A Mind Body Approach to Fatigue Reduction and Pain Management
Chiron’s treatment plan will help you:
Understand current theories on the causes of fatigue and the neuro-chemistry behind it
Learn how your emotions impact your physical well-being, and so, learn how to prevent them causing you problems
Identify your stress triggers, understand why you have them and learn how to neutralise them
Be able to stop your unconscious stress response
Re-programme your brain's connections with fatigue and pain to create new, positive connections
Take practical steps to get back to doing the things you want to
Treatments Used for Pain Management and Fatigue Reduction
Many health issues are caused by negative emotions and the stress response caused by this, including insomnia, fatigue and pain. Over time these physical changes can become programmed into us, so that even if the emotional response stops, the physical response still remains. My techniques break these connections and build new, healthy ones.
My treatments focus on reducing stress levels (both acute and chronic) and reprogramming your brain's connections. I don't do counselling, as in I don't talk through an issue with you. I use a range of techniques including but not exclusive to:
Fatigue and pain management strategies (pacing, energy conservation)
Guided Imagery and Visualisation exercises
These treatments enable you to access deep rooted negative emotions and deal with them.
If you remove the root from a tree, it dies. This is the same for any type of emotional trauma.
Some of the work is done face to face but most of it is done by yourself, to yourself at home. It looks at overall well-being and teaches you skills for life.
Mind Body Approach
Mind Body therapy follows the understanding that our minds and bodies are inextricably linked.
More and more research is showing how our emotions significantly impact our health. Read 'Mind Body Connections' for more information on this.
Studies show that if we are upset or something is bothering us, then we are more likely to catch a cold or infection. They also show that it takes longer for our bodies to heal after injury or surgery if we have emotional upset.
One study was done with burns victims looking at the success of skin grafts. It was found that the graft was significantly more likely to be accepted by the body if the patient had undergone psychological therapy to help them come to terms with the traumatic burn experience.
These studies demonstrate that our emotions affect how our bodies work.
Many people suffering with chronic fatigue or pain have experienced significant emotionally upsetting episodes or prolonged periods of stress. This is then further compounded by the daily stress of dealing with a chronic condition for which you're told there is no cure and is likely to get worse. Chronic stress has serious impacts on our bodies which leads to overly sensitized connections between the brain and the body which keep fueling symptoms such as pain and fatigue.
'The Emotional Cup' shows how negative emotions can build up to cause physical symptoms if left untreated (illustration by Liz Dyde)
Are you saying it is all in my mind?
The debilitating symptoms experienced with any fatigue or pain condition are very real. They are not imagined or made up - in fact it has been proven that it is impossible to do so.
In conditions like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there is no pathological change to tissues such as destruction or breakdown so many physicians struggle to understand how such crippling symptoms can be produced.
In conditions such as chronic back pain, although these are commonly attributed to 'abnormalities' like bulging discs or worn joints, astonishingly there is no evidence to support this. Various studies have shown that almost 80% of people without any pain also have these 'abnormalities', making them actually quite normal and not the cause of the pain.
Although the concept of mind body connection sounds new, evidence has been around for 40 years or so to support its mechanisms. Unfortunately, few physicians are aware of the mind body approach or that chronic stress and unresolved emotions can be the cause of very real pain and fatigue. Modern medicine tends to be very reductionist, only looking at a specific area of the body and seeing illness as caused by a faulty physical body that must be mended. Hence, standard treatments are focused solely on symptom management rather than the reversal of symptoms that it actually possible.
Mind body therapy is holistic, looking at the whole person including their social and emotional environment. It sees the problems in the body as a result of all these factors, culminating in faulty messages being sent from the brain telling the body what to do. Mind body therapy recognises that our brains are the control centre of our bodies, controlling everything, from regulating our breathing to telling our cells how much hormone to release.
In Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and many chronic pain conditions, there are physiological changes such as changes in blood flow, muscle tension, nerve firing patterns and brain wiring patterns that cause the symptoms experienced.
The good news is that, as there's no pathological damage, all of these changes are reversible and so symptoms can be also be reversed.
As we know, our brains are changing constantly - making new connections, losing others. Research has shown that we are able to 'control' these changes and thus, with the right knowledge, use this neuroplasticity to change the faulty messages being sent to reverse any physiological changes in our bodies and create new energised and pain-free connections.
As you follow the programme you will find your stress response, and thus stress hormones, reduce. This allows your mind and body to function normally again. Symptoms such as fatigue, pain, digestive problems and brain 'fog' will be gradually reduced, or even resolve as your health improves.