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Daniel L. The brain's way of healing

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by eljs79, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. eljs79

    eljs79 New Member

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    Question
    I read a book called The Brains Way of Healing all about neuroplasticity. In chapter one the author, Dr.Norman Doidge, talks about healing chronic pain through the use of constant visualizations whenever a pain spike occurs. You imagine the pain signals in the brain shrinking and then you imagine your brain as normal with no pain signals firing at all. While he does not specifically refer to TMS per se, it does seem to agree with comments I have read about TMS and neuroplasticity. He says you must be relentless with your visualizing during pain spikes to steal back the areas in your brain maps that the chronic pain has taken over. There are examples of patients who rewired their brains this way, including a psychiatric/pain mgt. doctor whose practice was transformed by his own personal experience with 13 years of chronic pain. This seems the opposite of outcome independence but it is all about unlearning your pain I guess. Was interested in your thoughts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2016
  2. Daniel G Lyman LCSW

    Daniel G Lyman LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    The usefulness of visualizations lies in their ability to empower us. If we visualize something going the way we want it to, it has an impact on how we feel. If we feel empowered, we are less likely to experience pain as acutely as if were not feeling empowered. If we visualize something going terribly (as so many of us TMSers are apt to do), then we encourage more anxiety and tension in our bodies.

    Outcome Independence, similarly, is about feeling empowered in spite of pain. It’s not a visualization technique, but a technique to help you separate your feelings from your experience of pain. In that way, outcome independence is actually quite similar to visualizations – the goal for both is to have confidence about your pain: you can handle it, it does not define you, and it will go away. This type of thinking is what will reverse pain pathways. When we allow ourselves to think otherwise, we trap ourselves in the pain cycle and solidify those pathways.

    If anyone has any visualizations that they use that are helpful, please share!


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