I’m life coach and counselor Peter Winslow. Welcome to part four of our series on the science of natural healing from chronic pain. We have so far learned that the key to recovery from chronic conditions is found in the phenomenon of “neuroplasticity.”
Neurologists have discovered that neuroplasticity works in two ways; it can be either positive or negative. An example of negative plasticity: many elderly people are understandably afraid of falling. Trying to avoid an accident by looking down at the ground in front of them while they walk narrows their field of vision which in turn trains the brain to decrease physical coordination and balance. The resulting changes in the brain actually impair physical mobility and increase the likelihood of a fall, the one thing they were focused on, but trying to prevent.
Researchers tell us that chronic pain is also an example of negative plasticity. It’s the result of the brain repeatedly firing signals on specific neural pathways over time until what was once temporary information becomes an ingrained habit.
It’s like driving a truck on a muddy dirt road; the more you drive over them, the deeper the grooves become. The repeated pain sensations in your body construct an “information superhighway” on the roadmap of the brain, but it is not necessarily a permanent fixture.
Researchers have learned that chronic pain in the body can be reversed through neuroplasticity in the brain. You simply have to adopt the specific habits, behaviors and exercises that replace the old habits and patterns of the past.
If you want to build a healthier body than the one you’ve got now, you can certainly do it. Incorporating mind-body techniques into your exercise regimen is proven to reverse chronic pain and illness, and the sooner you begin, the better off you’ll be.