Creating the Habit of Turning Down Pain Sensitisation

“My mornings have gone from maybe a level 4 or 5 of pain, to a 1, if that.”

Below is an audio excerpt from the following session with a Katherine Cotter – a lady who had back pain following spine surgery. She then went through our course on treating pain sensitisation.

Katharine took the techniques we taught, chose the ones which made the most sense for her – and intelligently applied them. As you’ll hear, it took some tweaking and practice to get the formula right, but once she’d integrated it, she made fantastic progress.

This is so exciting for me too – because it mirrors the experience I had. I know how incredibly gratifying it is to first understand what’s going on, and then use that understanding to get your life back from chronic pain.

The key is consistency – making your practice a habit – so automatic it replaces completely the previous habits which where turning up your pain.

“I’ve practiced some of these methods or similar methods over the years, but I have to say, your practices that you suggest are so much more significant and effective than anything I’ve practiced in the past.”

“I’m much more engaged with my family. It’s been great. Thank you so much.”

Here’s Katharine’s story:

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Naomi: How are things going?

Katharine: Really well. I’m doing much better than before I started the course. It’s been life-changing for me. The breathing has been a huge, significant part of my improvement. I’ve gone beyond trying to do it as much as I can. I’ve really focused on breathing through my diaphragm all the time.

That’s made a huge difference with the trigger points. I’ve had a lot of trigger points, especially my right hip and down my right leg. Another thing that’s really helped me that you had mentioned, if you have pain that starts in your right hip, focus on your left hip. It really makes a difference, and it really does make the pain go away.

Katharine: I definitely have reactive pain, because my pain will travel. One time it will be in my right hip. It will be in my left hip. It will be in my low back. I’ve even noticed lately, my left foot, for some reason, has had pain. It’s all reactive.

What’s really helped me is the practice of switching my mind’s focus to another part of my body that isn’t experiencing pain. The other thing I’ve done is just the total distractions. The busier I am, the less focused I am on what’s happening with my body. The last time we talked, I had told you that mornings were my most difficult time, and you told me to really focus on my expectation of what my mornings were going to be like.

Katharine: You hit the nail on the head. I expected my mornings to be really challenging, and mentally prepared myself for that. I focused on stopping that. I even put a TV in my exercise room.

I had changed my format after my surgery, to where I would listen to yoga music while I stretched and worked out. I was really listening to what my body was doing, and looking for my pain. I actually put a television in the room. I’ve been watching this series, Madmen, which I’m really into. That distraction has had a significant affect. My mornings have gone from maybe a level 4 or 5 of pain, to a 1, if that.

Jonathan: Fantastic. By changing your expectation, and by then altering the cues that are there, you change everything. Well done.

Katharine: Yeah, it’s been huge for me. I’ve practiced some of these methods or similar methods over the years, but I have to say, your practices that you suggest are so much more significant and effective than anything I’ve practiced in the past. Just practice is key.

The longer you practice these methods, the more you’ll really hone in on the practice that’s most effective for you. Then the longer you practice that practice, you will see more significant improvement.

It can work for anybody. It just may take a little longer to get your body to respond to the right practice for you. You have to make that an engrained behavior to where it’s just second nature, and you no longer need sticky notes to remind yourself to think about these things.

Jonathan: That’s 100% right. The beginning is the hardest, which is the shifting from, “Oh, I’ve got to do this,” to, “I have laid down that neural pathway, and now that neural pathway just happens.”

The moment you think of your morning now, having done the work up until now, your expectation has changed. The neural pathways are different. The whole way that your pain system behaves, is different. Therefore, quite correctly, you now have an expectation that mornings are going to be great. To do it, you have to do the work.

Jonathan: That’s the difference between passive and active treatments. Passive treatments, you lie down, and someone does something to you. You put a pill in your mouth and expect the pill to do the work.

Active treatments are ones where you have to put in the work. The outcomes of active treatments, dwarf passive treatments. In other words, active treatments are so much more effective, but they’re harder. I just have this feeling that you get nothing for nothing. You really need to … and you’ve done it. Well done. I’m very pleased. That’s fabulous.

Katharine: Thank you. The other thing I just wanted to add is, it’s really nice that you guys are continuing to post videos of some of the sessions of the group you’re working with currently.

I re-listened to one that you talked about the journaling, and writing down just a confirmation of adding a new habit onto your process, and journaling that. That is significant. I had stopped doing that, so it was a good reminder to me to do that again.

There is something about that, faking it until you make it. Tell yourself, “This is going to be a great day.” It is. I used to have to do a lot of faking around my family and my kids, because if I’m in pain and having a bad day, everybody feels that, and it’s a downer.

I’ve been faking it for about two years, and now I don’t have to fake it anymore. I’m much more engaged with my family. It’s been great. Thank you so much.

Here’s where to find out more about what Katherine did, and see for yourself how it works for you >>>

robert colapinto May 9, 2016

Sorry for the delayed response – life is quite chaotic right now with family situations needing to be dwelt with now. I’m not sure your system will helpsince I have actual herniated discs in my lower back – physical damage causing physical pain. Can this systematic approach “end” my lower back pain (along with leg pain & numbness, etc.)?

    Naomi Kuttner July 17, 2016

    Every injury has a natural recovery time.
    If you’re still having pain long after an injury ‘should’ have healed – it’s often worth looking at pain sensitisation as a cause of chronic pain.


Considero esta es una propuesta muy importante para el abordaje de los dolores que cada vez se hacen mas frecuentes y constantes, gracias por dar luces.

[…] to Katherine’s story here to find out some of the techniques she used to produce a transformation to get her life back from […]

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