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Study Validates the Connection Between Emotions, Pain and the Brain

Stumbled upon this 2020 study that really brings the mind-body connection into focus on many levels. These researchers took fMRI scans of the brain while inflicting a painful stimulus to the arm and at the same time creating scenarios of interpersonal rejection or acceptance through a game that either included or excluded participants. What the […]

PTSD, COVID, & Sense of Threat Associated With Somatic Symptoms

With COVID, there has naturally been an elevated sense of stress and fear for many. Those who have had a history of PTSD already have been shown to have a high rates of physical somatic symptoms. This 2021 study highlights how COVID and a sense of threat from COVID were significantly related to multiple somatic […]

Trauma, Stress, Catastrophizing & Somatic Complaints

Interesting study that supports what I see in many people with chronic somatic complaints. What this study showed was what we already know: potentially traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms which can lead to somatic complaints in the body. Then when people start to pain catastrophize (excessive negative worry) it just adds fuel […]

Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Intensity Related to Sympathetic Activity

Another reminder that sympathetic fight of flight nervous system is at the heart of chronic musculoskeletal pain like we see in fibromyalgia. This is study found “the higher the sympathetic drive to the heart and vessels, the higher the magnitude of chronic pain.” The primary focus of healing should be getting one’s nervous system moving […]

Worrying intensity predicts the number of somatic complaints

A lot of the people I work with have an increased tendency to worry, whether it’s about their symptoms or about things in life. Worry by itself can cause more somatic symptoms. I’ve linked a study below showing that. Worrying increases stress chemicals in the body from the brain that will make you feel worse […]

Let it Be: Mindful Acceptance Reduces Pain and Emotion

This study from 2020 https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/14/11/1147/5716281 shows how the role of accepting pain and negative emotions reduces the intensity of both these things. One of the primary things I talk about is letting chronic pains and emotions move through you and be felt vs. pushing these things away or trying to fix them. This is in opposition […]

Stress Axis in Brain and Nervous System Induce Chronic Pain

A review study here highlighting how a stressed out brain and nervous system create chronification of pain. The HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal) axis in the brain (limbic brain) influences changes in the autonomic nervous system to kick off the fight or flight sympathetic nervous system which can cause a whole host of physical ailments in the […]

Sympathetic Nervous System Dysfunction in Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, & Interstitial Cystitis

Continuing on the theme that most chronic disease is caused by an overactive sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) nervous system and an inability to turn on and keep on the parasympathetic (rest, digest, relax) nervous system. This is pretty much the main goal of the healing work – to help people activate and keep activated this […]

Screening of New Film ‘This Might Hurt’

Wanted to share the new film called ‘This Might Hurt’. My colleague and fellow PT Georgie Oldfield is showing a screening of this new film this weekend. I’ve included her invite below. I’m reaching out to invite you to join me for the digital premiere of the feature film THIS MIGHT HURT! An official selection […]