Are you tired of being in pain? So was I.
About two years ago, with no preceding injury but a lot of stress, sciatica knocked me off my feet with a searing 9/10 pain coursing through my right leg, making basic tasks like walking to the bathroom or to the kitchen an ordeal. For two weeks, I was practically bedridden.
I turned to every possible solution: doctors, PTs, massage therapists, acupuncture, yoga therapy, and even Reiki. I tried different drugs prescribed or suggested to me, but nothing touched the pain. Friends and family offered advice. X-rays, imaging and nerve tests didn’t reveal anything significant. Short-lived relief came from a couple of different treatments, but the pain always returned with a vengeance.
Yet, a glimmer of hope remained. I felt a deep conviction that the key to relief was somehow within me. Over the next two months, I consumed information on pain and sciatica. And then, a game-changer: I stumbled upon a podcast featuring Dr. Howard Schubiner, who discussed a technique called Pain Reprocessing Therapy. Listening to him; everything clicked.
Today, I share this story not just as a testament to my journey but as a beacon of hope for others who live with chronic or persistent pain and have tried EVERYTHING!
Understanding Pain Reprocessing Therapy: A Ray of Hope
At its core, research-based Pain Reprocessing Therapy is a highly effective technique based on the premise that we now know that pain is created in the brain. Take phantom limb pain for instance. You don’t even need a limb for the brain to create pain! PRT is about re-teaching our brains how to think about or process pain. Imagine your brain is like a record player, sometimes it can get stuck on a section of the record playing the "pain song" on repeat. PRT helps you tune into a different, more pleasant track using neuroplasticity of the brain.
Breaking It Down:
Learning About Pain: First, we learn that pain isn't always about something being wrong in our body. Sometimes, especially for those of us who are hyperaware, it's just our brain playing tricks on us. Our brain interprets neutral sensations in the body, like pressure for instance, as a danger signal and then creates pain. But sometimes pressure, like during a massage, is pleasurable.
Facing the Fear: Pain is increased by fear or frustration. Through this therapy, we slowly and gently start facing the things that hurt. This helps our brain see that they often aren't as scary as we thought.
Thinking Differently: We practice thinking about pain in new ways and releasing fear and worry, guided by a trained PRT therapist, through different techniques like imagining peaceful scenes, focusing on the present moment, or somatic tracking (internally following sensations to see how they shift or change over time).
Why Try PRT?
Fewer Pills: With PRT, you might not need to rely as much on pain meds, which means less worry about those annoying side effects.
Feel More in Control: By understanding the mind's role, you can take back the driver's seat on your journey with pain.
All About You: It's a personal approach, looking at your thoughts and feelings, and helping you find a better, approachable way to deal with pain.
In a Nutshell
Pain Reprocessing Therapy is like giving your brain a gentle nudge and saying, "Hey, let's look at this differently." If you've been struggling with pain and nothing seems to work, this might just be the fresh start you've been searching for. Remember, always chat with your doctor or therapist about what's best for you. Here's to hope and healing!
Shari Schwarz is certified in Pain Reprocessing Therapy and is a Yoga Therapist, C-IAYT. Explore how pain can change or even disappear altogether for you! Shari offers a 6-week package session utilizing Gentle Somatic Yoga and Pain Reprocessing Therapy along with mindfulness, breathwork, and guided meditation as a powerful combination to caring for and reprocessing your pain.
Check out any podcast by Dr. Howard Schubiner on Pain Reprocessing Therapy to find out more!