[00:00:00] Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] Hello, feelers and healers. Welcome to move with Deb the podcast. This is episode 51 and I have been absent. It's because I have been in a pain flare and it really sucks. So today is a funny day because I had a call where I was the client and I let myself have a giant temper tantrum and feel how frustrating it is to have a body. Like I am over it. I am exhausted. About having a body and having a body that feels pain. I just wanted to say that I think maybe that's something that some of you can relate with. Uh, here is the, the problem with neuroplastic pain recovery work is that, you know, we're still human still feel pain.
[00:01:56] Not the same kind of persistent chronic pain. Um, but there's for my body. What I notice is when I feel fear around pain, I feel an intensity of pain. And I fall into the same habits, so excessive Googling, confusion, fear of the future, catastrophizing. Today I was hanging out with a coach and she was like, gave me permission to feel sorry for myself. She's like, what do you need? And I was like, I wanna have a temper tantrum. And so we both got on the floor and had a temper tantrum and it was so great to just really give myself the absolute permission to be in my body right now to be experiencing the strong emotions, the resistance, the frustration, the anger, the disappointment, that I feel about my body.
[00:03:07] It feels a little shameful to admit that. It feels a little shameful to admit that right now, my relationship with my body is not very kind, that it is somewhat antagonistic that while my body deserves care and respect. I just want my body to snap to it and do what what I want it to do. And it's like not being cooperative.
[00:03:40] So one of my coaches questions was can I forgive my body? And in some ways I'm kind of like, can my body forgive me for being mean, for being demanding? That it, like is just compliant and does what I want it to do. And it's hard to admit that I'm not very nice to my body when it's not performing. And like, my body wants me to love it because it's doing its best.
[00:04:16] I was gonna record this podcast the other week. And so I'll tell you what's going on for me right now. I am about to walk out the door to go get an x-ray on my foot, because I am concerned that maybe I have a hairline fracture and I'm training for a week long hike in Iceland in a month. And so it is a not unusual for me to experience more pain when I am in a training mode. And so that's something I've observed about myself in the past. And some of that might be because I am impatient and I don't have a history of like training as an athlete. So I don't really have this foundation to fall back on in terms of trusting a lot of deep knowledge about muscle building tissue adaptation, recovery, and so on. And so I know that maybe I do too much. So one of the things that happened was I am back in New York and I wanted to join a gym because I loved my gym in California.
[00:05:29] And, um, but I also decided like, oh, maybe it would be fun to do kettle bells. And so I joined this perfectly wonderful neighborhood gym full of very nice people. And I was super excited to be in their group classes and while I was taking the class it felt really fun and great. And I was able to move at my own pace and, you know, I feel pretty confident in my ability to advocate for myself and also to just not compare myself to people around me. One of the things that happened is after the sessions that I would have a hard time recovering. What ended up going on is that over time I had been feeling more pain and I was feeling more pain walking, uh, and then walking became difficult. So here I am feeling like I'm gearing up for this hiking trip and the things that I'm doing to train. And I put train like an air quote. So the things that I'm doing to train are actually making me weaker. So that one set off this uncomfortable mental experience. And I went down that rabbit hole of Googling. And I was like, wow, maybe I have Ms.
[00:06:48] Or maybe I have, polymyalgia like there must be something wrong with me. And that was a thought and a belief that I had. And, you know, when I read and Googled those things, I was like, is this the direction that I wanna go. I am a chronic pain coach. I know a lot about mind, body connection and what else could be going on.
[00:07:11] And, and so it's this process of seeing that I was not listening to what my body was telling me and that I was maybe trying to go like too fast, too much, too soon, which also is a feature of the process of trauma. Is that the nervous system has this sense of overload or overwhelm. And so while I could do the activities, there was this quality of not being able to recover and recovery is complex and it involves the foods that you eat and rest, and also your nervous system state.
[00:07:52] And so I pulled back on that training. And I thought, okay, well, my goal is to prep for walking for a week. So let me work on walking. Like let's let go of the fantasy of like building big muscles or like doing this fun kettlebell activity and like really going to the gym three times a week. Like, let's just drop that for right now.
[00:08:19] And maybe that's something that I can get to later, right now I wanna be able to walk. And so I just started walking more by walking. I also decided to invest in another pair of sneakers, cuz I think my, the barefoot shoes that I had used in California when I was walking on not concrete, maybe I needed more cushion, maybe I needed more support here. So I invested another pair of shoes and they felt good. And I was like, okay, my body was starting to feel better. I went out, I went to the beach, I walked on the sand. I walked from the parking lot to the beach, which was a good distance. And I could feel my body being like, all right, we are doing this.
[00:09:07] So I was titrating my activity and increasing my graded exposure to movement. And I was doing the mind body work in terms of like leaning into positive sensations, telling myself that I am safe, working on creating a sense of wellbeing and a belief that these movements were possible for me. And it was working.
[00:09:31] And then I went to California and I met a friend of mine on a hike. And I had told her, I was like, Hey, look, I've been having some pain. And so I don't know how much I can do. And she was super chill. She's like, whatever, we'll just figure it out. And I was like, look, I'm gonna go at my pace, which is slow.
[00:09:50] I'm gonna stop when I need to stop. And the interesting thing was my body was like, oh yeah, we can totally hike. Like up and down Hills. I definitely went at my pace. I definitely stopped when I needed to stop, but my body and my mind were like, yes, California is the place when we should we hike.
[00:10:15] Like, this is what we do here. Like, this is not a problem. I thought that was fascinating. And then I had like a 14 hour day of travel in the next day. And, and first I thought, oh God, I'm gonna be so sore. And I said, well, you know what? We don't know that. What if we just say. If we just trust, like, we'll just see what happens instead of predicting that my body's going to be sore and that it's gonna be uncomfortable and that it will be hard to recover from that hike.
[00:10:46] I just told myself, like, whatever it is, just deal with what comes up. We'll just see how it is. And I got through that whole day of travel and like, I felt a little bit stiff, but I did not feel pain. I just felt like somebody who had used their body. And I thought that was fascinating because it also involved like getting to the airport, which was stressful, um, walking from one gate to another, at my plane transfer. And like, that was like the whole length of the airport. It felt like. So it was like really far, but I had a lot of time. So I just was like going at my pace. Giving myself, messages of safety, feeling relaxed about it and deciding to walk. Like I could have gotten a wheelchair, I could have asked for assistance.
[00:11:35] And I just decided, you know, that, Nope, I want to walk and, and let that experience unfold. And it was fine. So then when I got back to New York, I was like, well, Why is California a place that I can walk. And then New York is a place that I can't walk. So what was interesting was I would feel like fear and hesitation in New York.
[00:12:03] And then I just told myself, like, No, but you can't, you just walked in California, you just went on a hike. And then the pain would like go away. It was this really fascinating corrective experience. And, um, then I decided, okay, you know, on this kind of like simple way to create a graded exposure training experience for my walk.
[00:12:29] Um, and then I was gonna walk to this park. So there's a park about a mile and a half from where I live. And then the park itself is really pretty and it's on the water and, um, you know, can kind of add as much walking basically to that, that I want. And then I could walk back and that would be another mile and a half.
[00:12:47] So at the, at the baseline. Of just walking to the park and back that's three miles and I can kind of add mileage in as wanted. And so I also decided like I'm gonna make, and it's also along the bus route. I can walk to the park and I can take the bus back and I can walk to the park, walk around the park.
[00:13:06] So it, it was like the most flexible thing ever. And so I did that three days in a row and there was a huge difference. And my ability to walk and my feeling relaxed, feeling connected with the movement, feeling capable of doing it between the first day that I did it and the third day. And then, but then all of a sudden I have this foot pain now.
[00:13:32] So my legs feel fine. My calves and my quads, which were previously the parts of my body that were hurting. And now I have this foot pain. So the foot pain kind of started last week. And I, um, took a break from doing this training activity. And one of the things that I also realized in California was that when I'm there. I have a whole care team. That I have my healthcare provider. I have my massage therapist. I have acupuncture. Like I have a whole world that was set up in which I felt like I had people and a space to rely on to hold me and care for me and my body. And I didn't have that set up in New York yet. And I was like, you know, and it feels hard to create that.
[00:14:29] And one of the things is like, you know, I don't have insurance here yet. And whate like the United States healthcare system does not necessarily make it easy to find competent care and answers. I didn't realize how much of a stressor that was on me until I went to California and I came back. So I thought, okay, well, what I need somebody reliable, like I need something here. So I found an osteopath who actually hit it off with really well, who like is aligned with mind, body work. Who's not a catastrophizer who also does, you know, hands on work and, and I'm not necessarily going to like fix a problem, but I'm going to tend to me. That is this investment that I'm making in time and money is that, that she is a person now that I can have conversation with and also receive care from.
[00:15:35] And that was a, a missing piece for me. Um, And the other thing then I realized is I have all of this confusion, whether or not I'm injured or whether I have am having a symptom imperative. And the idea of a symptom imperative is that, you know, one symptom gets resolved and another one pops up. And it's an idea that Dr. Sarno talked about and is pretty common in mind body work. I had that early on in my, in my recovery process when my knee pain went away and then one day I had like vertigo for a week and then I had had anxiety. So I had had like a bunch of different symptoms pop up and it's like the body's way of processing distress, emotional stuff like the body's trying to communicate with me. So I can't tell whether or not this foot pain is neuroplastic or if it is something, um, that is an injury and. And my approach with them would be different. Obviously, like if it is neuroplastic pain, like I would walk on it, uh, and I'm walking on it, but like I would keep training and if it's an injury or fracture, then I would stop training that I would stop use walking is training.
[00:17:07] So one of the things that I was like finding it very complicated was like, oh, I realized I didn't feel like I had access to healthcare here. I was just like, okay, well, is that true? And my colleague, Charlie reminded me. He's like, you could just go get an x-ray and you can just private pay for it.
[00:17:28] And I was like, oh, I really could just do that because I had gone and gotten, had an appointment. Um, at NYU and had gotten my knee checked out and like, I ended up having to pay a lot of money for that because it wasn't covered by insurance and all this stuff. And like, so that whole experience was one that I didn't want to experience again.
[00:17:53] So, but I was like, you know what? I will. Call up this x-ray place. I will ask them how much money it will cost. And then I will decide what I'm gonna do. So it was, uh, amount of money that I'm willing to pay, to find out an answer. Uh, and so we will shall see I'm gonna go out and get an x-ray.
[00:18:17] And that's part of my agreement with myself, which is like, I'm going to rule things out. Like I'm going to rule out broken bones, fractures, tumors. And then that just rules in neuroplastic pain. And I am apparently a person whose body processes things maybe loudly, maybe that's the way I'm going to describe it.
[00:18:48] And when I don't feel fear about it, meaning something dangerous or bad, the pain dissipates pretty quickly. Um, and so I do know that this trip feels like a lot of pressure. I feel like, I wanna feel ready to hike and I want to feel like I can go and be strong and trust myself and feel like I can achieve the physical goals that I want to. I can have a good time. And I want my body to feel strong and capable and it, it doesn't right now. And so that part of it feels scary. It feels disappointing. It feels like I don't know how this trip will go. Now. I also know that I can show up and be curious. And, and see what happens and let myself be surprised and also build the kind of relationship that I, that I want to have with my body.
[00:19:58] One that has care and respect. One that has this kind of mutual love and appreciation me for my body and my body for me, that my body can trust me. That I will take care of it. And so today is a part of that process of really building in that trust with my body. And I feel like I did a good job in terms of pulling back on the training, changing the training and really working on relaxing into the movement that I felt good with doing. And we'll see what happens, but I'm giving myself permission to feel everything, to feel frustrated, to feel confused, to feel a little, sorry for myself, and to feel like, I'm not getting to do all the things that I want to do right now, but also I'm really recognizing that like bodies heal. My body will heal if there is some kind of broken bone and that knowing that information, um, will be really important for the decisions that I make.
[00:21:19] And even that aside like yesterday, I was like, well, if my bone is broken, like getting really good sleep is important. Like getting really good sleep is really important, period, for all kinds of repair processes in my body. So that, regardless of what this information is, whatever the diagnostic information is that I get is sleep is going to be something that I can really offer me as something important.
[00:21:53] And the way that I talk to myself is going to be important. Right. So building a positive, relaxed, Relationship of self friendship and connection and a good inner conversation with my mind and body is something that I can build regardless of what the x-ray says. And so just looking at this as another opportunity to really show up for myself, the way that I would like to.
[00:22:29] Even though I also just want my body to do what I wanted to do and like, I get why we have that message. I get why we, you know, kind of treat our bodies, like these machines that are just supposed to perform, right. That's part of this like fitness culture. It's part of this kind of like productivity, capitalism culture. It's like we don't have a lot of systems that really value rest and repair without shame. Without blame and shame and feeling less than, and I just I'm like, well, I get to create a different experience for myself. So whatever healing looks like for me, I always get to decide that I am taking exquisite care of myself and that I don't need to feel shame if I am injured and I don't need to feel shame if I am a person who feels pain.
[00:23:40] I am lucky that I have the kind of life and job in which I am not required to, walk and move and, on a foot that is injured. Um, and so I have to call in those privileges as well, um, that I have that ability to, you know, maintain my livelihood and also heal. And those are important real life factors.
[00:24:09] So we need to take into consideration kind of everything that feels scary or dangerous, when we're thinking about neuroception, which is the perception of safety, you need to think about like, what is real for my today body. And then like, what are things that I'm afraid of happening in the future?
[00:24:30] What am I making these sensations that I'm experiencing right now mean about me and my body? What am I making it mean about me and my prospects of healing or me and my like, future? What do I believe is possible? Or what do I believe is happening for myself? And so I do want to remind myself that, that horrible pain that I was having before I went to California before I, you know, while I was trying to go to this gym and do these activities, that pain is gone.
[00:25:12] I don't have that pain. I'm not feeling it. Even when I have taken these longer walks. I'm not feeling that kind of pain in my quadriceps and calf muscles. Once I changed things up and once I got my mindset, right, that pain went away pretty quickly and I'm really able to notice that it's not there. So I am excited about that.
[00:25:40] I'm holding that as a part of my recovery process. And, you know, my body is gonna take me on its journey and I am somewhat begrudgingly, but also I'm like, well, what other choice do I have besides being on this journey with my body?
[00:25:59] You know, I can make it more delightful or I can make one of more struggle and, you know, curiosity is the process by which we meet ourselves, um, on the path towards healing. Somatic tracking is at its heart and activity of curiosity and becoming a self-loving compassionate witness.
[00:26:30] And so guess with that, going to self lovingly and compassionately, witness myself going for an x-ray and pat myself on the back and tell myself I did a good job. And so thank you for listening. I'll keep everybody updated. I really would like to kind of acknowledge that my absence is, is kind of driven by this sense of shame that like creating this. I don't wanna say persona of somebody who has healed, uh, is a little bit of a Trickster because I'm still a human being in a human body. And while I don't feel chronic pain and I also don't feel chronic knee pain, like I felt when I first experienced this work, um, I am still a person who I believe is like very prone to, uh, mind, body pain experience. And, you know, I, I'm trying not to see that as a negative. It's just like, there's some kind of, uh, almost like, uh, barometer inside of me. That's letting me know like, Hey, pay attention. Like we need you. And so I think that my body might feel like it needs to shout for me to hear it and know that it's like wanting some love and care and attention, and rest and repair.
[00:28:12] So body, I love you. I'm listening. And, um, I am here for you.
[00:28:20] Well, thank you for listening. My consult books are open. So if you're interested in exploring what my 12 week pain recovery program is, uh, love to talk to you. I'm gonna actually not start working with a new group of people until the middle of September. But I'm happy to talk with people now I'm in the process of working with folks and they have had like tremendous, experiences recovering from all kinds of mind, body symptoms, working with like pelvic floor pain and gastrointestinal stuff and headaches and, you know, stuff that shows up in our bodies. So would love to talk to you. You can go to www.movewithdeb.com and hop on a curiosity call with me.
[00:29:16] And let's talk about what it looks like to work with me, even though I am a coach who sometimes still has chronic pain. I am also a person immersed in this work, helping other people, through their own process as a guide. All right. I hope you have a wonderful day. Thank you.