• Catherine Pollitt

Simple Steps YOU can take to RECOVER from chronic pain

To me, it’s a modern tragedy that many people still suffering are not aware that recovery from persisting (chronic) pain is possible. But at last, the word & mindbody tools to do so are getting known – thanks to the wonderful physios, doctors & other health professionals behind the two pioneering groups, SIRPA in the UK & the PPD Association in the USA. And it’s inspiring to witness the many courageous souls in their empowering recovery journeys.

So, what’s the process?

It’ll probably surprise you, it’s not necessarily easy, and you may be amazed to discover much of the journey can be enjoyable.

Step One:

LEARN the science & facts – they’re fascinating & possibly not what you thought

  • When you experience pain, know it’s ALWAYS real.

  • When you experience pain, know it’s ALWAYS an output of your control centre, your BRAIN.

  • Know that your mind and body are intricately connected & work together in unison.

  • Know that you can experience pain – even excruciating pain - without a problem in the body. Really? Yes!

  • Know that you can have an injury in the body without experiencing pain. Age 13, I broke my wrist falling off a horse, but didn’t know about it until my friend pointed out its odd shape!

If your brain evaluates you’re at risk of harm, real or perceived, you’ll likely feel pain - to encourage you to take action & protect yourself.

Here’s the sting!

  • Our human brain responds to threats in our thoughts, beliefs, memories & emotions, in the same way as it responds to real events.

  • And as life, from conception onwards, brings us difficulties & traumas, many of us retain a cornucopia of challenging thoughts, beliefs & unresolved emotional turmoil.

  • So our brain will produce pain (or a variety of other symptoms) if it evaluates threats in the “emotional washing machine” of this supressed fear, sadness, anger & anxiety, etc, churning around in our subconscious.

  • Our nervous system becomes over-protective & over-active.

Step Two:

ACCEPT the science & these facts apply to you too. It’s simply being a normal human.

Chronic pain induced by stress, buried emotions & underlying misbeliefs behaves differently from physically induced pain. To help you verify your symptoms fit, consider the following patterns:

  • Has you doctor been unable to find a definite cause – or have you perhaps been offered a multitude of different diagnoses from different health practitioners?

  • Have your symptoms moved to different body locations over time?

  • If you think back, were there any big changes or life events going on around the time symptoms came on – moving house or school, bullying, losing family members, falling out with friends, big exams, changing jobs, getting married, getting divorced – so times when you felt traumatised, isolated, unsupported or just not good enough for the important people around you - perhaps events you would not want a child of your own to have?

  • Are your symptoms triggered by stressful situations – or even just thinking about a situation?

  • Do you symptoms reduce or disappear when you’re engaged in an enjoyable or distracting activity, such as a favourite hobby or on holiday?

And often those who suffer from chronic pain have certain personality traits:

  • Do you usually put others’ needs ahead of your own - possibly a “people-pleaser”?

  • Are you a perfectionist or highly driven to succeed?

  • Are you often more critical of yourself than others, or have your own high expectations?

  • Are you often anxious or worried?

  • Are you often resentful towards others or plagued with self-doubt?

This is a just small list to encourage you to reflect and perhaps start to view your symptoms from a different perspective.

Step Three:

PRACTISE the often pleasurable pathways to recovery

Learn & adopt the many strategies that create calm in your nervous system:

Pause, to take long, slow releasing breaths

  • Enjoy a regular meditation practice

  • Pause to slow down an activity & build mindfulness & sensory awareness into your day

  • Give yourself time to learn the art of somatic tracking – observing without judgement the sensations in your body

  • Turn your attention inwards to the tranquil peace of focusing on your heart

  • Be open & curious about your emotions

  • Safely release past emotional turmoil with help from practices such as journaling & tapping

  • Ignite your inspiration with focused gratitude

  • Prioritise your self-care into the equation of your daily life

  • Plan joy into every day and block out 2-5 hours a week purely for you

  • Absorb the wonderful healing powers of being in nature

  • Keep searching to discover physical activities that you love to do

  • Savour the marvels of a nutritious diet

  • Prioritise good sleep opportunities

  • Seek out humour, smiles & laughter, strike a pose - stimulate those happy hormones

  • Connect with lovely people that radiate energy

  • And set boundaries to minimise those that drain you!

There is so much you CAN do to help yourself on your journey to relief and recovery and to the life you dream about having. It is possible. You CAN get better.

Transform your life & release your symptoms.

For a beautifully made & emotive 12-minute film, “Living Proof” introduces you to Charli, aged 24, who talks about her recovery from crippling chronic pain.


Now, Step Zero:

From this guiding list of self-nourishing options outlined above…

What is the first concrete thing you’d like to put in to action within the next 24 hours?

Make it specific, make it measurable, make it achievable and make it realistic. Write you goal down and kick start your journey towards recovery.

If you’d like a little more detailed guidance, please download my free starter guide, 7 Top Steps towards Freedom.

When you feel ready & would like 1:1 guidance, support and a non-judgmental space to help you explore your pathway to freedom from pain - & to curate the life you’d love - please book a complimentary discovery session with me.

With my hand on my heart, I encourage you to take your first gentle steps forward.

Catherine xx

Mindbody Pain Specialist & Life Coach


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