by Steve Ozanich, author of The Great Pain Deception
I was in pain for 27 years until I discovered that my pain wasn't coming from my body's structure. Since then, I've been helping thousands of people become pain-free by teaching them how pain comes from tension—not a failing body. Almost every one of those people was told by their physicians that they needed immediate disc surgery, or steroid injections, or therapy, or rest, or this and that—but not one of them did. They all healed with new knowledge. But they had to accept the fact that their bodies were ok, and resume all normal physical activity, without fear. The truth set them free—and it began with understanding certain basic things.
1) Get a Physical Exam: Make sure there is no pathological process occurring—take responsibility for your health.
2) Take Your Physical Exam Results with a Grain of Salt: If your exam shows only herniated discs, arthritis as seen on the x-ray, spurs, a crooked spine, spinal narrowing (stenosis), or any other normal change, be of great cheer! These things do not cause back pain. No matter how much doctors confuse people in this area, experience has shown that these things are simply there—most people have these anatomical changes, with or without pain. Pain comes from oxygen loss. Whether the pain is in the limbs or spine or any other area, it rarely ever comes from the body's-structure. It's almost always the effect of tension, or TMS: Tension Myoneural Syndrome.
3) Reject the Multi-Disciplinary Approach: This approach basically says, "We don't have a clue what to do for your pain, so let's try everything, and hope one works." This includes acupuncture, spinal manipulations, surgery, injections, core strengthening, losing weight, etc. These are almost always placebo-treatments, and can paradoxically keep you in pain. If they worked for a sufferer, it's because that person believed it worked. But the relief never lasts and the approach normally must be continued in perpetuity because the pain is not coming from a "failing spine." The multi-approach is a major reason for ongoing pain epidemics. Never manage pain—eliminate it!
4) Beware of Faulty Diagnoses: Herniated discs do not cause back pain. That myth was exposed decades ago with the seminal work of pioneering pain-physician John E. Sarno, MD, who coined the acronym TMS. Spinal surgeons are just now beginning to realize that Sarno was correct. You cannot pinch a nerve or paralysis will quickly follow, and the pain will stop. A dead nerve cannot transmit pain signals.
You cannot "throw your back out." Spinal discs are firmly attached on both sides of the spine; they cannot slip in-and-out of place.
You don't have to strengthen your body's core to heal, and scoliosis does not cause pain.
The proof is in the fact that almost everyone heals if they can get past these archaic myths. The body's structure can be injured, and that will indeed cause pain. But the body heals quickly afterward. Pain does not become chronic without an emotional and/or conditioned-response process driving it.
5) Understand the Reason for Your Pain: Almost all pain is a diversion by the brain to rivet the sufferer's attention to his body. It arises from a hidden emotional process, mainly anger, fear, sorrow, and frustration. When these powerful emotions hit a certain threshold, the brain will reduce oxygen flow to a body-area to create a diversion—as a favor—to avoid having to sense emotional pain. The pain is never imagined or faked; it is very real, and extremely painful.
6) Look at What's Going on in Your Life: Almost everyone I've helped to heal was able to trace their pain back to an event or a life-plateau. Is your marriage in trouble? Does your job stress you out? Did a loved one die or is someone sick? Did you recently retire? Do you have the Type-T "pain personality" of perfectionism; trying to please everyone? Do you show little emotion? Did you feel abandoned as a child? Are you hyper-responsible, or a worrier? Did you just hit a milestone age? Connect the dots to your pain, and heal. The knowledge of what is occurring—at the unconscious level—has tremendous healing power because once the lid is blown off of the brain's strategy, the pain has no more value as a diversion.
7) Try to Understand Why You Need to Believe You Have a Bad Back: If I tell someone there is a method to heal their pain forever, they more often say, "No!... my pain is real!!" Well, the pain is always real. The more important question is, when someone is told they can heal, why isn't their first question about how to do it? Why would someone fight to remain in pain? This is critical in understanding pain's purpose. The most common reason for pain is to bury emotions that are too powerful, or too dangerous. The brain creates the horrible sensation of pain to firmly "convince the sufferer" that she has a structural problem in order to divert her attention from her anxiety. So, of course she wants to believe she has a structural problem. That's her brain's intent!
Some sufferers react with extreme rage, and sometimes violence, at the notion that their pain is actually a mindbody effect. They often spit, throw things, or stomp out of the room knocking things over in rage. They only hear, "Your pain is all in your head." But this is never true; no one is saying that, the pain is very real. But it comes from something called TMS: not from all the things that most doctors are currently telling their patients. The reason people react in a hostile manner is due to the very reason they have the pain in the first place, to avoid facing something. By rejecting the truth, that their symptoms are created by internal forces, they fall right into their brain's ingenious strategy of deceit, and their suffering continues.
Modern science, in its futile efforts to outsmart Mother-nature is the leading cause of continuing pain epidemics, from fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue. The truth of healing is up against a multi-trillion dollar juggernaut called the "medical industry" that is hell-bent on continually treating pain, not healing it. The message of "how to heal" gets blocked at every turn by people inside the industry that profit from treating the body; and by publications that depend on advertisement dollars from the industry. Thus, pain epidemics are on the rise—despite possessing the most advanced medical techniques in the history of humankind.
Anyone can heal, if they can put aside all the archaic notions of pain, and begin again, with a deeper understanding. But—do sufferers want to heal... or just treat their body? The two are almost always conflicting goals.
Steve Ozanich, a mindbody health consultant, penned The Great Pain Deception based on his own experience, the work of John E. Sarno, MD, and over 12 years of intensive research. Over the years, Ozanich has helped to heal hundreds, possibly even thousands, of people. In addition to being a mindbody health consultant, the Ohio-based Ozanich is a certified personal fitness trainer, electronic engineer, and yoga instructor. www.PainDeception.com Twitter: @ SteveOzanich. The Great Pain Deception can be purchased from www.Amazon.com, www.BarnesandNoble.com, and www.PainDeception.com.