Calming Your Nervous System

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A “fired up” nervous system

If you’ve been diagnosed with a soft tissue problem, your central nervous system must be “calmed down” before you can be treated. Here’s why: treatment of soft tissue pain involves stretching and strengthening your muscles and ligaments, a process that requires significant force from your physical therapist in order to be effective. This manipulation of your inflamed tissues is painful; if the nervous system is also “fired up,” it will be intolerable.

Structural pain

I have observed some patients who had an identifiable structural problem causing enough pain to warrant surgery have their pain disappear utilizing Mind Body Syndrome treatment principles. It has been surprising to me to observe this. It appears that as the central nervous system calms down that the pain threshold is raised. Although there must be pain impulses still being fired at the brain they don’t stimulate the pain centers. I now implement these tools prior to any surgery.

Mind Body Syndrome

Your brain is connected to every cell in your body either chemically or by a direct connection. It is in a delicate balanced with every impulse balanced by an opposite signal. When there is an even a mild change in this system the nervous system can generate almost any symptom that it chooses. One of over 30 symptoms is chronic pain. You do not need a source of pain to experience pain. Your brain can generate it. Again, calming strategies are effective in relieving symptoms.

The variables affecting your brain

To start the process of calming your system, look at the DOCC Project and consider how to apply it to your own situation. Here are the central nervous system parts of the program:

  • Sleep
  • Meds
  • Education
  • Goal Setting
  • Stress reduction/ reprogramming

All five of these factors impact the central nervous system, and they all need to be addressed. Leaving even one out will negatively effect your outcome.

The central nervous systems issues are about programming not psychology. As programmed pain pathways are permanent you must stimulate the creation of alternate pathways. The techniques to break up and reprogram your circuits involve specific techniques. They are not difficult but do require commitment and repetition.