Insights are key for understanding, managing and overcoming chronic pain.
We know that expectations, past experiences and beliefs are playing a role in shaping the likelihood of feeling pain in a given situation and the pain experience itself.
Part of the stuckness of pain is the stuckness of higher beliefs in the system about the world (not conscious ones).
In chronic pain, coming through the predictive processing (model) lens, the body systems now expect and predict a painful world.
This is beacuse of prior experiences of not doing very well at minimising errors in the system — eg/ not getting better as expected, treatments not working out (there are many reasons for these and other factors).
There is a lack of any credible evidence to suggest anything else.
Getting better, easing pain and suffering then, requires evidence of something better or the possibility, which is difficult to create and acknowledge when you are stuck.
But there are ways.
Insights ‘jostle’ these stuck beliefs meaning predictions can begin to update once more; ie/ you have wins and make improvements.
Insights bring you closer to reality whereas thoughts can often take you further away.
One example is the thought that things are the same.
Nothing can ever be the same.
Each moment is different.
Life is only possible because things are never the same.
In Buddhism, this is known as impermanence.
Jostling and disrupting the belief that things are the same means there is flexibility to update predictions and have better experiences.
An associated insight is that how you are now is not how you will be.
You only need to look at a photograph to see this.
Thoughts are real, but often not true.
Being able to see this is an important skill that can be practiced and improved.
Then you can relate and respond to what is happening with greater skill.
There are many insights that are interwoven into the practices (skills, exercises and strategies to live a best life and overcome pain — doing the former helps the latter; another insight) to bring about their effects.
Insights also keep expectations and reality aligned. A big problem for many people is the mismatch: eg/ expecting certain results rather than focusing on the process, expecting to be in control of uncontrollable (ie/ the world, other people, circumstances).
Insights in Pain Coaching act as catalysts.
🔥 I am Richmond. I help you understand, ease and overcome chronic pain so you can live a valued and meaningful life, using practical skills and strategies.
🔥 And teach, train and mentor the clinicians/therapists who help people who are suffering.