One at the time?l

(Add on to Page 75 of the pain dance book)

Doctors, therapists, physicians….everyone warns you to just do one solution at the time. After all you need to know if it works. But what if that is exactly the thing that doesn’t work?

When you see your physician, the specialist or therapist they will suggest a certain treatment. You need to do this treatment for a certain amount of time and then you evaluate the results.

As a scientist I agree with this.

This is why:

As a scientist doing research we have a hypothesis: this exercise will help overcome chronic back pain within 3 months.

Of course the exercise can be a food supplement, a medicine, an operation, a program… can fill it in.
Chronic back pain can be replaced with any other type of pain or ailment.

Once you are doing the treatment, there will be check-up moments to see if you are doing it right and if we are moving into the desired direction. After three months (in my case) there will be an evaluation and then either the treatment is continued (hypothesis is correct) or there will be a different form of treatment (hypothesis discarded and exchanged for a different one).

This is how research works. And preferably we work in a controlled environment so that only one factor is changed. This way we can measure the effect of this specific factor.

We work with the human body, which is scientifically an open system. We cannot control all the variables. We can research one factor (the treatment) and change it over time, but over time other aspects of our life can change too. We can loose our job which is causing stress in such matter that because of that the treatment isn’t working. Not because the treatment is wrong, but simply because our environment has changed. There is no control over the variable factors that effect the expression of pain in our body. We are a living human being and not a controlled chemical research laboratorium.

Besides that chronic pain is not a simply the pain that is felt on a specific place in your body. Chronic pain is a system. It is a system that uses all parts of your body to survive. It is caused by your hormone system, your immune system, your stress system, your digestive system etcetera. But it also affects these systems. It is a balance based on the urgent need to survive. Your survival instincts are very strong and therefor this system of chronic pain is very strong. As long as your body is convinced you need this specific balance to survive, it will stay in this chronic pain survival mode (the pain dance).

The complexity of this system can be the exact reason why one simple treatment or medicine is not working. The treatment may not work on the entire system, but only on one aspect of the system, allowing the system to overwrite the result and staying within the safe boundaries of the chronic pain system (the pain dance).

Does this mean you should do everything at the same time?

That is a question I cannot answer because I have two opinions. As the scientist in me says: you need to be able to measure the results. The chronic pain patient in me has a completely opposite opinion. The chronic pain patient in me wants the result, no matter how I achieve it.

As a chronic pain patient I have been completely and utterly desperate. At a moment I was doing everything I could think of at the same time. Doctors and therapists told me I wouldn’t know what was working. But I thought: “Who cares WHAT is working? As long as SOMETHING is working”.

The interesting thing was that this “everything at the same time” desperation mode was actually the most effective treatment.

  • Perhaps it is because you work at all parts of the system at the same time?
  • Perhaps it is a shock to the system?
  • Perhaps all the solutions together contain the one solutions that works for me?
  • Perhaps all the solutions worked in synergy and achieved more than all the separate solutions on their own?
  • Perhaps it is just a matter of belief?

I do not know, but it worked.

Especially the synergy theory is interesting. What if the combination of different treatments and solutions is necessary to acquire the desired result? Then doing one solution at the time, like doctors recommend is not going to work.

And even if there is no such thing as synergy, why is it such a problem to combine different treatments and different solutions. The most important thing is that it works right. For us counts the end-result, not the way to get it.

And even if you do too much different things and 65% is not working and 35% is. The result is that it works. Why does it matter if you do not know which treatment is the working 35% ?

And if your really want to know the exact 35% that is working, you can always work backwards. Deleting treatments one at the time and see which ones you need to keep to prevent the pain from coming back. But then at least, you are working from the painfree result.

My advise would be:
Start with one treatment or budget solutions (small changes are easier to cope with than one big change), and add on. Add on another treatment or budget solution. Once you have managed that one, add on another one. Keep doing that until you reach a change.

If a budget solution doesn’t feel good or it makes you feel worse, skip it. Keep going, work on yourself until adding small things, if necessary deleting some, until the change is coming.

Celebrate the result. Give yourself the time to adjust and enjoy the results.

Only then, start to delete treatments to see which ones are the necessary ones for you.


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