Here’s a radical thought. What if the way you are thinking about your condition became an obstacle for full recovery.
Would you be willing to begin to think about your condition differently?
What would it be like to begin to think about yourself as just stuck rather than broken.
What would it be like to think that you already have all the resources inside for making massive change in your life and health.
What would it be like to know that you are not missing anything, lacking anything, deficient in anything. You just need to know how to change.
What would it be like to get back in the drivers seat of life.
What it be like to begin to look at the role the brain and chronic stress can play in physical health without thinking it means you’re crazy or the problem is ‘all in your head’.
What would it be like to think differently about the things you are experiencing – pain, tiredness, stress, fear, negativity, low motivation, frustration, sadness. To see these as normal AND essential human responses …… that can become ‘stuck’ states due to neuroplasticity.
What it be like to hear that brain science is really clear that while a brain can become stuck it also retains it’s capacity to change until the day we die.
What would it be like to think that the problem is not brokenness but stuckness.
What would that be like?
You probably know what it’s like to be told that your tests seem fine so we don’t really know what’s going on but we do know there is no cure and you just have to learn to live with it and manage it. Yet you know that people ARE getting well.
Is it time to begin to think differently about yourself, your health and your life?
EXCITED, CURIOUS, UNCERTAIN?……..
But be ready to begin to think differently……
Drop me an email and arrange a time to discuss your situation and the Lightning Process.
Read about other people’s experience HERE. As you read their successes, just know that each one of these people once thought the way you did, they felt broken, they were probably told there ‘is no cure’ and they would just have to learn to live with it or manage the best they can.
If others can you… can you?
What would it be like to be one of the success stories?
If you search you will find lots of stories of people successfully recovering from ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, CRPS, PTSD, anxiety or depression.
Are you ready to join the pain revolution?
There is a massive mismatch between what research now tells us about pain and the public perception about it.
Given that we find ourselves with Chronic Pain as the number burden on human health AND a massive over-prescription of Pain medicine, is it time to join the revolution?
Watch Lorimer Moseley’s discussion on the Pain Revolution below.
Join the Revolution. Vive la Sante!!! (Long Live Health)
One of the concepts of the Lightning Process is to use current understandings of how the brain and body interact to have a positive influence over our health. While we might be a product of our past we do not have to be at the mercy of it.
Learning to engage in the PRESENT moment and our automatic responses, we can use tools to influence our mind and body. This opens up options that can increase our physical and emotional health. With focused effort we can look to retrain our brain to respond differently to the present moment – laying down new ‘automatic’ responses.
While we may often feel at the mercy of our thoughts, emotions or beliefs, as Lisa Feldman Barrett points out in this TED talk on emotions – We are not at their mercy.
An ‘Aha’ moment is a time when our understanding shifts and we change our awareness of the nature of our world. The science of perception is fascinating – how we perceive others, ourselves, our bodies, the world, our past, our present and our future.
We are all biased YET we can work on correcting our biases.
One of the key components of the Lightning Process is developing self-awareness of what we are doing in the present moment. It’s a skill to develop for the present moment is where massive change can occur.
Unlike pure mindfulness meditation, where the aim is to merely observe, the Lightning Process uses self-awareness to allow intervention. Intervening in the present moment to retrain the brain to respond appropriately rather than historically.
The Archive of Disease in Childhood has published a paper on a trial involving the Lightning Process and CFS. The results have certainly created a lot of interest with the conclusion:
” The addition of the Lightning Process to standard medical care may be helpful to children with CFS/ME. However, this study needs to be replicated before the Lightning Process should be offered in the NHS.”
The understanding of NEUROPLASTICITY has become a valuable tool in working with both physical and mental health.
NEUROPLASTICITY is the process where the brain alters its structure and function as an adaptation to experience. The implications of this are huge. One implication is that the things that people do to ‘manage’ their problem are also ‘experiences’ so the brain changes and adapts to management techniques.
Another way to think about it, is that the brain of someone managing their illness well is very different from someone who is actually well.
Many people think that they can ‘manage’ their way to full health. But they are different processes.
A really great example of this is described in Norman Doidge’s book, The Brain That Changes Itself. Stroke rehabilitation specialist, Dr Taub realised that when someone lost movement of one arm, they naturally compensated and learnt how to function with the working arm. This however created changes in the brain. The parts in the brain involved in moving the stroke effected arm were not being used so disappeared as the brain’s neurology works on a ‘use it or lose it policy’. Meanwhile the parts of the brain associated with the still working arm increased in area. The person was in essence ‘managing’ their stroke by becoming really good at being a one armed person and the brain changed as a result of this.
This is the Neurobiology of Compensation.
Dr Taub therefore developed a novel stroke rehab technique called ‘Constraint induced therapy’. When someone loses the use of one arm, using their working arm makes sense but this has nothing to do with full recovery and can get in the way of full recovery. You are just getting good at becoming a one armed person. So ‘Constraint induced therapy’ for strokes now involves tying down the working arm. Any compensation activity (or management technique) changes the brain away from the where you want to be. Tying down the working arm forces people to focus on the aim of retrain the stroke affected arm.
This technique is based on our understanding that we can retrain the brain – even if there is damage. (Read Brain that Changes itself)
What we do to ‘get by’ might get in the way of ‘getting better’ – The broader context
Think of someone with agoraphobia (fear of panic attacks). You can manage that well by staying inside the house. Great. Problem solved? No. Just well managed. This management technique is an experience that changes the wiring of your brain. Some areas that are not being used weaken (socializing, spacial awareness of the city, procedural memory of public transport, reduction of stress because you are ‘safe’). You get good at staying inside but you haven’t beaten the anxiety just managed it well. With good management comes changes in the body and the brain but you are stuck inside.
So is the answer just going outside and pushing through the discomfort? Interesting – forcing yourself to go outside while you feel terrible also is an experience that changes your brain. The parts of your brain associated with detecting danger and threats get well developed, body awareness of sensations like a racing heart develops and the brain associates certain places with horrible feeling and stress hormones. The brains links outside with fear. Just pushing through doesn’t do it. So people often move back into the more bearable management technique of avoidance. You are not getting better just better at managing it.
Avoidance or pushing through are not about getting better and over time these techniques change the brain. Paradoxically good management can become an obstacle to full health. People often assume the only two options with Chronic pain and fatigue conditions are also to either “push through” and pay for it or avoid the things that set them off. But if you think of the agoraphobia example, neither of these techniques are addressing the issue and are experiences that alter brain structure and function.
When people come to me they tend to have developed a mixture of techniques between pushing through and avoiding what sets them off.
The Lightning Process is suggesting an alternative option – to actively retrain your brain and body to respond more appropriately.
You do have to be committed and focused but the brain and body are highly adaptable. The brain will adapt and get good at whatever you are doing.
So the question is – Are you getting good at managing the problem or are you actually solving it?
Stress hormones can keep us safe. But Chronic Stress hormones can make us sick.
A nice overview of how chronic stress changes our body. The problem is not stress it is CHRONIC stress.
Our body starts changing instantly with stress. We are designed to respond to a threat with the Physical Emergency Stress response.
But long lingering periods of running a Stress Response begins to negatively influence our health.
This is one of the things we focus on with the Lightning Process – teaching people how to spot and turn off this Physical Emergency Response. There is more to the Lightning Process than just learning to relax but its a powerful start to be able to consciously take charge of the moment and calm the body.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Victor Frankle
What is fatigue?
It’s worth pondering if you are suffering from chronic fatigue that rest and sleep USE energy. Lying still uses energy. Sleeping uses less but only a fraction less. It’s still ‘draining your energy resources’. It’s interesting to ponder that healthy people wake up each morning having used energy to sleep but feel more ‘energised’.
There is a difference between the energy in our body and how ‘energetic’ or fatigued we feel. Fatigue is not running out of energy.
You won’t rest your way out of chronic pain or fatigue.
Challenging the way we think about chronic pain and chronic fatigue can be an important first step to recovery.