Always consult a doctor before undergoing treatment of any kind. The author of this article is not a doctor so if you decide to undertake the treatment described in this article, do so at your own risk.
How do you get rid of chronic pain?
Pain begets pain. This is the rule. What this means is that, if you have chronic back pain or neck pain or a pain in your pelvis or your hip—if you have a chronic, ongoing pain like this and you accidentally stub your toe, the pain that you feel in your toe will be worse for you than for someone who does not have chronic pain. And there’s a very good reason for this fact: the Sympathetic Nervous System. This is the part of the nervous system that deals with Fight or Flight situations as well as chronic pain. And if you have chronic pain, the Sympathetic Nervous System is in a constant “On-Mode”. It’s like, your body is trying to run from the chronic pain, so in addition to be more susceptible to stubbing your toe, you’re also chronically stressed.
But while this might sound like really bad news, keep reading. If you have chronic pain, you need to understand the Sympathetic Nervous System better and start working with it using therapies that will target this nerve network rather than trying to pop painkillers that simply aren’t working. And if you have chronic pain, approach therapy the way you would approach the training of a dog because the Sympathetic Nervous System is trainable, but it doesn’t respond all that well to conscious thought. In other words, expect to do therapies on a daily basis if you end up using at-home treatments. If you go to a Neural Therapist, expect to experience immediate relief, but you may need to return daily at first and then weekly and eventually, the pain will go away completely as you retrain the Sympathetic Nervous System to calm to down and relax.
For me, it’s been a stressful year. And I think most of the world would commiserate with me on that statement in regard to COVID-19 and its effects on daily life. But when my young, 20 year old daughter and her husband got accidentally separated by the pandemic and were forced to live half a globe apart for seven months, my husband’s and my stress-levels went through the roof. Especially since our son-in-law was trapped in Myanmar.
So without going into a lot of detail on that story, I’m just going to say that it was very stressful. And there came a point in time, when we felt like we could maybe get him out of the country and rendezvous with him. He had been living outside under a thatched roof awning. He was hot and tired. So my husband, daughter, and I traveled from North America to the United Arab Emirates in August and we set up a headquarters there to try figure out our next step (which involved getting him out of the country to the UAE—which was much harder than it may have looked to outsiders). And you can probably imagine that the trip was stressful. As our son-in-law made his way from central Myanmar to Yangon, the roads literally closed behind him as the country went into another lockdown. He barely made it to his hotel by the curfew. It was so stressful, I have nothing to measure it against. And that being said, it would probably make sense if you knew that on our journey to the UAE, I developed an “elbow problem”.
I’m not sure what exactly set it off. I mean, it was stress. Definitely stress. And I suppose the stress coupled with sleeping in strange positions on an airplane and, not knowing which countries we would have to go through until we arrived at the airport each morning (we started our trip thinking we’d go through Germany to the UAE, but in the end went through Turkey and Lebanon, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania). These were the things that led me to develop this “elbow problem”. As someone who has spent oodles of time considering alternative medicine, I felt confident that I could resolve the pain easily when we got to Dubai. I massaged my elbow. I shined my portable infrared light on it. I did biomagnetism therapy on my elbow with these little magnets that I always travel with for this purpose. But the elbow problem just hung on and wouldn’t go away. Sometimes I could get the pain to “move” into my shoulder or my neck if I really worked hard on the elbow itself, but never did the pain let up completely. Not even for a few minutes.
I tried ignoring it.
I tried exercising that arm.
It was like, I couldn’t find the pain. It wasn’t a joint pain. It wasn’t a muscle pain. It wasn’t a bone pain. I searched my shoulder to see if I could find a muscle that was aching. I massaged my neck, but whenever I massaged my neck, the pain moved more toward the shoulder or the elbow. I wasn’t able to make progress with it. I did yoga. I tried Tai Chi. I used TENs pads on my arm. I took L-Taurine and Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Nothing…NOTHING worked. Painkillers didn’t touch this pain.
The pain was just there. And eventually, months later, after we’d returned home with my daughter and son-in-law safe and sound, I realized that I was finally having a full-on experience with chronic pain. Admitting this to myself took time…months, in fact. And once the idea of having chronic pain started to sink in, I felt a little panicky about it. I started to realize that my pain wasn’t just in my elbow. It was in my shoulder too. And my back. My neck hurt when I turned my head too far to the right OR to the left.
I searched my brain for ideas about how to treat this “elbow pain”. There had to be something I could do. It was like, I’d experience this stress and now the stress had taken up residency in my body–in my elbow, shoulder, and neck specifically. I was slowly, but surely, being evicted.
Admitting that I had chronic pain was the first step toward finding a cure for chronic pain. I started first by looking into hypnotherapy. I spent some time studying hypnotherapy and I know that it can be used to cure chronic pain. But I didn’t just want to trick my brain into not recognizing the pain. That seemed unwise (although in retrospect, it would probably work just fine in a case like this). The elbow pain didn’t seem to have a source. So I cracked a book or two on the topic and noted that hypnotherapists who treat chronic pain work with the Sympathetic Nervous System, a branch of the nervous system that mostly networks through the spine. The nerve fibers that serve this system don’t go all the way up to the brain. So, as a result, they react to the environment and to stressful situations without communicating with the brain and the conscious mind. The Sympathetic Nervous System mostly deals with unconscious stressors…all the stress that we encounter during the day that we don’t necessarily have the time or ability to think about consciously. That’s why you have to work the Sympathetic Nervous System as though you were training a dog. The Sympathetic nerves don’t connect to our brain so they have to be “trained” through repetition and reward.
This is where it pays to understand the rule that PAIN BEGETS PAIN. When you have chronic pain, your goal is to find a body position or a treatment that can relieve the pain. Make movements that diminish the pain. This is the reward. If you have back pain, read The Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart Mcgill and follow his instructions on how to quell the pain and move in a way that avoids stirring it up. Sometimes it’s tempting to do things that increase the pain threshold (massage, stretching, exercise) when you have chronic pain, but that’s not the best thing to do. Don’t beat the dog or else later, he may bite you.
Doctors who work with the Sympathetic Nervous System have noted that often, there’s an original stressor–maybe an illness or an emotional event like a divorce or a job loss. It may have happened years before you develop chronic pain. It could be anything. ANYTHING. But then, after that original stressor that sets off the pain or the health problem, the body tends to react to all stressors in the same way. Something as simple as a weather change or not getting enough sleep could set off my elbow pain and make it worse once my body started putting stress in my elbow. This made sense to me. Hypnotherapists note that sometimes our bodies pick up information unconsciously about relationships or the people around us. These things could also set off the Sympathetic Nervous System, causing us to feel pain in areas that have become Designated Dumping Grounds for Stress. For example, when my next door neighbor had a family member who died suddenly of a drug overdose, my elbow mysteriously started acting up. Unconsciously, I picked up on the stress and my body immediately put it into my elbow (so to speak).
At first, the idea of the Sympathetic Nervous System seemed like just a dry technicality. But then, I started reading about Edgar Cayce’s Castor Oil packs. I had Googled “chronic pain” and found a web site where a woman talked about how she’d gotten rid of her excruciating chronic pain by applying Castor Oil packs or Castor Oil + DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) to scar tissues that had been left behind a surgery that she’d had. I downloaded a book called The Oil That Heals: A Physician’s Success with Castor Oil Treatments by Dr. William McGarey and started reading it. I was surprised to find that I was, again, reading about this mysterious thing called The Sympathetic Nervous System. I learned that apparently, the nerves that belong to this separate system that deals primarily with stressful situations, end abruptly in the intercutaneous tissue. So, when the castor oil pack (which is basically a few pieces of white flannel soaked in castor oil) is applied to the skin with heat (usually from a heating pad) to open the pores and facilitate absorption, the Sympathetic Nerves absorb something in the oil and are calmed by it.
For a period of time, I tried putting Castor Oil and DMSO on my elbow and then I would lay in the sun. I even followed the Budwig Diet, which is good for rebuilding nerve tissues and I can’t deny that the full-spectrum light of the sun combined with the Castor Oil and DMSO did help, but the process was slow. Slow was better than nothing, but I kept reading to see what else I might find to help me release the elbow pain.
I spent more time reading about the Sympathetic Nervous System then. Most people are familiar with the Sensory and Motor nerves that make up the Central Nervous System. These nerves receive information about the environment (sensory) and transmit this information to the brain. Through the sensory nerves, we can sense whether our environment is hot or cold, light or dark, soft or hard, etc. And then, via the motor nerves, we can move our bodies, as needed to deal with stress, to accomplish different goals (work, exercise).
In contrast to the Sensory and Motor Nervous System, the Sympathetic Nervous System performs all those unconscious tasks that keep us alive. It works in tandem with the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The Sympathetic Nervous System performs the Fight or Flight activities while the Parasympathetic Nervous System performs the Rest and Digest activities. They are essentially separate, but both are necessary in order to keep the body balanced. The Sympathetic Nervous System is hard-wired into the endocrine glands (hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals) that also spur Fight or Flight Responses. And the Sympathetic Nervous System deals with pain. In fact, pain causes the body to be in a constant Sympathetic state creating a downward spiral where the pain begets more pain, as we’ve talked about before.
But the most interesting thing that I learned was that this system of Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nerves is ubiquitous throughout the body. And wherever a Sympathetic Nerve fiber goes, a tiny little blood vessel follows it to feed the neurons and keep them healthy and functional. These Sympathetic Nerves are very similar to and perhaps even roughly equivalent to the acupuncture meridians. Indeed, the ganglion (little thickened bundles of nerves) that sit along either side of the spinal column are thought-provokingly similar to the chakras. Blood flow and Sympathetic nerves go together. The Sympathetic Nervous System can open up blood flow to areas of the body or shut it down. And lack of adequate blood flow can lead to all kinds of health problems including chronic pain.
I had a feeling that my elbow problem had something to do with being stuck in Sympathetic On-Mode as Dr. Jerry Tenant called it. Dr. Tenant wrote at length in his book Healing Is Voltage about the healing voltage of cells. And as I was reading through his book about how certain muscle groups charge up the organs as though they were batteries that keep us alive, I suddenly remembered Neural Therapy, a treatment I’d read about when I was researching cures for Cancer.
Neural Therapy was a pain-relieving treatment option and I had earmarked it as potentially important (particularly in regard to chronic pain). Neural Therapy was a long-lasting pain-relief treatment that could treat and cure chronic pain as well as chronic diseases and even cancer. I knew very little about Neural Therapy when I first started researching it except that it could cure cancer and that it somehow could “reset the nerves” to stop freaking out about…whatever was causing them to cause pain
I downloaded a textbook on Neural Therapy and started reading.
Neural Therapy is a chronic pain treatment that works via the Sympathetic Nervous System. It involves nothing more than a series of injections of local anesthesia such as procaine 1%.
Neural Therapy was first discovered in the early days of local anesthetics. While one group of doctors rejoiced that local anesthetics existed to numb-out patient pain during surgery, another group noticed immediately that local anesthetics, particularly procaine, could instantly cure chronic pain and the results lasted far beyond the actual period of time that procaine has an effect on the body. This effect had almost nothing to do with it’s sensory numbing abilities. Procaine specifically acted on pain in a manner that did not necessarily involve “numbing”. Though procaine as a local anesthetic can only numb out an area of the body for about 20 minutes, when injected into the proper Sympathetic Nervous System nerves, procaine resets the nerve tissues and causes them to stop sending pain messages far beyond the period of normal duration of the anesthesia as it is normally experienced when using the procaine just as a local anesthetic.
In other words, if you inject procaine in the proper places in the body that are innervated by the Sympathetic Nervous System, you can immediately “release” pain and it won’t come back. Sometimes pain is resolved instantly and the pain never returns. Often, patients return for several appointments to retrain their body’s stress-response and eventually get the pain to go away forever.
Often, Sympathetic Nervous System nerves will “freak out” if they sense a stressor. Maybe you had a bladder infection when you were 10 years old. Since that time, perhaps you experience bladder irritation or cystitis whenever you get stressed. Or maybe you had heart surgery when you were 40 years old and then, a few years later, developed a strange problem in your hip or your foot. Believe it or not, doctors have found over and over again, that it’s possible for a surgical scar in one location of the body to cause chronic, inexplicable pain in another, very distant part of the body (known as the Interference Field phenomenon).
Via the Sympathetic Nervous System, hip pain on the left side of the body can eventually lead to hip pain on the right side of the body. Remember, the Sympathetic Nervous System nerves don’t have to travel all the way up to the brain to alter the body’s blood flow and Fight or Flight response. Sympathetic nerves that service the left hip can travel straight across (without having to travel all the way to the brain) to the right hip. And because each of these Sympathetic Nerves is fed by a dedicated set of blood vessels that expand or narrow in response to whether the body senses stress, a person who can quell their Sympathetic Nervous System has the power to increase blood flow to parts of the body that are in pain or ailing in some way. In fact, this is the key to healing with Neural Therapy. Local injections of procaine are given to reset the nerves and cause the blood supply in that area to open back up to promote healing. And it works! Areas of the body that are degenerating due to a lack of blood supply (caused by a constant Sympathetic Nervous System “on-mode”) often heal once the blood supply is reinstated.
So if you have a hip problem, an injection of procaine will not only relieve the pain, but it also opens the blood vessels in those painful areas too. And when the blood vessels open, nutrients are able to get to the hip and toxins can also be easily removed. Ultimately, this is the key to healing areas that are degenerating or experiencing pain.
Procaine injections into trigger points cause the trigger points to relax, opening up blood flow to retrain the body such that blood flow continues to those areas that have a habit of tightening up. Neural Therapy doctors can provide procaine injections that immediately “release” areas of pain that have been dogging you for years. And that “release” often lasts far beyond the duration of the local anesthetic. With ongoing treatment, patients eventually experience a full recovery from their pain and no longer need Neural Therapy treatments. My experience with procaine treatments has been amazing. The procaine actually breaks down into byproducts that heal nerves and cause them to become stronger and less prone to Sympathetic Nervous System “outbursts”.
So far, this has been my story with my elbow. But maybe you don’t live close to a Neural Therapy doctor. Or maybe you’d prefer to work on areas of pain on your own at home. In either case, there are treatment options that you can work with on your own at home. I’ve experimented with both Neural Therapy and some of these other treatment options that I’m going to talk about in more detail in the future and I have to admit that Neural Therapy is superior. It works quickly and the results are undeniable. But other options for treatment include the following:
Acupuncture works under some of the same basic principles as Neural Therapy, except that therapists are trained to think in terms of “meridians” rather than the Sympathetic Nevrous System. If you don’t feel comfortable buying and using acupuncture needles, consider using an electric Acupuncture Pen for at-home use instead.
- Castor Oil packs
Castor oil has a calming effect on the Sympathetic Nervous System. Apply Castor Oil with DMSO and an infrared heat lamp. Read up first on DMSO and learn how to use this FDA-approved medication properly first though.
Using electrical stimulation at the Sympathetic ganglions near the spine can provide relief from pain, but exercise caution with this type of therapy if you have a heart condition. Dr. Jerry Tennant has an electrical product that’s designed to work according to similar principles as Neural Therapy, but it’s rather expensive. It’s an option to consider if you have chronic pain or a chronic degenerative disease and you can’t make it to a Neural Therapy doctor in your area.
Biomagnetism is a big deal in Mexico where is was discovered and systematized by Dr. Isaac Goiz. Biomagnets can be used to improve blood flow to painful areas on the body. The magnets work to combat pain by pushing and pulling on magnetic red blood cells that contain iron into the areas of the body that are hurting. It typically takes 5 minutes to start to feel the effects of the magnets and most treatments last for about an hour. Do a treatment every day by placing the magnets such that opposing poles are pointing at each other through the painful body part. For example, for my elbow, I place the black side of the magnet against the outer elbow pointing toward the red side of an opposing magnet. The magnets pull against each other lightly, bringing blood flow to that area of the body. Tape the magnets in place or use other magnets to hold them in place on sleeves or pant-legs as needed.
The MiraMate is a Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency generator that works in a manner similar to biomagnets. I have a MiraMate and I use it when I’m ill to improve microcirculation in the body, but this little device became famous with Parkinson’s Disease patients due to its ability to diminish tremors within minutes of use. There is a small MiraMate and a Big Magic MiraMate. Choose the one that seems like it would best meet your specific needs. I like to travel with mine, so I chose the smaller version and it works very well. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that the past year has been stressful. I would say that most of