What is Necessary for Safety at the Start of Your Mind-body Journey?

So you’ve read Gabor Mate, you’ve watched The Pain Brain Documentary. You’ve seen the success stories online and you are ready to start your own journey to resolving your chronic pain condition.

This is going to be the most important learning experience of your life!

And There is one thing you need to do right at the beginning.

Ensure that you actually have a Mindbody condition!

There are some symptoms that professionals, myself included, will want you to have gotten checked out before assuming your condition is neurophysiological.

Symptoms like travelling pain, joint pain, pain at night, sudden changes in your weight, hair loss and a personal or family history of insidious diseases must be investigated thoroughly through your healthcare system as they may have a biological cause. Rheumatoid conditions, thyroid issues and cancers need to be attended to biologically.

This is not meant to scare anyone, nor stop them from pursuing a better relationship with themselves and their pain, but to ensure that you are not missing a serious tissue damaging disorder.

If you’ve already gotten the all clear that there is no tissue damage in your system, although this can be a confusing result, this is great news! Your neurophysiology is flexible and your symptoms can be changed.

Going ‘Safety First’ is the intelligence to recognise that just because a practice sounds beneficial, it may not be suitable for the current stage of our journey. Though the nervous system’s response to danger and healing is relevant to everybody, going fully mindbody is not always the answer.

 

It is important to ask yourself a few valid questions before you start:

1. Have my symptoms been investigated through allopathic (conventional, evidence based medicine) means?

2. Have I recently had a sudden physical injury like a fall or an impact?

3. Do I have any symptoms of potential tissue damaging disorders?

  •  Sudden unexplained Weight loss
  • Inflamed joints
  • Prolonged morning joint stiffness (More than 30 mins)
  • Pain that is worse during the night
  • A personal or family history of any Rheumatoid conditions or Cancers
  • Worsening neurological symptoms i.e. numbness, weakness or pins and needles increasing in intensity or in more than one limb
  • Commonly acquiring colds, infections and other illnesses

 

Some conditions can masquerade as Mindbody illnesses such as rheumatoid conditions and cancers. Therefore ruling out tissue damaging disorders such as these is the first step before working with a mindbody clinician. They will want you to have completed this step for your safety.

Familiarise with Literature

In the meantime, whilst we can often wait for processes the NHS to help find answers, there is no harm in getting to know ourselves and our nervous systems better. Reading books like ‘When the Body Says No’ by Gabor Mate, ‘The Mind-body Prescription’ Dr John Sarno and ‘Chronic Pain: Your Key to Recovery’ by Georgie Oldfield are great places to start independently finding our feet in the world of neuroplasticity.

 

Agency

One of the biggest factors in people who have successfully navigated out of persistent pain, as quoted by Gabor Mate is Agency (‘The Myth of Normal’ Pg376).

Agency is described as being the quality of taking responsibility for our own health. Not only in the learning behind our condition but how much we choose to get to know ourselves and how much we choose to engage in healthful activities, both physical and psychological.

Therefore if we want to be both safe and productive we can engage in the help of medicine and improve our own knowledge of our central nervous system in the meantime.

 

‘Please note, though I am a Physiotherapist by profession, I am not your Physiotherapist and the advice shared on Liberation Found is for educational and informational purposes only’. The information provided here is not a substitute for professional, individualised, treatment. As such you should not rely solely on the information posted here. If you feel this content resonates with your lived experience, I encourage you to work with a SIRPA professional, or other qualified mindbody specialist to address your concerns.

If you would like to work with me on addressing your condition, please email and we can ascertain if I am the best fit for your needs.’