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Anti Aging International Academy (AIAA).

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Pain Management and Stress
- Power of your Mind to Change your Body


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 do.

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.

Fortunately, modern 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 cycle.

AAIA’s proprietary methodology is tailored to meet each pain sufferer’s needs.


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.

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.

Our self-management program helps ease muscle tension/ discomfort and enables the Autonomic Nervous System to switch from "fight and flight" (sympathetic) to "rest, relax and repair" (parasympathetic) mode.

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 pain.


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 survival.

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 and adrenaline.

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 heal myself.”

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
- Harnessing the power within for better health

The power of mindset science — patient empowerment, and cost-effective, low-risk pain relief.

Your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations—your mindset—impact your health, how quickly you heal, and how well medications work for you—including powerful opioid painkillers.

Changing patients’ mindsets so treatments worked better

Today, more 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 are inadequate.
No matter 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 from pain.

Negative pain 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.

AAIA’s 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.

Every year 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.

Recent 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 postsurgical outcomes.

Science 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.

AAIA’s 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 nervous system.

Special Note: 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.

Ideally 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 well?

The 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 considered.

TNE (2018)
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 even dementia.



CASE STUDY -Article from 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.”

To rebuild 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 water.

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 background.

"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 pain.

Counter intuitively, 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 for me.”


The underlying 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: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000606.

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 underway.

An intensive
,2 year study (still in progress -due to be completed early 2020),
lead by Dr Ellen Langer who supervised the seminal 1979 Counterclockwise Study, tests if a change of mind-set can shrink the tumours of cancer patients. 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 Parkinson’s symptoms. Many other experiments now focus on how changes in self-perception can generate positive, reversal changes in health.

Mind-body Unity
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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