You Are Bigger Than the Pain

Contributed by Rabbi Daniel Lev

Most people seek help from physicians when they have a medical problem. That works best for those conditions that can be fully healed. Unfortunately, chronic pain and illness are usually not curable and repeated visits to doctors or swallowing lot of pills does not often make much of a difference to your pain condition. There are two interconnected options offered in my book “You are Bigger than the Pain,” that you can draw on when traditional and alternative medicine don’t significantly reduce the hurt. The first option is simply this: you have you. Rather than overly depending on healthcare providers and treatments, you can use your own resources, efforts, and skills to change what your doctors can’t.

The second option is based on the fact that the more you focus on pain, the worse it gets. This is because when you do that, emotional misery and stress increase and this sensitizes your nervous system to feel more pain. Instead of focusing on chronic pain by trying to avoid, accept, or manage it, you can direct your attention and efforts towards Comfort, which combines a positive emotional state and optimistic mind-set. Those who focus on pursuing Comfort tend to desensitize their brain to pain and end up “living life” rather than “living with the pain.” The approach and skills offered in this book can help you carry out this Comfort-centered option.

About Dr. Lev

Dr Lev is a licensed clinical psychologist who for the last twenty-four-years has adapted meditation, hypnosis, and other “Comfort Skills” to help many people in chronic pain to find their way to increased comfort and a better life. He presently serves the people of Hawaii on the Island of Oahu through his private practice, The Comfort Clinic, and through his work in the Interdisciplinary Pain Program of Premier Medical Group-Hawaii. You can contact him through ComfortClinic.org.

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