Chronic pain and other conditions
When we experience pain and other chronic conditions there is a complex interplay between many of the systems within our body. This is especially true where there is central or peripheral sensitisation*, in conditions such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, in chronic gastro-intestinal disorders and in many auto-immune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Where a trauma has occurred it adds a strong emotional and psychological layer which becomes entwined with the physical symptoms. This has a direct impact on both the symptoms themselves and how we experience these symptoms.
Most chronic conditions involve an interaction between the tissues of the body, the peripheral and central nervous systems, the immune and hormonal systems. The gut is a good example of this association. Indeed the gut has such a close relationship with the nervous and immune systems and is sensitive to a range of hormones and chemicals, that it often becomes involved. This leads, in turn, to a range of gastro-intestinal disturbances.
In Ortho-Bionomy we are able to interact with the tissues and nervous system in a way that not only reduces any tension or inflammation that may be present in the tissues themselves but allows any local or central hypersensitivity within the nervous system to settle down. In turn, this has an impact on both our immune and endocrine systems and the way that they are able to respond to demands upon them. As these systems become less reactive, we start to notice that our body has resources we can strengthen and of which we can make much more use.
“It enables us to develop much more resilience
…and creates the conditions through which the trauma can resolve.”
Where our condition involves pain we can begin to modify the way our nervous system processes the pain. In Ortho-Bionomy we do this by paying attention to what is comfortable and where the ease is within the tissues and the body in general. By changing the sensations that are being sent to the central nervous system, the messages that return are also modified. It also changes what we are paying attention to and from this vantage point we can observe the effect it has on our experience of the pain.
This is essential where there is either a peripheral sensitisation, such as in complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS); or where there is a central sensitisation , which can happen in many chronic pain conditions.
Chronic pain also comes with an emotional and psychological cost. It is often accompanied by an over arousal of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). This is the part of the nervous system which is responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response and for our ability to feel calm. Over-arousal is also true where a trauma is involved – either as an event which precipitated the chronic condition; or where there is an earlier or childhood trauma that has left us without the capacity to adequately balance the ANS.
In Ortho-Bionomy we are not imposing anything but supporting any ease or capacity within all of our body systems. There is nothing to fight and nothing to escape from so the arousal within our nervous system is able to settle and we feel able to truly rest. This has a profound effect on our emotional responses to the pain, fatigue or traumatic event. It quietly enables us to develop much more resilience in the part of the nervous system that regulates our ‘fight or flight’ response and creates the conditions through which the trauma can resolve.
As our nervous system settles and our endocrine and immune systems are affected it can have a marked effect on other chronic conditions we may be experiencing. In an auto-immune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, Ortho-Bionomy not only allows us to alleviate the pain in the tissues themselves but also has an impact on the underlying causes through its effect on the immune and endocrine systems themselves.
If you would like to talk to Hugh or make an appointment, he is available in Thirroul and Bondi and can be contacted on 0430 436 605. Alternatively, phone either clinic directly.
*Peripheral and Central Sensitisation – This is where either the nerve endings (peripheral) or the central nervous system (central) become more sensitive to stimuli or sensory input. In peripheral sensitisation the threshold for painful stimuli becomes lowered at the site of the injury. This is in contrast to Central Sensitisation where there is an increase in the excitability of the neurons in the central nervous system itself.