How I deal with my Constant Pain

Constant pain is my normal. For the first 30 years of life, I treated my body like crap. Poisoning it with sugar and caffeine. Sitting at a computer all day and not exercising even in the simplest ways. I allowed myself to reach 175kg, bringing with it knee, ankle and lower back issues.

I remember I was around 15, slouching very low in my chair watching TV. My back was sore but I couldn’t be bothered moving. Two thoughts circled my mind: I’m young, I’ll be fine; I’ll worry about it when I’m older. Well, I’m older now and forced to worry about it.

Constant pain Teddy bear

Even though I’ve shed the weight, I made lasting damage. I’ve endured knee surgery to ensure I could run more than two steps before buckling. For two years I travelled to every pain specialist, physio and rehab guru I could find. Nothing worked.

Searching for Options

My doctor at the time referred me the “best back specialists in the business” with the added chestnut “if they can’t help no one can”. My naivety took that to mean my issues would be solved.

Over a three week period, I saw them twice, travelling 2 hours to reach them. Day 1 was a 10-minute consultation, then a couple of weeks later a 30-minute test procedure to see if their plan would work. Their proposed solution: burn out my nerves so the pain wouldn’t register. Seemed extreme but it offered hope. After spending thousands of dollars I didn’t have for what amounted to a guided anaesthetic, they sent me home and asked me to rate my pain over the next 12 hours.

My constant back pain gave the specialists two solid middle fingers. The phone call later that day broke my spirit. They told me bluntly there is nothing they can do and essentially asked me to go away.

Mental Relief

calming statue

After the initial shock, I actually felt relieved. I no longer needed to find a solution. The answer was: this is my normal. No more wasted money, no more waiting to be better. I decided right then that I could work around it as best I can, to make the most of the bad situation.

I did eventually find some temporary relief with very specific rehab exercises and Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). They allowed me to twist and turn my body into unusual positions, strengthening muscles, gaining flexibility and concentrating on something else instead of the constant pain.

Right there was the hidden secret I was looking for all along. Distracting my mind with something else and temporarily forgetting I was in constant pain. This worked while at the gym but what about the rest of the day?

I took me another few years to find the perfect option for me, and once I found it, I studied extensively to master it and be capable of helping others. That solution centred around focussing the mind with self-hypnosis.

Hakalau

I can tailor powerful hypnotic scripts that retrain how you think about pain and melt them away, but even those are not always available in the moment. The number one thing I use for a quick boost of pain relief is called Hakalau.

The basic process is this:

  • Look forward at a spot on a wall slightly above your eye line
  • Concentrate on that spot while taking a few deep breaths
  • Allow all thoughts to slip away and just focus on that spot
  • Expand your perception and notice you see more at the sides than you see in the centre
  • Ensure your eyes don’t move from that spot directly in front
  • Pay attention to the peripheral, far more than the central section of your vision
  • Remain in this state of awareness as long as possible
  • Notice how it feels to be in this state of mind
  • Notice the joy and ecstasy you feel the longer you remain here

After a few minutes of Hakalau, my pain slips away for hours. I feel more energy, can understand new topics better and retain information longer. Studies have shown that 15 minutes of Hakalau can keep you in this heightened awareness state for several hours.

Because I’ve been using this often, I can get relief in as little as 1 minute, though I started with 10 minutes at a time. When I’m struggling with a weights workout I complete the sets while going into Hakalau. I barely notice the routine and get through it with relative ease.

Real Advice

Of course, there are times I need to listen to my body and stop the activities due to extensive pain. Our body uses pain to tell us something isn’t right. If you know the pain is your normal then we can retrain ourselves to ignore it. Always speak to your doctors first, however. You don’t want to ignore and remove pain that is keeping you from further damage.

The mind extremely powerful and we can tap into that power to do amazing things. With the right guidance, your potential can soar and you can relive your own pain.

Enjoy Life. Get Healthy. Excel.

About the Author AJ Watson

AJ Watson was born and raised in the Australian gold rush town of Ballarat. He is a Life Coach specialising in Health and Wellbeing. You can discover more of his story in the About AJ page on www.ajcoaching.com.au

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