Apr 23, 2021
Hi everyone, it's episode #11 and I'm working with a new recording program that makes a transcript. Yay for new technology!!!
Always learning something new around here.
Always celebrating learning and moving myself to the place of doing my podcast is fun and easy!
So today's podcast is a sweet and fun conversation over messenger with my friend Eva, who is someone I know from Kara Lowentheil's feminist coaching community The Clutch.
I can't say enough about how this practice of Thought Work and the tools of The Life Coach School have changed my life. And The Clutch is a fantastic container with which to explore and practice these tools. (Not getting paid for this pitch LOL).
If you haven't heard Kara's podcast Unf*ck Your Brain before, I highly recommend listening and putting it in your rotation. It's available where all podcasts are found.
You can also work with me!
I have my 8 week pain recovery program in which I blend in these concepts and tool for self inquiry with pain recovery/neurocircuit retraining. http://debmalkin.com/8-week-pain-recovery-program/
And in the next few months I will be offering longer whole life support coaching packages that are a synthesis of all the applied tools for emotional and physical wellness for life beyond pain, to create a life you're excited to embody. Whether it's work, dating, movement, family how your train your brain (intentionally or not) is the main creator of our experience.
I teach you all the magic that self-friendship and curiosity
offers and why attention is your secret untapped superpower. Coming
soon. But if you read these notes you're getting the first heads up
before anyone. :)
And as always you're invited to chat with me and learn more about how you can learn about pain and how to change your embodied experience of physical and emotional pain and overwhelm by training your mind. -- Book a curiosity call with me and let's chat.
If you want to get a free 6 week trial to The Curable App click this link and sign up. My work and the app blend well together or try this out on your own first. Remember we are finding those moments of no pain to add deposits into our belief bank.
Move With Deb episode #11
Welcome to Move With Deb. I'm Deb your friendly neuroplastician. And this is a podcast that explores the relationship between the body and the mind from a health at every size, judgment, free perspective. I teach you how developing a new internal conversation based on curiosity, self friendship and simple neuro-plasticity techniques can rewire your bodymind out of pain and emotional overwhelm to help you build the rich full life that you want to live. Disclaimer, this is not a replacement for medical care.
[00:00:50] Deb: Hi, it's the Move With Deb podcast and we're doing episode number 11. We're going to listen to me, read and play a conversation that my friend Eva and I had through Facebook messenger. She is a person that I know through a coaching community, and we've had a number of conversations about pain, and I had shared with her access to the curable app.
[00:01:15]So we talked a little bit in brief conversation about some shoulder pain that she's having and you get to kind of see in real time her processing this information and some of the tools that we share about how to reprocess pain. She gave me permission to share this conversation with you.
[00:01:35] And I thought, well, this was great because I was sitting here today trying to come up with a podcast. I have lots of ideas. And sometimes when I sit down to do them, they don't flow. I'm in the process of becoming a content creator and learning to take ideas out of my head and share them with everyone. And that process is not always so simple for me. So I found myself going down this rabbit hole of research and language, and thinking about Lisa Feldman Barrett's work on emotions and valence and arousal, and I was getting further and further away from what I thought would be helpful.
[00:02:17]And then Eva popped into my messages and we had a brief conversation and I was like, well, if we look at the lifespan of this conversation in this journey, both of being coached by me, and her thinking about pain differently, this conversation kind of illuminates everything. That's what I want to share. So why don't I just share this and be direct rather than trying to be academic? And I don't mean academic in a negative way. Certainly. It's just how I've constructed it in my mind, that there's, this pragmatic lived experience. And then there's this kind of scientific rationale reasoning of why. And these are probably not very helpful distinctions. They're probably very arbitrary.
[00:03:08]As I become a person who understands and explains things and helps people come to their own embodied understanding, I think these distinctions will become less and less bifurcated. But before I was a pain coach, I was a bodyworker. Half the time with my sessions, I wouldn't be talking at all, but my hands were connecting with the client and what they were feeling in their body. And they were relating to me what they were feeling. And so these ideas were all happening at the same time, no concepts, embodiment, the felt sense and experience.
[00:03:46] Now I work through a screen using language, having people read things or watch videos, and then they create their own embodied experience of something, using their mind and their observations about the sensations in their body. Those are the tools that I have available to me. So, I guess I'm in a bit of a transition process in terms of how I work. What I'm always amazed at is how quickly people can change their experience of pain through applying, understanding, awareness, curiosity, emotional allowance, self compassion, and self friendship.
[00:04:31] I will never stop being delighted by this and surprised. Because those tools are available to us, at any time, under any circumstance, in any situation. They are inherently part of our embodied experience. And it's like turning on a light bulb, turning on a light switch. You just have to learn to turn it on. We find the switch that turns on what already exists inside of you. I put my captain obvious Cape on all the time, when I talk about these things in the way I talk about them to highlight the simplicity in this process. Cause sometimes when we are in distress, we think the solution is external. We believe the solution is hard, it's complicated. It doesn't matter how long you've been dealing with something or how long you've been experiencing pain. It is in your body and you're feeling it.
[00:05:34] And you're looking for a solution. You want an answer. The reality is knowing an answer is not the same thing as experiencing a change. And my work is very much about getting to the experience of a change with, or without understanding. The understanding can come later. But to change your pain experience that's in your body. And it doesn't have to be complicated, just may require doing some things in a new way. So I often repeat this idea over and over again, that our self conversation is one of the most important inputs we can tend to in our nervous system.
[00:06:20] Let's listen to Eva and peek into this conversation that we're having about her shoulder pain that originated during weightlifting. Talk briefly about her experience around changing careers and moving into doing art and the intensity around that change in her life. And see if any of these conversations make sense to you.
[00:06:40]Back in February, Eva said that she received the email from curable and want to let me know. And said, thank you. And I said, oh, that's awesome. Enjoy. And let me know how it goes. And then I received a message from her on April 16th, I'm going to play that.
[00:06:58]Eva: So, um, I'm saying hi for three things. First of all, like I've been using Curable, but way after, like, you gave me this six free weeks, um, because I was just like doing anyway to other things and, you know, Even though I had pain, like I was procrastinating. And I started using it and I really like it So, I'll keep you updated about how much, like I, like, I like it.
[00:07:26]Deb: So I had said glad you're loving the app. It's been such a game changer for me. And she said for the app, I have hopes because honestly I'm suffering so much and the physio doesn't help despite trying his best. So I really hope there is another way all the more it is with my right side and I need to draw. Anyway I will tell you more when I dig more into the exercises.
[00:07:51] And then I asked her, do you have anxiety around drawing? And Eva says, yes. I mean, I just transitioned to an artistic career. I need my arm and it hurts. And my response was, it makes sense to have pain show up, when we have fear. Then she writes back, Seriously? I mean, I was injured since last year. It started to heal and now apparently it is some nerves. So I said, what was the injury event? Nerve pain doesn't mean damage. The brain and nervous system communicate through nerves. And she wrote back actually I do power lifting and that happened with bad technique during bench pressing.
[00:08:38] So I asked how long ago was that? She replied 14 months ago. I had tendonitis, but this has gone, only pain triggered by nerves, says the physio. So here is my response back to her. So all pain is created in the brain, whether it's from an injury or not. After an injury heals, which 14 months is plenty of time, those pain neural pathways can still be going because of fear and the expectation or belief that there's something wrong.
[00:09:09] So just like your thoughts can amplify anxiety and those sensations in your body. It can do the same with pain. Your career transition and fear about your arm pain is what's keeping your pain alarm bell ringing.
[00:09:24] Then she wrote just reading this makes me want to cry, just knowing that this can be true and that there is a solution. Thank you for that. I said you're welcome. It is very true. The app is a perfect resource for that. You have thought work as the best tool to help you take care of your mind with the fear that comes up with work. Thought work is a reference to the life coach school process of looking at our thoughts and breaking them down into circumstance, thought, feeling action and result. I call it a cognitive somatic mapping tool, but it's about awareness. It's to help us create awareness how our thoughts drive our feelings, which create our actions, in relationship to any circumstance. So she and I are in that community. And so we have a shared language, so she knew what I was talking about.
[00:10:17] So then I shared with her, my somatic tracking audio that lives on my website. That is my version of Alan Gordon, somatic tracking tool and Alan Gordon of the pain psychology center. So I sent her that link. And it says here's an audio you can do for somatic tracking which is a great exercise to meeting the pain with a sense of safety.
[00:10:42] Her reply is thank you so much with three or maybe four exclamation marks. I can't tell I'm reading this off of my phone. You have no idea how much I appreciate. I'm going to listen to it now. I just listened to it. I find it very soothing. I used to do body scans for meditation, and that feels as good. I was not worried about the pain and side note your voice is so peaceful and soft. Love it. Great job.
[00:11:12] My replies. Thanks!!!! That's with four exclamation marks. So you can use the audio to practice being with the sensations in your arm without fear. Eva applied, okay. I'm going to do that. Thanks. I'll let you know how it goes.
[00:11:28] So here are three audios that I received today. Here's the first one.
[00:11:35] Eva: Hi, Deb I've written to you because I wanted to, I didn't know how it went with the meditation. You're like um, you transferred me and the curable app so far so good. I would even say amazing. The, um, the physio told me, like, since I was having like that, the pain in my shoulder was increasing and, um, he, wasn't helping with the messages on top of being an asshole for other reasons. That's sidejoke. Um, and. Uh, he told me, okay, maybe I need to go and see a surgeon not to get a surgery, you know, but maybe they can do an arthroscan or whatever, you know, like it's, it was starting to get complicated. And, um, that, that freaked me out. Yeah. So I was like, okay, now I've got the message. Like, there is no way, you know, um, I'm letting the pain get over my life and get it more complicated because, you know, I have follow-ups for other things and I was like, no, this is not happening. And you know, like if they can't help me with the pain and it's getting complicated, I'm going to see what I can do for myself. Um, and if it really hurts after trying, then maybe I'll go and see someone, you know, like to see, like I have a tendon problem or something else. And guess what? I really focused, I found about exercises that could help me, more than the ones they gave me. Um, and now the pain is decreasing. So I feel like almost relieved and I'll be, you know, I'll keep working on it. But, um, does this honestly, like a miracle too? I wanted to thank you so much because you know, like, we talked only a little, but you know, being there and giving me the information and letting me know about this has helped me a lot. So, yeah. Thank you.
[00:13:43] Deb: So I wrote back, hooray! I am super happy to hear this and yeah, if that physio isn't helpful, bye bye. She wrote exactly. Actually, he's kind of a big deal for shoulders, like the biggest specialist, but honestly he did not help. Plus he did not take into consideration the fact that I do bodybuilding and there are some specific things to address given the movements I do at the gym. Honestly, he has been an asshole and was always reminding me that I had too much strength, that I was brutal when doing movements during rehab with him. Honestly, there was probably a part of me that didn't heal because I wasn't feeling good and safe. So I texted him that I couldn't come back. Enough with the drama, LOL and I decided to ask for help to you and have my own back.
[00:14:35] And I wrote back, after this long, you have plenty of exercises to do. The main objective is to teach your body that moving is safe and that doing your art is also safe, even with this big transition. So speaking kindly to yourself when you feel fear or pain, is a useful skill to build just like building muscles.
[00:14:55] She wrote back. Yes, absolutely. The thing is what I had in mind before I started seeing him. And he said so many things about how I didn't know how to move, that he knew better, rolling eyes, et cetera. My brain took the wrong info because I chose to trust him. Initially. Thank you for your guidance and words. Right now, it is priceless.
[00:15:17] And I wrote back, well, it is understandable to want to trust him. You were in pain and he is the expert. Now you're moving on and you learned what you needed from him. That relationship can exit your life.
[00:15:30] She wrote back. Exactly. I am happy now. Yes, so much. I have a few long lasting pain, but now I'm going to learn how to live differently.
[00:15:40] I wrote, yeah when we learned to interpret pain differently, we opened the door for it to change.
[00:15:46] That was our little radio drama. I think what's important to say in this. It's not that I'm telling her not to listen to a physio or an expert, the information that he was giving her was a lot of nocebo, was a lot of commentary about all the things that she was doing wrong, all the ways in which her bodybuilding or other work was responsible for her pain. He was treating her like she was noncompliant. No provider should be eye rolling anybody. He did not take this mind, body fear, nervous system piece into consideration. He didn't have any information about her changing her career, the intensity of her concern and fear around changing her career to art and her fear that her pain would mean that she couldn't do it.
[00:16:43] So we didn't have a lot of deep conversation going on in our texts back and forth. What she was able to create was an awareness of her own pain. She found some exercises that she felt like she could do. And she changed the intensity of the sensations in her arm. Her pain is going down and she is willing and curious to think about this pain and these sensations in a new way. She's not in avoidance. And she's not increasing her fear. She is creating empowerment by letting go of a therapeutic relationship that was not working for her, asking for help from me. And if she needs to find other medical help, she can do that. There's a lot of willingness and curiosity in her process now, rather than fear and catastrophizing.
[00:17:42] And the circumstances haven't changed. She's still in a process of changing her career to do art. And she feels very motivated by this process of engaging with her body, going through the sensations with a sense of developing kindness and compassion for herself. So I'm very hopeful that as she embodies this practice around her shoulder, that also it will grow and it will be a part of her self-concept that when we feel sensations, that cause us to stress that we know to decrease our fear is turning the volume down. And that when we feel pain, we can investigate it. We can get help, but there's also that internal process. What is turning the volume up? What is turning the volume down? What is reinforcing conditioned responses in the brain and what is creating prediction errors? How we get from repeating neural pathways to disrupting neural pathways and creating new neural pathways of less pain.
[00:18:50] I hope this was a little bit of an entertaining radio play. I look forward to sharing more. I think next week, I'm going to create a podcast with one of my clients testimonials. I've interviewed three clients so I think I might put those out as I'll be traveling. I think it'll be interesting to hear my clients talk about their experience going through my pain recovery program and the experiences that they created in their bodies and the shift that came from learning some new information about how pain works.
[00:19:25] So always I am here for you to answer questions. And also, if you would like a free trial of the curable app, please feel free to send me a message. If you haven't been signed up for it before, give me your email address, I can add you to my portal, it's very simple. So you give me your email address and I will add you and it will send you an email and then you are entitled to six weeks free of trying the curable app. Which I think is an incredible tool to help get you started in this process of understanding pain in a new way. Thank you everyone. I hope you have a great day. Bye.