[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 and everyone who has a body and a brain, this is for you. This is Deb, and, uh, I, I just, you know, I'm trying to, uh, what am I trying to do? I dunno. I'm trying to feel more free when I'm sharing and also just let you in into the, the amazing wonderland that is my brain, which is always on, kind of always thinking about how to feel better and, and sometimes like how to feel better can also be an obstacle, if that makes sense, you know, when we're only focused on how to get better, how to get better, what we actually end up focusing a lot of our attention on is how we don't feel better.
[00:01:37] There's this idea in chronic pain recovery about time. And this question of chronic chronification. There's always these words that I have a difficult time pronouncing, but this idea that there's things that we identify as being chronic, which means we experience them repeatedly, but one thing I notice is, as with all pain, As with all recovery work, there's always a bit of storytelling, and I don't mean that in a negative way at all, but I think what this reveals is when we can look at our storytelling, What we can notice is when we think of chronic usually then our brain thinks the next word is pain. Like we don't think of chronic life, chronic joy, chronic connection, chronic anything like.
[00:02:32] Chronic itself just means repeating. So it can be really useful to just start like chronic, Ugh. This is the one. Chronic curiosity. Even just when I say that my face changes, my energy in my body changes when I think of chronic curiosity. There's this great article, from the Scandinavian Journal of Pain, so shout out to my buddy Jordan at Lin Health posted this and I was like, oh yeah, this is totally the article that goes with this thing that I've been thinking about. This is a little bit of an invitation to the inside of my brain.
[00:03:10] So there's this article called Pain Chronification. What is the Problem with This Model? And they're talking about recurring back pain. There's these studies on mechanisms to help prevent chronification following surgery. One of the ideas in pain reprocessing work is that the learning of a symptom that perpetuates long after the body has changed or come out of that acute experience or has healed from surgery or any one of these things. And so there's chronic pain and priming and relationships and predictions of symptoms and physiological experiences.
[00:03:52] This article says, chronification cannot explain all cases of chronic slash persistent pain. The plastic changes in the pain processing system can be seen as a continuum where some point an acute pain event is one of only several possible tipping points on this continuum that changes potential pain to perceived pain.
[00:04:14] I will link to this article. There is a lot of interesting science behind pain. But what we understand pain to be is learned, perceived, amplified, it's all real, but what's the there, there? And when we expand this idea both of pain and of chronification. I had a client recently who's increasing their activity and doing some challenging movement work and some of it triggers some symptoms and when we talked about it, they were like, yeah, I can't remember the frequency, but like this number of back pain events in this period of time is too much. And what it really showed was the schema of, I don't know how to describe this, but there was this underlying fear of being weak. And being perceived as weak. A lot of that was gender-based. And there's this foundation that hold those symptoms in this larger schema of, I'm unwilling to experience this. I think it means something negative about who I am as a person and certainly fear about the future.
[00:05:30] In this article, they say the pain change advisory board defined the term as follows. Pain chronification describes the process of transient pain, progressing into persistent pain, pain processing changes as a result of an imbalance between pain amplification, and pain inhibition, genetic, environmental, and biopsychosocial factors determine the risk, the degree, and the time course of chronification. And the term chronification is taken on a life of its own and is now identified as the cause of unexplained chronic pain under the biomedical model, and for many, it's also the explanation of the development of every type of chronic pain.
[00:06:12] All chronic pain begins at some discreet point in time.
[00:06:17] What I am really interested in here is what is your relationship with this concept of chronic, of chronification? When you think about the idea of something being chronic, what shows up in your body? What is it you think about? What worries does it trigger for you? What if we thought about chronic and chronification in a different way?
[00:06:40] Because labeling something as chronic becomes maybe the leading character in this story about pain and about it always being fixed. That it is always going to, you know, be a part of your life. Now, I will say being human and feeling things will always be a part of your life. That is a hundred percent guaranteed.
[00:07:05] But the intensity, the frequency, the quality of pain, a lot of those things really can be changed and shifted with this type of mind body work and other kinds of interventions as well.
[00:07:20] The idea of something being chronic, Dan Buglio talks about, shifting our language to things like perceived danger pain so that we can identify the pain with the fear rather than the pain with the previously identified medicalized origins.
[00:07:41] I think what's helpful about that is we often think that the things in our body, especially if they're, you know, age related, since our age is progressive, we then link them together, and we think that these changes are progressive. But what we know from pain science and from studies is that pain and physical changes aren't necessarily correlated.
[00:08:04] So we can have osteoarthritis and not have pain. Majority of people have degenerative findings in their spine and don't have pain. There's many of these things that become linked together that we don't question. And because age is progressive, I think that part is, we can probably all agree is true, every year you do get a year older, but we just are like coming into this with a lot of assumptions and what if we just at least break apart these assumptions, break apart these stories and narratives, and start to unwind them and at least enter in a little bit of doubt, a little bit of curiosity. And what if instead of thinking of chronic and pain together, we think of chronic curiosity together when we are exploring our own mind body experiences.
[00:09:02] My first invitation is to just take a deep breath and notice what you're noticing. Can you start to practice just that? Taking a deep breath in and just noticing what you're noticing in your body and as much as possible, letting go of the story. And creating a relationship to that habit. Taking a breath in and just noticing what arises, what arises in your consciousness? And just the practice of creating a little bit of space, a little bit of willingness to be with, is the starting point for developing chronic curiosity. I'm going to just leave this here because my next impulse is to say a lot of words and just to keep rolling this ball down the hill.
[00:09:56] But I think it just starts here. And maybe there's a few next steps that when I work with you, here's some questions I might ask you, which is, what are you noticing? If we're doing some transformation work, I might say as you're noticing the sensations, what are you imagining? Do they have a color or a temperature?
[00:10:20] What can you tell me about it? Where are you noticing that in your body right now? And then the next question might be, what might feel better? When is it that you are not experiencing this? What's going on then? What are you not noticing when you're noticing all of this? And so just getting curious, starting with those questions.
[00:10:44] Finding your breath, making some space between the stimulus, the experience that you're having or even the trigger, and then the response of your body, of your predictive coding, of the learning of your body. That's all saying like, well, when that happens, we do this.
[00:11:04] If X, then Y Did you learn that basic computer coding? That's what popped up in my head. So I'm gonna share this article. I encourage you to read it. I encourage you to think about if you could claim anything as chronic what would you like to be chronic?
[00:11:23] Start exploring your relationship to that word and see what you notice happening. I'm gonna play with it. I think it might be really, really fun to do. In the very, very least can we neutralize that word so that it, doesn't presuppose the future, can just kind of create that word to be, I don't know, almost like take the meaning away from it, or chronic just meaning like repetitive.
[00:11:52] So that's what I have for you today. I look forward to talking to you again and if these are conversations that you would like to explore if you are doing mind body work, if you want to understand how to change your relationship with symptoms or diagnoses, please reach out and do a curiosity call. I'll post the link and I look forward to talking to you. Thanks.