Managing Pain in Your Body and Brain

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jordan Harbinger #661 with Dr. Rachel Zoffness


In this episode, Jordan talks to Dr. Rachel Zoffness, author of The Pain Management Workbook: Powerful CBT and Mindfulness Skills to Take Control of Pain and Reclaim Your Life.

This discussion opened my eyes and hit me hard. Pain is something I have lived with for many years. Chronic pain in my lower back, as well as continuous tense pain along a majority of my muscles. The tightness in my calves and ITB’s means there is always a feeling of chronic pain within me.

I have previously learned about the biopsychosocial model of pain during my Nutrition Coaching with the BTN Academy. This is the study of the connection between the biological, psychological and social environmental factors of life, specifically health and disease.

Taking my case of chronic pain into consideration; how much of this is:

  • biological (there is actually something physically wrong with my body); 
  • psychological (I believe there is something wrong with my body which causes this pain); 
  • social (the stresses of life continue to put pressure on my body and enhance the pain).

Listening to this podcast was a bit of an emotional roller coaster. When Dr. Zoffness explained the connection between current physical chronic pain, and psychological pain from the past, it literally helped me connect some dots.

When I thought about previous acute injuries, connected to psychological trauma, it seemed to connect me to the chronic pain in my lower back. It was quite surreal, and rather emotional too. 

That connection between the biological, psychological and pressures of surviving the roller coaster lifestyle of Hong Kong, all seemed to come together and focus on my left lower back.

You Are Stronger Than You Think You Are

This got me thinking. 

Physiotherapists I have seen over the years point out what is wrong with me. And mentally I have focused on that.

Personal Trainers I have seen over the years always seem to believe I am stronger and more flexible than I think.

Have the physiotherapists planted a seed inside my head which keeps me focused on chronic pain? Have they kept me focused on what is wrong with me, rather than what is right with me, and how strong I actually am?

Change of Mindset

This episode helped to switch my mindset from one which focuses on the past and what was wrong with me. To focus on the now and future, to what is right with me. To believe I can do more. To realise my chronic pain is not biological. It can’t be. Because there is nothing damaged.

Something inside my head connects that chronic pain to emotional pain in my past life. Pain which I am letting go of and no longer allowing it to restrict my progress.

I will certainly continue to learn more about this by reading Dr. Zoffness book. Only by learning more can I improve the future and undo the past. 

And you can begin learning more about this fascinating subject my delving into:

The Podcast

In this thought provoking podcast, you will learn that every human will experience pain at some point. Yet few of us know that pain is the result of an overlap between physical and emotional factors, and should be treated as such.

You will also learn:

  • Why pain lives in the brain, not the body (which is why amputees often report sensing it in limbs they no longer have).
  • The overlap between physical and emotional pain, and why they co-occur 100% of the time.
  • How the “pain dial” in your brain works: what turns it up, and what turns it down.
  • The ways in which trauma, anxiety, and depression amplify pain.
  • Why pain medicine is broken and how we can fix it.
  • And, as always, much much more…..

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