~ Chronic Pain & TMS Coach, Mind-Body Expert ~
Lindsey - how long have you been doing what you do and how did you become a Pain Coach?
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment, that brought me to where I am today – coaching people like you on exactly what to do to reduce or potentially eliminate their chronic pain. That defining moment in my life happened in 2013.
I'd been working as an Occupational Therapist since graduating from University in 2001. I fell in love with the field as a student when I saw patients recovering from serious illnesses or injuries and heal not only their bodies but also their souls. They learned essential life skills to return to a life that was healthier all round - from finances to relationships to everyday living.
I loved the idea of helping people to live their healthiest and best life. I was always on the look-out to find new ways that would help people get back to being healthy. I took on assignments in a variety of settings in order to learn more.
But along the way, I met too many people who were being given a terrible life sentence of pain and told there was nothing they could do to change it. I felt helpless, I felt frustrated... and I felt so angry that this situation was accepted as OK in the 21st century.
One month, I had three clients, practically at the same time - with three needless life sentences of pain: one man in his 40's with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) who felt pain all over his body constantly and had to wear gloves to protect his skin from painful touch. His wife was just trying to cope with his constant falling. Another was a veteran in his 50's suffering from tremendous back pain who was bed-ridden. The pressure on his wife was unbearable and he couldn't even get to the pain clinic to access what limited treatment there was. The third was a woman with Chronic Fatigue who lived in her bed surrounded by clutter, barely able to get to the bathroom - even talking was painful for her. These three patients - all at the same time - were the straw that broke the camel's back for me.
All I kept saying to myself was: “How did we end up like this?! How did I end up in a world, in 2013 - where people are still allowed to live this way? With all the advances in medicine - there must be a better way! How can I find a way to release these people from a medical life sentence and make a difference for them? How can I help give them their lives back so they can live with some sense of normality?”
I decided this was NOT acceptable. I decided I needed to take action.
I knew first-hand it was possible to come back from complete physical breakdowns. I worked through it personally after my first child was born to get my body working properly again after being plagued with a variety of painful conditions - migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis and other pains that couldn't be explained with the typical medical model. I was learning how the mind and body were connected and how there were no limits to what the human body could do. The process did not take forever and miraculous shifts could happen quickly.
As I continued to work with clients, I started to apply what I had learned first-hand, combined with ongoing studies. I came across the pioneering work of Dr. John Sarno who recognised the powerful links between our minds, bodies and pain, and Georgie Oldfield who developed SIRPA (Stress Illness Recovery Practitioners Association) and brought this work to the UK.
I was learning that chronic pain was due to a variety of factors - not just injury or illness. Anything that traumatizes the body - worry, anger, fear, shame, guilt - all impacts the body as well as the mind and can short circuit people being able to experience complete health and freedom.
I continued my research into mind-body work, became a certified SIRPA practitioner, OldPain2Go® practitioner and BLAST practitioner, dealt with my pain and past demons and started teaching anyone else who suffers from chronic pain how they can do the same: I watched their self-esteem return, their relationships become closer, their anxiety disappear as they became in control and free again. Their prison sentence had ended and they had a future!
I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping people everywhere who feel misunderstood by the medical community, are suffering from being over-prescribed with medication and tired of being tired and in pain. I help them breakthrough their worry, anxiety, depression and fear to feel better inside and out, be in control of their life again and live the life they want - pain free.
Since then, I’ve worked as a Pain Coach with many private clients, spoken in front of groups and helped numerous people return to pain free living. I have developed the Chiron Chronic Pain Release Coaching Programme, a series of important inner and outer steps everyone suffering from chronic pain needs to apply in order to regain control and release themselves from the life sentence of pain.