MY UNBELIEVABLE YET TRUE STORY ABOUT CHRONIC PAIN

One of Facebook Group members asked a great question yesterday!

She asked about pain and whether acupuncture works for relieving pain.

It’s such a great question, I wanted to give some perspective on that and share with all of you.

5 years ago (I was 39 years old) I developed lower back pain that debilitated me to an extent where I needed a wheelchair to get from A to B. If we feel pain of that intensity, we logically relate it to a structural problem, or a “pinched” nerve as we’re often told by doctors.

I remembered that an orthopedist planted a seed in my mind when I was 16 years young by showing me the x-ray of my misaligned spine and protruded discs that he referenced. He “predicted” the future by telling me that I’ll develop chronic back/sciatica pain in the near future if this doesn’t get taken care of with therapy. Luckily my parents and I did not commit to any therapy back then. I mean I was just a kid, right?

The intense pain I had felt in my lower back 5 years ago led me to believe that I have a herniated disc of some kind.

So I went to see a chiropractor here in LA. He showed me an x-ray of my spine (the x-ray seemed self-explanatory to him!) and I committed to three sessions a week for 6 months. After each session, I collapsed and fainted as I couldn’t stand the pain. The pain didn’t go away, let alone subside. After half a year of therapy!

Fast forward to the present, now I do high-intensity workouts twice a week, I do yoga, arch my spine, I’m rolling my back over a medicine ball backwards every day, and to my own amazement, I picked up surfing again at the age of 44. Surfing is extremely physical as you have to arch your back fully and keep it under continuous tension in order to paddle on the surfboard efficiently.

How can it be, that someone who was told, he has a structural/mechanical problem in the body, thinking he will surely be paralyzed, heal fully without any therapy, chiropractors, acupuncturists (I had acupuncture sessions too) - how can someone heal, the pain disappear without any influence from the outside?

Earlier this week I felt stressed, I did a few free trainings for people of the group and my email list. I could clearly sense my back pain acting up slightly. The moment I noticed it, I framed it in my mind that it’s that old back pain again, that comes and goes. And I affirmed in my mind that there’s no damage to my spine and that this is one of the old, conditioned pain patterns that stem from repressed emotions of the past.

This brief, mindful moment was all I needed to create a reference in my mind that I once healed the back pain completely on my own - the pain disappeared instantly!

I had severe health anxiety in the past, meaning I created a ton of negative feedback loops of intense anxiety around each and every symptom I felt in my body. In particular around pain. I could keep on writing for another two pages just telling you how much time and money I had spent on treatments and therapies that never yielded any sustainable results. In the contrary, those approaches created more confusion in my mind and fueled the anxious thoughts about my body not supporting me anymore.

Writing about this in this group, telling you about this hell I had experienced and the heaven I’m blessed to be able to experience now, is close to a little miracle for me as I’d have never ever thought or believed that this is possible for me.

And back then, maybe I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d have told me this same exact story.

-Joe