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Dr. Hanscom's Blog The Elephant’s Noose

Discussion in 'Mindbody Blogs (was Practitioner's Corner)' started by Back In Control Blog, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Back In Control Blog

    Back In Control Blog Well known member

    The Elephant’s Noose

    If you are angry, in a reactive mode, it’s difficult to develop a plan. A good metaphor for your anger is how they handle elephants in India. When the elephants are very small, they train them to stay in one place by tying one foot to a stake. When the elephant has turned into a huge adult, it will still be held in place by the same type of small stake. They have been programmed to think of the stake as something that cannot be broken. Anger is similar. It anchors you down and you cannot move forward until you understand that the bond exists. Then, you can break it. Make this part of your plan.

    You Cannot Move On

    It is my observation that I have yet to see a patient become pain free until they have let go of their legitimate anger. It is the most challenging and rewarding aspect of this whole process. This phase is difficult for me because I have seen so many people succeed that it is discouraging to watch many that are just not willing to move on. The difference in the quality of life for the patients who can process their anger versus those who cannot or won’t is dramatic beyond words.

    The Anger Switch

    What makes this process even harder for me to watch is that it is not difficult and the impact on a patient’s life happens quickly. The anger switch is either on or off and there is not much middle ground. Within weeks of crossing this divide there is usually a significant improvement in pain and decrease in anxiety. The difficulty is in initially making the decision to give up the anger. It is powerful and addicting. Anger: “The Continental Divide” of Chronic Pain

    There is Nothing I Can Do

    I have also learned that there is absolutely nothing that I can do. In fact the more I try to convince someone who is angry to give up their anger, the angrier they will become. This is the point of the process that I have to let go and hope they will eventually engage. Patience is not the first virtue of a surgeon but I have learned to wait this phase out. It is surprising and encouraging that many people, months and sometimes years later, suddenly understand and will experience major improvements in their quality of life.

    Let your anger go. You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    Video: “Taking Back Your Spirit” – Carolyn Myss

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