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Alan G. Right brain vs. left brain

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Guest, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Tell Me About Your Pain program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    I have two main issues with my pain, and I'm wondering how they relate to somatic tracking.

    First, I'm sometimes able to reduce or eliminate my pain by being engaged deeply in something... sometimes for hours. The pain typically doesn't return until I have the thought "oh hey look the pain has been gone this whole time...". Within a few seconds it creeps back in. If somatic tracking is paying attention without fear, won't this paying attention just reinforce it further in my situation?

    Second, somatic tracking seems to be used to teach the brain that the pain isn't actually dangerous and therefore it turns it off. But I already know that my pain isn’t dangerous! It seems my brain knows this but is giving me pain anyway.
    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2020
  2. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Great questions!

    First, pain is nothing more than attending to a sensation through a lens of fear. Naturally it follows that there are two ways to undermine this system:
    A.) Pay attention to the sensation without fear.
    B.) Not pay attention to the sensation at all.

    The first option is what somatic tracking tracking is - you’re paying attention to the sensation without fear.

    The second option (not attending to the sensation at all) is achieved when you’re wholly and authentically engaged in something else. We’ll be talking more about this second option in episode five of the podcast.

    So when you’re totally immersed in something else, you’re achieving the same thing you’d achieve by somafic tracking.

    Regarding your second question, what you know and what your brain knows are two different things. You may cognitively know that the pain isn’t dangerous, but your right brain thinks it is. You know how I know that? Because you have pain. And pain is nothing more than your brain interpreting a sensation through a lens of danger.

    When we feel fear, frustration, irritation, or any of these negative emotions around the pain, it reinforces to the brain that the sensation is dangerous. So even if your left brain knows that the pain is safe, the goal is to teach your right brain that as well. And the way to do that is by changing the energy around the pain. If you’re able to get exposure the sensation while being in a positive emotional state, then you’ll learn that it’s safe on a gut level as on an intellectual level. And your left brain and right brain can finally be on the same page. :)

    Alan


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