones cortisol
That threat usually comes from within in the
form of pain and anxiety, so protective
reactions fall short. The body unwittingly
attacks itself with reactions that serve to
worsen the problems of distress.
It’s easy to feel powerless against this
type of stress, but research has shown
there’s a lot we can do. The solution, it
turns out, is not to escape the pain or
negative emotions. Rather, it is to change
the way the mind and the body react to them.
New Science has shown that these skills
literally train the brain away from both
physical and emotional pain.
The most effective and efficient way to do this is
through cognitive neuroplasticity therapy (CNT), which helps
people identify and change unhelpful beliefs and thoughts
that make physical or emotional pain worse.
Scripts like “there is nothing I can do to reduce my
negative feelings” and “I can’t do any of things I love
because of my pain” can be reframed and replaced.
People using CNT acknowledge their challenges and establish
patterns of thinking and action that support better mood,
positive actions and reduced suffering, such as
automatically thinking, “even though I feel challenged right
now, I can use my CNT technique to help calm, soothe and
CNT has a preventive role too: research shows that training
the brain away from stress and pain leaves you less likely
to experience future pain. CNT's simple 10 minute exercise
helps people refocus on the positive behavioral drivers that
reduce negative feelings. These technique are
evidenced-based treatments for pain.
The data is clear: the simple practical skills taught in our
Course can be applied to harness the body’s potential to
heal itself. After regular use hardwired “pain reactions” or
“stress reactions” can be reprogrammed to support better
health and wellbeing.
The Power of
Mindset Science for Pain Relief and Health
the power within for better health
power of mindset science — patient empowerment, and
cost-effective, low-risk pain relief.
thoughts, beliefs, and expectations—your
mindset—impact your health, how quickly you heal,
and how well medications work for you—including
powerful opioid painkillers.
patients’ mindsets so treatments worked better
and more studies are focusing on studying mindset
intervention for pain relief to address one of the
most pressing healthcare problems in the world.
Thirty to 40
percent of people worldwide are living with ongoing
pain. Chronic pain is more prevalent and costly than
heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—combined.
Chronic pain is the number one reason people are out
of work and is one of the main reasons for lost
productivity. Estimates suggest it costs the U.S
economy alone $635 billion each year.
Chronic pain persists because traditional treatments
where pain is felt in the body, pain is processed in
the central nervous system: the brain and the spinal
cord. Pain is highly responsive to each person’s
mindset (their psychological perspective -i.e., view
that involves certain assumptions i.e., beliefs),
and this presents an opportunity.
A negative pain mindset
— a pattern of expecting worse pain, feeling
helpless about it, and ruminating on it — is what we
call “pain catastrophizing” and it predicts your
pain intensity, your need for opioid medication,
length of hospital stay after surgery, how well your
pain treatments work and whether you become disabled
mindset undermines recovery and predicts the
development of chronic pain.
You were born
motivated to escape pain but you were not born
knowing how to modulate pain or the distress that it
causes you. This must be learned.
Longevity Therapist Course teaches its students how
to administer brief, low-cost, and scalable
interventions that teach people how to calm the
nervous system and cultivate thought patterns that
enhance functioning in regions of the brain
associated with pain control.
Clients learn how to train their brains away from
pain, with lasting results. Within just a week of
practice, by entraining new neural networks that
correlate with pain relief, clients already report
having significantly less pain.
millions of patients develop chronic pain after
surgery, in part due to mindset factors. A
negative pain mindset has been shown to affect
surgical outcomes more powerfully than the disease,
the surgeon, or the surgery type.
research has shown that a targeted, two-hour pain
relief mindset session with a client is sufficient
to equip them with the necessary tools to alter the
trajectory of their pain. They gain control over
their own experience of pain. Now, some of the
world’s leading research hospitals are applying
mindset science to help prevent pain after surgery.
Example: Stanford University School of
Medicine are characterizing patients before surgery
to determine who is at risk. Then the patient is
introduced them to a pain relief mindset
intervention designed to help them optimize their
conducted by various research groups has shown that
a negative pain mindset entrains neural networks and
brain connectivity in such a way that the nervous
system is primed for future pain.
effective mindset intervention for pain changes the
physical structure—and the functioning of the
brain—so the client is primed for relief. Pain
relief skills can be easily learnt and the
incorporated into a daily 10 minute mind exercise.
It follows that pain processing is diminished in the
Today, specialist research hospitals are applying
mindset science to the largest health issue in the
United States: risks associated with long-term
opioid use. Many patients would like to reduce their
opioid use but believe and fear that their pain will
worsen if they do. Mindset interventions enhance
patients’ positive expectations and therefore their
willingness to taper their opioids. Rather than
forcing persons addicted to opioid use down a care
pathway that amplifies their fears, they are guided
to a path to with less pain and fewer pills.
Health care professionals refer their patients to
enrol in pain relief mindset interventions as early
as possible to help treatments work faster.
Is it possible for people to decide to get
Mind-Body Interface Conference Summary report 2017
Academy of Medical Sciences (comprising UK’s leading medical
scientists from hospitals and academia).
Our brain's interface with our body.
“The vagus nerve comprises over 100,000 nerve fibres, of
which 80% are sensory and connect the brain to almost every
organ in the body. Professor Tracey explained that the vagus
nerve is involved in normal physiology and homeostasis of
most organs and the immune system.”
Research has shown how the immune system can be regulated
by the brain via the Vagus Nerve.
A growing body of research has now shown that people's
mindsets have driven placebo responses where a patient's
health changes. This has also led researchers to consider
how a placebo or mindset change can affect the vagus nerve.
For example; recent clinical trials have shown how inflammatory markers
have been reduced in inflammatory diseases such as
rheumatoid arthritis. The Report concludes that as a change
of mindset can affect connections in the brain that trigger
a positive physiological outcome,
other forms of mental stimulation such as cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness which can change a
person’s perception, attitude and thinking should also be
Therapeutic neuroscience education (TNE) has been shown
to be effective in the treatment of mainly chronic
musculoskeletal pain conditions. Emerging research shows how patients who
were shown how to change their mind-set regards pain
produced impressive immediate and long-term changes, such
as; decreased pain, improved function / movement and, increased calming of the brain (as seen on brain scans).
In summary, Therapeutic Neuroscience Education is now successfully used
by some of the world's leading musculoskeletal clinics to change a patient’s perception of
pain (change of mind-set) resulting in lower
pain and increased mobility.
Your mindset can even rewind
aging, physically and mentally!
Florida State University College of Medicine psychologist
and gerontologist Antonio Terracciano states subjective age
is correlated with factors such as walking speed, lung
capacity, grip strength, and bodily inflammation. As
his work, among others, shows, it’s not necessarily the
body influencing the mind. Your mindset about aging has an
equally important role in aging. Terracciano's research has
shown that this affects cognition: a belief in a higher
subjective age correlates with cognitive impairments and
The World News. May 12, 2019
Mindset changes are revolutionising the way dancers deal
with back pain
The herniated disc
pressed down on a nerve in his spine. The pain started in
his back and ran down his foot, and was with him for what
felt like every second of the day. He feared he would lose
everything he had worked so hard for.
For Ty King-Wall, a
principal dancer at the Australian Ballet, to beat his back
pain, he had to rebuild his body - but also his mind.
“Initially I was
quite stubborn about the mental side of things. I thought: I
have an injury, that’s why I feel pain. And once the injury
is fixed, the pain will go away,” he says.
King-Wall is an elite
athlete in an art form that makes extreme demands of the
back. Female dancers need to hyper-extend the spine; men are
tasked with lofting their partners above their heads.
So back injuries make
up about a third of all injuries to dancers, and
historically have been a major reason for early retirement.
Yet, through a focus
on the mental rather than physical causes of back pain –the
Australian Ballet has not had a single back-injury-related
retirement in 15 years.
"And we have never
operated on a back, which I think is really important," says
Dr Sue Mayes, the company’s director of artistic health and
a world leader in injury rehab who installed the new regime.
“We help them
overcome any fear about back pain. And we educate them on
the fact that pain does not mean damage,” she says.
“We hear about disc
prolapses, disc bulging – we are fearful that is going to
happen to us. And a lot of that fear can drive dysfunction.”
King-Wall’s back, he needed to move. Even though it hurt.
King-Wall worked on
his lower body, building the strength to support his back.
He visualised his spine moving gracefully, like flowing
Then there was the
mental side. Modern pain research indicates the more we
think and worry about pain, the more pain we feel.
“It’s a vicious
cycle. If you’re convinced pain equals damage, you get more
pain, so you think you’re getting more damage, so your brain
gives you more pain, so you think you’re getting even more
damage,” says Professor Lorimer Moseley, a world-leading
pain neuroscientist based at the University of SA.
To beat his pain,
King-Wall, working with the company’s psychologist, learnt
to separate the pain from the injury, from the pain that was
coming from his brain. Gradually, the pain faded into the
"Once I learned how
to separate and strip away that extra pain I was
contributing myself, I could reassess how much pain I was
really in, and whether or not I could function with it and
work through it," he says.
It is a common belief
that our backs are fragile, and that back pain is caused by
damage to the spine or a slipped disc. So many patients
expect – or demand – their doctors give them an X-ray to
spot the problem they know must be there.
But many high-quality
studies in fact show this is not true.
On an X-ray, many
people will have what look like slipped discs, but feel no
pain. And many will have perfect discs but be in chronic
Scientists now believe simply seeing a slipped disc on an
X-ray is enough to prompt chronic back pain.
“So we don’t launch
into imaging for that reason. Because we know we’re probably
going to find something,” says Dr Mayes.
It is an approach
scientists are trying to change. Clinical guidelines
recommend against letting people with general lower-back
pain have X-rays, yet about 40 per cent still do.
And X-rays often put
patients down the path of opioids, or painkilling injections
which are not recommended by current guidelines. Often, it
ends in surgery - despite US and UK clinical guidelines
noting there is insufficient evidence to show disc surgery
and spinal fusion help patients.
“If we took away all
the harmful treatment, minimised imaging and surgery when
it's not appropriate, injecting people, giving them crazy
messages, we could halve the burden of back pain overnight,”
says Associate Professor Mark Hancock, a leading back pain
researcher at Macquarie University.
King-Wall is now
back, performing in the company’s production of Gisselle in
Sydney. His body and mind connection has been rebuilt.
“When I was able to
get on top of my headspace, that was a real turning point
Brain Science to Mindset Management and Pain Control
Maladaptive responses to pain-related distress, such as pain
catastrophizing, amplify the impairments associated with
chronic pain. Many of these aspects of chronic pain are
similar to affective distress in clinical anxiety disorders.
The amygdala has a key role in pain and affective distress.
Disruption of amygdala functional connectivity through
noxious stimuli causes anxiety states.
Various research studies have investigated the amygdala
functional connectivity in patients, with respect to normal
targets of amygdala subregions (basolateral vs centromedial
nuclei), and its connectivity to large-scale
cognitive-emotional networks, including the default mode
network, central executive network, and salience network.
These studies have found that patients with chronic pain
have an exaggerated and abnormal amygdala connectivity with
central executive network, which was seen most in patients
with the greatest pain catastrophizing. Also confirmed is
that the normally basolateral-predominant amygdala
connectivity to the default mode network was blunted in
patients with chronic pain. The results therefore highlight
the importance of the amygdala and its network-level
interaction with large-scale cognitive/affective cortical
networks in chronic pain, and help link the neurobiological
mechanisms of cognitive theories for pain with other
clinical states of affective distress.
Health and pain relief Mindset Interventions should be
applied as early as possible to mitigate pain.
B. Darnall, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor at Pain
Medicine Division of Stanford University
1. Darnall BD, Sturgeon JA, Hah JM, Kao MC, Mackey SC. ‘From
Catastrophizing to Recovery’: A pilot study of a
single-session treatment for pain catastrophizing. J Pain
Research. 2014; (7):219-226. PMID: 24851056.
2. Jiang Y, Oathes DJ, Hush J, Darnall BD, Charvat M, Mackey
S, Etkin A. Perturbed Amygdalar Connectivity with the
Central Executive and Default Mode Networks in Chronic Pain.
PAIN ®.2016 Sep;157(9):1970-8. doi:
3. Seminowicz DA, Shpaner M, Keaser ML, Krauthamer MG,
Mantegna J, Dumas JA, Newhouse PA, Filippi C, Keefe FJ,
Naylor MR. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Increases Prefrontal
Cortex Gray Matter in Patients With Chronic Pain. J Pain.
2013 Dec; 14(12):1573-84. Epub 2013 Oct 14.
Taking Back Control of Your Life and Your Health..
Using the Mind-Body approach, health studies recently
conducted aimed to improve disease outcomes by attention to
symptom variability. Arthritis, chronic pain, als, tbi,
prostate cancer, and ms have been shown to be amenable to
this treatment. Studies with other disorders are now
year study (still in progress -due to be completed early 2020),
Dr Ellen Langer
who supervised the seminal 1979 Counterclockwise Study, tests
if a change of mind-set can shrink the tumours of cancer
Results to date are highly encouraging. Another ongoing
study investigates whether mindfulness can slow progression
of prostate cancer. Note: Martin Seligman, recognized as the
father of positive psychology, calls Langer “the mother of
positive psychology,” in recognition of her groundbreaking
work, while others call her "the mother of mindfulness".
Today, neuroscientists are charting what’s going on in the
brain when expectations alone reduce pain or relieve
Many other experiments now focus on how changes in
self-perception can generate positive, reversal changes in
A “new alliance” between neuroscience and psychotherapy is
now taking place.
Recent neuroscientific developments show that
the mind is linked not only to the
body but to specific neuronal brain structures.
Neuroscientific explorations are also contributing concepts
such as the relational mind, implicit memory, and mirror
neurons. This new mind–body
alliance has opened up
new doors for understanding for both theory and practice how
the mind can change the body.
The Science -How it Works!
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