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MODULE 4 (Bonus):
Pain Integration Exercise Video

Today you’ll be seeing a simple, powerful tool to use when you’re experiencing pain, and you want a drug-free option for handling it. This technique, developed by Dr. Donny Epstein, is called the Pain Integration Experience (PIE)…and who doesn’t like PIE?

You can start by really getting that pain isn’t the enemy – it’s a messenger with a message. The way that you relate to pain often determines whether you get the message, or if that messenger has to keep knocking louder and louder to get your attention! How would it feel to get the message, so that you don’t need the messenger?

When you fight against pain or try to get rid of it, you are living from your “inner lizard” or “mouse”, the lower centers of your brain, rather than the parts known for making great long-term choices.

When you get curious about pain and get to know it in the languages of the reptile brain (sensation) and the rodent brain (sound, vision and emotion), you are putting your human brain back in the driver’s seat. That allows you to break free of the hijacking that creates unnecessary chronic pain, so you can actually discover the wisdom. You CAN get the message so you can make the changes needed for you to heal!

This exercise has a few parts:

  • Discover the center of the painful experience. Where is it the worst?
  • Take a breath and connect to that place, as you’ve learned in the Stage 1 exercise
  • Connect to the pain using different senses. This helps break down a “stuck” pain signal by using other, supportive nerves
  • Notice the quality of the pain and “describe it” with your free hand. Is it pulsing, throbbing, moving, holding, or doing something else?  This helps you integrate the sensation through your “movement” nerves
  • Notice the “color” of the pain and verbalize it. This helps you integrate the sensation through your “visual” nerves
  • Notice the “sound” of the pain and vocalize it. This helps you engage your auditory and emotional nerves. Make the sound for 7-12 seconds. That’s what it takes to “Reset” this center of your brain and can help dissipate pain.  Remember that you can suffer in silence or set yourself free with sound, so let that sound out
  • Now, you’re going to discover the boundaries around the painful experience. Find the “fence” that contains the pain.  You’ll find that there’s a place where it starts to change and, if you go any farther away, there’s no sense of pain
  • Repeat the steps from above
  • Lastly, discover the non-painful experience across the border from pain!!! Get to know what it’s like to feel something good! You can be so intimate with your pain and problems!  Stop and give your brain something good to move toward
  • Repeat the steps from above with the bonafide GOOD experience
  • You’ll know you’ve found something really healthy and good when your brain visually perceives it as white, a bright green, or blue
  • Alternate between these 2-3 times and notice what’s different
  • If the area of pain changes in its level of pain, its location, its sound, its color (especially if it becomes white, bright green or bright blue), your nerve system is working on it). If it just plain disappears, your nerve system is working on integrating it. If the pain goes away, don’t go looking for it again.  Don’t hunt for it when it disappears. LEAVE IT ALONE!  You wanted it to change in the first place, and now it has!
Over time (or sometimes after the first use), you will discover the “voice” from which the pain was really speaking. Pain ALWAYS means you need to make a change.  The question is what KIND of change? As your nerve system starts integrating the message, the bound information behind the pain, you may discover that the pain was sharing one of four common “themes”:
  • The Pain of Avoiding reflects that you need greater connection with your body and emotions, or that there’s not enough energy for them to function. Those are the parts of you that need your attention
  • The Pain of Managing reflects that you don’t have enough energy to manage your stress or situation. You’re using too much energy to handle what’s happening. There is an easier way
  • The Pain of Not Making Progress reflects how you’ve outgrown one level of life, and it’s time to transform to the next version of you. It may also mean that you don’t have enough energy to progress, and it’s time to recharge before you attempt to make those necessary changes.
  • The Pain of Not Knowing the Gift reflects a lack of connection to what really, truly matters. It can also reflect a lack of energy to express your gifts and receive others as gifts. It’s time to reframe what’s really important, fill up your heart, and be grateful for others.
Use this exercise any time you are experiencing pain – whether physical pain or any other kind of experience that painfully interrupts your life! Otherwise, keep using the Stage 1 exercise daily until your next set of videos… where you’ll be learning Stage 2!


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