Dr. Stephen  Kaufman

Denver, CO.

(303) 756-9567


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                                                How to Reduce Anxiety and Stop Your Emotions from Causing Physical Symptoms!

The secret of pain

c.20014. Stephen J. Kaufman, D.C.

  This could be the most important page you ever read! We will look at much more functional ways of handling  chronic pain, such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, etc. In many cases, the  methods  described here will be enough to reduce or  eliminate long term pain problems. They work well with all the other methods we use to reduce pain, including chiropractic techniques, applied kinesiology, acupuncture, muscle therapy, energy healing, etc. (It is assumed here that your pain is not the result of a serious disease such as cancer, diabetes, etc. and that you have been to a doctor to rule out any significant illness. These methods are for recurrent , long term, chronic pain, not acute pain.) The  same techniques  also work to reduce anxiety.

  We are all under various degrees of emotional stress. We know that emotional stress can either cause or greatly aggravate most physical pain, especially in the back, neck, muscles, joints,  etc. This doesn't mean that the pain is any less real. It doesn't mean that  "the pain is in your head". It means that emotional stress can cause, aggravate, or perpetuate most chronic pain. 

  The secret of pain is  not  to have any.

  There are two aspects of pain:

1)the pain itself. This is our direct experience.

2) our reaction to the pain. These may be two separate issues. Often, our reaction to the pain is much, much greater than the pain itself. This is our interpretation of the experience.

   The pain itself may be caused by an old injury. There may still be misalignments in the body, tight muscles, trigger points, acupressure areas, nutritional deficiencies, etc. These are dealt with by your doctor, but they may be greatly aggravated by your reaction to the pain. 

   Often  we react to pain by constantly worrying about it, or obsessing about it. We are afraid the pain is something serious. This fear can greatly magnify the pain itself. In other words, if we have pain that might of itself clear up in a few hours, obsessing about it may cause it to last for weeks or even months! By not giving the pain it's due, we minimize it and allow it to resolve much more quickly. We can do this by acknowledging that it's there, and then moving on.

   Chronic pain, pain that lasts for a long time, is usually do to conditioning. At some time in the past, we  associated some or many activities (exercise, walking, sports, sitting, bending , using a computer, etc.) with  pain. This formed a conditioned reflex. Thereafter every time we did that activity we expected it to hurt. Often, when we first get up in the morning, we anticipate and expect pain; therefore , it starts. To break this cycle, we can do the following;

Cognitive Awareness Technique

1) We need to acknowledge that, in most cases, the pain, while very troublesome, is not serious.  Acute pain is the nervous system's warning to us that we are in danger. Chronic pain continues long after the threat has gone. It's not an indication that we are in danger. It just continues. Therefore , we don't need the pain as a warning sign of threat or danger.

  We have to continually say to ourselves, “this pain is not serious. There is not anything wrong with my body. This is just emotional tension causing my muscles to tighten, causing pain.”

2) We are causing most of  our pain. It exists in our own nervous system . It doesn't come from outside of us. Pain can be a way of our unconscious minds distracting us from thinking about things we don't want to think about. As you do something and you start to feel the pain, tell yourself  “ this is just emotional tension causing tension in the muscles. It’s not serious.” Tell the pain, “Don’t hurt me.”

3) Ask yourself : " What's bothering me?" Don't  judge what's bothering you. You  don't have to try to change it. You don't  have to try to change or judge yourself for being bothered by something. Just identify "what's bothering me?" Enumerate to yourself everything that's bothering you. Especially try to determine if you're angry about anything. Rage is the most common emotion contributing to chronic pain. Just becoming aware of these emotions will reduce their impact on your body. Ask yourself  "what's bothering me now?"  3 or 4 times a day. It only takes 30-60 seconds to review all the things that are bothering you. You probably won't see an immediate change in your pain, but continue this technique for 2 or 3 weeks. Over time, you may notice your pain decreasing or even gone.

4) Tell your unconscious (and your muscles): "Don't hurt me!" It's causing the pain, but it is your unconscious. It will respond to your command, if you do it repeatedly and persistently (for several days or weeks.) I suggest doing this 3 or 4 times a day. This may seem ridiculous, but it really does work for many people. Try these methods consistently for three weeks, and keep track of the improvement. It may take a couple of months, but you usually will see a big difference in your pain levels.


   When you're anxious, ask yourself  "what's bothering me?". Mentally run through all the things that are bothering you, especially things that make you angry. You may be surprised to find that there are so many! You don't need to express this anger or act on it in any way, just admit that it is there. 

   I discovered this method in 1971 while reading a book by Freud on anxiety. Freud discussed "free floating anxiety" as being a sense of dread of something unknown. In other words, we have anxiety of something unconscious. We feel anxious, but we don't know exactly why. I reasoned that if we would consciously think of all the things that  were bothering us now, the anxiety would go away. We are anxious about things that are out of our conscious minds. Thinking about them may be painful or sad, at least for a short time, but it will not be anxious. Enumerating the things that are bothering us won't make them any better, but it does remind us that things really aren't that bad. I found that by doing this technique regularly my anxiety levels went 'way down.

   Awareness is the key. These methods have worked successfully for thousands of people to reduce or even resolve their chronic pain! Using this  technique will greatly reduce your anxiety, and work in conjunction with your other therapy to resolve chronic  pain problems. It will allow you to have a better perspective on pain, and an ability to resolve it.  


                                                                               "Thanks, Dad, I feel much better!"