Why I don’t say ‘Pain is in the Brain’

“Pain is in the brain”

If you have been looking for solutions for a persistent pain problem, then you will likely have heard this phrase at some point.

Urgh. I know the reaction it triggers in so many people living with a pain problem.

They hear: “it’s all in your head”

With good reason. Often a well-meaning physio or doctor is giving you a technical explanation about how pain works.

They are trying to redress the balance of pain always being blamed on an anatomy or tissue problem.

Good on them, but with no useful follow up on what to do with this info, so they might as well have said “just think yourself out of pain! Good luck and goodbye!”

So, a super quick over-simplified summary of what they are actually getting at:

  • You need to own a brain to experience pain.
  • Pain CAN occur without any body signals (nociception), but that’s really rare.
  • Most long term pain involves some (reversible) changes at the tissue level, nervous system and the brain.
  • Therefore you can work on your pain both brain down,  AND body up (cause mind and body aren’t really separate)

The people behind the ‘pain is in the brain’ phrase, do understand the nuance. They talk about using movement and practical skills a lot. I have gained lots from their books and videos.

This one is a goodie for instance.

But that phrase as an introduction to this different way of thinking about pain is pretty awful.

Understanding pain is great if you are a bit geeky like me, but probably you want to get to the solutions bit. Those practical tools that help brain, and body. 

I can help with those, you are welcome to just have a chat to explain your needs and we work out the best tools to help you.

Book a chat here

or come join us in the back to active Facebook Group where there are tips and workshops on brain. body, and nervous system approaches to pain.

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