If you like to learn from videos there are many generally useful ones on the YouTube Chronic Pain Science channel. My current favorite video on the site (with the possible exception of my own 3 minute video) is by the distinguished chronic pain researcher Howard Schubiner in his talk at Google.
Other wonderful talks incluce Lorimer Moseley M.D. Body in mind – the role of the brain in chronic pain. This YouTube video has a great story about how meaning affects the experience of pain starting at 2:00, but I recommend watching the whole thing for some of the first research studies that are relevant to retraining the brain.
Daniel J. Clauw M.D. Chronic Pain – Is it All in Their Head? Wonderful YouTube video about the downward spiral of pain/(inactivity, lack of sleep, stress) and its reversal starting 1:14 after a great discussion about the differences between chronic “brain pain” and acute (nociceptive) pain.
www.painrelievers.org is a wonderful website by a local psychologist, Dr. Ken Pfeiffer, who cured his own debilitating back pain using brain retraining techniques that he shares on the website. Not only is the material on the website wonderful, but he writes: Please feel free to email me regarding anything on this website. Questions, comments, feedback, all are welcome. I always answer your questions promptly.
All Care Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice has a comprehensive web document on the modern theory of pain. allcare.org/CancerPain-and-SymptomManagement/comfort/cfm2/cfm2_cont.htm#5e
You can find a practitioner directory for experts in the Sarno method on this website: tmswiki.org/ppd/An_Introduction_to_Tension_Myositis_Syndrome_(TMS)
Though there are lots of professionals in the Santa Barbara that will prescribe pain killers and perform physical procedures such as implanting stimulators and infusion devices, the only two professionals that I have been able to find, so far, that can help with retraining the brain are:
2) Susan Farber, MFT, 22 W. Micheltorena St. Suite B (805) 886-5538 and 240 East Highway 246 Suite 210 Buellton, CA 93427
If you find someone else, please let me know so I can add them to this evolving document.
Everyone I have met with chronic pain believes that their pain is due to a problem in the body. But there is no way of knowing if this is the case because of sensitization. And as long as the focus of therapy is on the “problem in the body”, recovery is hopeless because of sensitization.
For all but one person whom I have met that has reduced sensitization, it has turned out that there was no significant underlying body problem anymore. Their bodies had healed, but the pain had continued due to sensitization in the same or nearby location to where it had begun, leading to the confusion. This includes cases of diagnosed long term chronic pain from shingles, from sciatica, from bursitis, and from a galaxy of “abnormalities” seen in X-rays, especially of the lower back. The one exception was from diabetic neuropathy.
Once you have retrained your brain to return your sensitization to normal, your chronic pain will be gone or greatly reduced. Any remaining signals coming from the body, such as from an incurable disease like diabetic neuropathy, can then be dealt with by retraining your brain to make better choices about what is in your conscious awareness (distraction) and by reducing the unpleasantness associated with the signals coming from the body with meditation and with affirmations. A very useful affirmation is: “I feel that. It’s of no importance.”