From Couch Bound to Contra Dances – Allodynia Treatments

Judy & Cat

It can be very hard to find effective allodynia treatments in mainstream medicine. Judy found the Life After Pain community after 3 years of being in daily pain. Nobody could explain why she had pain, or treat it. Judy would see her neurologist once a year for 5 minutes, leaving her feeling abandoned by medical science.

The pain Judy experienced was allodynia – extreme sensitivity in her hands and feet. Her limbs were hypersensitive with a burning pain that would flare with movement. This meant walking, typing on her computer – anything that involved moving her hands and feet – would flare the pain. Eventually, she didn’t want to move.

By the time she joined the Life After Pain, Judy had reached rock bottom. She figured the pain would go on for the rest of her life, it would be there all the time, and she couldn’t do anything.

Her first contact with Life After Pain was Jonathan’s videos on youtube. Then, last June, Judy joined the program, thinking “I’ve got nothing to lose.”

Her first impressions were positive. She found our flagship program for treating chronic pain “Very practical and down to earth. On the first live call, Jonathan was talking about brain function and the amygdala. I thought ‘Yes! This is what I’m looking for.’ I have a scientific mind, so this resonated.”

Daily Practices

Before Judy joined the program, she hadn’t been given any tools to deal with the pain. She’d ended up trying to cope by laying on the couch all day feeling anxious.

“Today, my attitude is completely different. This comes from Jonathan’s way of talking about pain. Instead of it being a huge scary thing that I didn’t understand, and nobody could explain to me, he explained it very matter of fact terms. He was very practical about what you can do, and what will work.”

“I had so many questions when I first started – about medication, and what might be causing my pain. Jonathan was always happy to answer my questions and was tremendously reassuring.”

Allodynia Treatments: NeuroMind Practices

Judy found the Comfort Focus technique very helpful. “The first time I tried this I was thinking ‘Wow! This works!’”

As a daily routine, she does the comfort focus driving or walking – things which usually flare her pain. Another NeuroMind practice she’s found useful is a visualisation of melting away the pain.

One surprising Judy discovered is how much she enjoys meditation. As part of a challenge in the community, she started using the Muse headset for meditation.

It was a revelation. “I would never have thought of myself as someone who would sit quietly and do this type of practice. By the end of each session, I feel a lot more peaceful and able to deal with stress.”

Judy has now had more than 100 days unbroken daily meditation.

Future Outlook

“I feel like I’ve come back to be the real me. I’m more hopeful about the future. My pain hasn’t gone away completely, but I’m able to deal with it and control it. I know what I can and can’t do.”

Due to working in the program, Judy’s pain levels are a lot better. She also has her medication balance optimised after talking to Jonathan, after which she could then consult in a more informed way with her GP.

“I have half the pain I did when I started. I also have fewer pain flares. Instead of being in denial, and booming and busting, I know how far I can push myself safely. I’m also learning self compassion, and how to truly look after myself.”

Life After Pain

Playing music

Nowadays, Judy is able to do many activities she wasn’t able to before. “When I first joined, I couldn’t much except lie on the couch and cry. These days I do crafts, and volunteering with our guild – I designed their website.”

Judy’s still limited by how far she can walk and how long she can use a computer. However, she’s been able to return to playing music: the accordion and fiddle. With her band, she plays for contra dances. “This past year I’ve been at almost all the practices and all the dances.”

Changes in Outlook

“I used to think other people were able to deal with pain like mine, and I was just being a wuss. Because nobody could explain my pain, I thought it was a common thing people just coped with. I got this idea from people who didn’t believe how bad my pain was – including some medical professionals.

“This kind of attitude is common in people with chronic pain. We tend to be driven, Type A people. I always have compassion for friends and family, and now I’m learning to have compassion for me.”

“I’m living in the present much more – not so worried about the future.

“I’ve been recommending this course to a lot of people and I tell myself the money I’ve invested in this is worth 100x what I paid. It’s life changing really. When I look at where I was, and where I am now, I’m very sure I wouldn’t have gotten here without Life After Pain.”

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