Heal Your Own Pain Research Findings from Logan Hyperdome Chiropractic Centre
I'm excited to tell you about the results that we have obtained from a research program that I have been conducting, looking at the effects of emotions on physical pain.
In this study we have found positive correlations between experiencing emotions and improvements in pain levels, and we have had three participants be almost freed of chronic pain that they had been experiencing for between approximately 15 to 30 years.
But first some background to the program...
Nearly two years ago I started a collaboration with a chiropractor friend of mine, John Swatland, who runs a chiropractic centre in Logan, Queensland. We wanted to help people see that they can heal their chronic pain by dealing with the emotional cause, and we also wanted to gather scientific evidence, to help build the mounting evidence for an emotional cause to our physical problems.
(For more information about the scientific evidence for emotions affecting our pain, see the book discussed here.)
We recruited approximately 25 participants who attended the chiropractic centre, and who were open to the fact that their emotions may cause their pain, and who were willing to listen to me and engage with this idea.
Many of these participants had been experiencing chronic pain for between 10 and 40 years. These were our experimental group.
This group attended our introductory and Q&A sessions (see here for videos of the presentations), describing the process of dealing with emotions to remove pain, and they also received free copies of my books (which can be downloaded for free here).
We also recruited approximately 21 participants to act as our control group, who were also suffering from chronic pain and who attended the chiropractic centre, but who were not open to hearing about an emotional cause to their pain.
Initially there were no significant differences between the pain levels in the two groups.
We asked both groups to fill out quesitonnaires regularly over the course of 15 months, to report back about their pain levels, and their emotional experiences.
During the program participants continued to receive chiropractic care, but did not make any changes to their pain medication or chiropractic regime.
Over time there were a number of withdrawals from the program, leaving us with 13 participants in the experimental group and 16 in the control group.
We noticed that many in the experimental group did not find it easy to acess their emotions, which was expected, since we have many fears and beliefs inside of us, which we have been taught by society, that tell us that experiencing emotions is not a good idea. So we have to work through those feelings and against society in order to gain access to those emotions that are creating our physical ailments, which is not easy.
Having a small number of people in group made it difficult to get scientifically meaningful data when comparing each group. However, when I combined the data from both groups, to give us a large enough sample size, and looked out how their pain varied with emotions, we got some very interesting results.
Below is a selection of the findings, and in time I will write up a full report with all of the results, which will be available on this website.
Over the 15 month period of collecting data, as a group, we saw no significant change in the overall pain levels of either group:
This graph shows no significant change in the pain scores of participants in the experimental group (n=13) and participants in the control group (n=16) over the 15 month period of the research program
Combined data from both groups, showing the relationship between emotions and pain
When I combined the data from both groups, what we found was that there was a positive correlation between the participants (in both groups) having intense emotional experiences, and their pain alleviating, or disappearing, as shown in the graphs below:
This graph shows that as participants experienced more intense emotions, their pain was more likely to disappear (n=76, p<0.05)
Out of the negative emotions experienced by the participants, a significant correlation was found between the experience of grief and alleviation of pain:
This graph shows that as participants experienced more grief, and cried more, their pain was more likely to go away (n=76, p<0.05)
A correlation was also found between participants experiencing emotions relating to their childhoods, and their pain getting better, as well as their pain getting better when they grew in awareness about their emotions:
This graph shows that when participants experienced emotions relating to their childhood, their pain was more likely to go away (n=76, p<0.05)
This graph shows that as participants became more aware of their emotions, their pain was more likely to go away (n=76, p<0.05), showing that just a reduction in denial of painful emotions is helpful to reduce pain
The really exciting part came when I interviewed several of the participants from the experimental group who had reported significant improvements in their pain following experiencing painful emotions.
Three participants who had been in severe chronic pain for between 15 and 30 years are almost completely cured of their physical pain.
One participant had carpel tunnel syndrome for nearly 20 years, which had previously been debilitating, and sometimes unsafe to drive with. She experienced some grief about some past hurt in her relationship, and now her pain is much milder when it does return. And now, when it does arise, she allows herself to feel her emotions, and the pain quickly goes away again. She no longer as any problems driving.
Another participant had broken his neck over 30 years ago, and had experienced neck pain on and off ever since. But once he went through some emotional experiences relating to his relationship with his daughter, and his demands upon her, his pain has almost disappeared, and now he barely notices it.
Another participant had broken her elbow nearly 20 years ago, and had pain in her left arm ever since. She allowed herself to feel what emotions she was denying when the pain in her arm flared up, rather than talk herself out of her feelings.
She found the pain was related to feeling like she was being blamed for problems at work, which she allowed herself to feel about - by experiencing first some anger and then some grief.
Her pain has almost completely gone now, and whereas before she always had weakness in her arm, she is now able to go to the gym and do push ups and other weight bearing exercises, which she could never do before.
She has also reported that she feels more relaxed now within herself, she is no longer blamed at work, and she finds she is able to deal with people better.
While this is a preliminary study, I think it is very encouraging supporting evidence to show how much releasing negative emotions has a beneficial effect on our health, in addition to our relationships and mental wellbeing, and how we can rapidly turn our physical pain around if we are willing to feel our painful emotions.
This research is ongoing with collaborations that I have with several health practitioners around the world (see here), where we are seeking to build on these data to collect a large body of scientific evidence about the beneficial effects of feeling, and thereby releasing, our painful emotions.