Ever feel like your body, brain or mind is close to the tipping point when it comes to pain?
Small injuries or minor physical setbacks might not seem like a big deal when they happen.
Yet your brain might go haywire and instead of helping, it begins to work against you.
See, your personal history of injuries (big and small), infections, emotional set backs, and traumas of all sorts can lead a brain to over respond even as a small injury heals.
The brain can go hyperactive and keeps sending chemicals of inflammation to the rescue, after the fact.
Cells called microglia acts as the immune system of the central nervous system.
To protect the brain, they swell up to create a buffer while they take care of the bad cells.
The good cells, however, can keep turning “on inflammation”, which is what we see happening in anxiety, chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, etc.
In other words, when we keep getting stressed, tensed out or we repeat certain physical activities with no relief, the microglia show up and create negative inflammation.
Not nice at all.
Minor or major stress can magnify the situation and get activated.
Not a Big Deal
Even what we might think is not a big deal such as “I was standing there, holding a piece of paper, not doing anything and I moved a little – and felt a little pinch”.
Initially, this may not be a big deal, but then throughout the course of day, this little thing starts to get worse, gets tighter and tighter and become more painful.
Even to the point of later preventing us from doing a little movement.
This period of activation can remain “on” for extended periods of time.
Then this can get set as a program which can lead to medical conditions such as chronic pain becoming the norm.
Press Play, Rewind
It’s no wonder some of us struggle with discomfort, injury or stiffness longer than we think it oughta be around.
Each week I see and hear athletes telling me about how they have to stay in the game, otherwise if they are substituted out and then go back in, they’ve re-tightened up by simply cooling down for a few minutes.
Unfortunately, this has been accepted as normal – when clearly it is not even though many deal with this program replaying itself over and over.
As the program continues to go haywire–say an accident happens–followed up by surgeries, pain medications and having to cope with the stress of getting it together undermines our ability to completely get over it.
Even though we think we oughta be able to handle it, we aren’t addressing the physiological mechanism to change and reverse the course back to our more comfortable self.
This can further make us feel down and bums us out.
Getting Pushed Past the Tipping Point
One by one. An slight bump here, a little bruise there, a sprain, a spasm, groaning to get up out of the chair, feeling old before we’re there, getting old and grumpy, a knee gone bad, stress on the job, tension at home, divorce, and the internet goes down (yeah not a big deal though it could stress us out), and so on.
The sum of our life experiences add up one by one to push us past the tipping point so the brain replays its response.
We get our negative experience yet again to the point of being chronic in many ways.
Can the tipping point be reversed?
When we go back to what mother nature affords us to restore and revitalize in our central nervous system, then we have a chance to reverse the tipping point and successfully climb out.
In many cases, you can reprogram both the brain and body so it can create comfort instead of amplifying pain, discomfort or stiffness.
How To Reverse the Tipping Point
This can be done via the sensory-motor system and a conscious reprogramming act called a pandiculation.
This works with the central nervous system to reset tension levels so you can feel more relaxed, comfortable and in control of your well-being.
This is facilitated by simple to do mindful motor control exercises done where you regain control of the brain and body while at the same time, you get to feel and experience deeper states of relaxation and how your muscles coordinate more easily for freer movement overall.
Recently, the American College of Physicians have come on board and are saying “this is the first to do to relieve pain“.
So when we go about this systematically, then we can re-right the ship and help get things back in order and in balance.
Then we life throws us another curve ball, we can rebalance readily.
The reverse on-off switch to turn back the tipping point
You see, you have the inherent ability to decrease stress and lower tension by increasing it consciously using your awareness.
This concept may sound backwards or counter-intuitive, yet in practice – physically speaking – this is how you turn what is negatively “on” positively “off”.
By consciously turning “on” the central nervous system by waking it up.
You change the painful, stiff or discomforting “on” signal “off’ by detuning or fine tuning it down so you can idle more in neutral and restore tension levels back to the comfort zone.
Similar to how a thermostat works to regulate the air temperature, your nervous system can be programmed to aid you rather than keep the on going program working against you.
While it isn’t easy to live in pain, constant stiffness or with high stress levels and chronic discomforts, there is a way out.
When our normal relaxed attention and focus is taken away, you can feel it shift or you can get used to it over time even though in the long run that is undermining our ability to restore ourself.
So if you can consciously tune into what it is you’ve either become accustomed to – or what is not healing in the way you think it oughta – like taking a little no big deal tumble or not being able to sit comfortably…
That very signal is the clue and target to tune down the brain and body going haywire.
Since force won’t help, a more laser focused and mindful use of the power of the brain and body lets us reach a personal comfort zone which can be secured with a little conscious practice to hit the target of feeling better.
By dialing into the haywire signal, you can fine-tune the pain activating signal or mechanism so it can reverse course.
The resetting and recalibrating begins to happen with what some have called conscious micro-movements or professionally known as motor control exercises where you move with minimal effort while dialing into the subtle tiny adjustments and feelings or sense perceptions so change happens readily.
There is both an art and practice to get back to your former happy pain-freer self which nature has set up for you to access at any minute.
Through a series of trial and error easy, gentle movements and a systematic approach, the ability to feel relaxation returns.
The fact is you can tune down what is turned negatively “on” because the switch has been activated to inhibit and end the pain, stiffness and discomforts by starting small in order to get back to living more fully.
Afterwards the nervous system acts to continue to decrease the output or charge so relaxing feelings return. It’s like giving yourself a hot tub treatment using your brain and body.
In nature, this is how all healthy animals with a spine self-regulate to remain agile, comfortable and nimble.
Use the brain and body together to move well with daily reprogramming that most of us aren’t aware of, even though it is built into our living system to tap into.
When the human animal gets back to tuning in and restoring this lost art or natural process to calm the system, you get the:
and the knowledge you can replicate feelings of comfort.
You can do this as often as you need or when necessary to take out stress and tension from everyday life events which accumulate in the course of our busy lives.
While you can’t escape stress, you can take control of your central nervous system as best as you can and further the possibilities of a comfortable felt-sense of living.
When you remember how to do this – you can let things roll off of you like a duck ruffling its feathers.
You’ll have what appears to be an uncanny ability to regenerate.
This is how nature sets it up for us to learn how to wield this ability and not be held outta control by feeling how control needs to be regulated to move well.
Since there is evidence that your microglia cells “remember” prior assaults and turn things up painfully when necessary. They can stay on and fire up more quickly.
Same goes in the opposite direction.
The better you get at using the brain and body, you can bank on turning on those chemicals of relaxation on much faster too.
The American College of Physician have finally recognized that progressive relaxation, mindful-based stress reduction and motor control exercises are the way to go where you can even drop the acetaminophen for back pain.
According to Dr. Gary Kaplan, these 3 things seem certain:
√ The source of inflammation are tiny cells called microglia.
√ Your history of physical & emotional assaults add up and increase inflammation.
√ Chronic pain and depression are neurodegenerative conditions.
How to Reverse the Tipping Point Yourself
Knowledge is power. When you have the self-help tools to learn what to do for yourself. You can self-regulate the brain and enhance the nervous system to work for and with you.
Fortunately, we’ve systematized an approach to use both brain and body with gentle, small micro-movements (motor control) along with mindfully fine tuning coordination with a certain level of awareness to take you into deeper states of relaxation which restores the nervous system and your body’s basic feeling of comfort and well-being.
Now that you have a better understanding of the tipping point, you can choose to naturally heal, self-protect, self-learn, and have the self know-how to prevent and maintain your healthy state of living.