Click here to join Team NLP Membership Club

How you think can make your pain worse

health mindset wellbeing Apr 10, 2022

How have the last two weeks been for you? 

I read a very interesting article called 'How you think about physical pain can make it worse'.  It's by Meryl Davids Landau referencing the work of Vitaly Napadow, a neuro scientist at Harvard Medical School.  It confirms the mind-body link that we NLP'ers have known and spoken about for many years.  With so many people searching for alternative approaches beyond the pharmaceutical options, this approach brings new hope.  One patient who had been in pain for 18 years was taught what is called 'pain reprocessing therapy'.  The goal was to reprogramme his brain by teaching him that his ongoing agony was not caused by lingering tissue injury but by misfiring neural circuits related to his dread of pain or what is often called 'catastrophising'.  

What the research has shown is that those people who 'catastrophise' in their heads about their pain thinking it will never get better, that it's going to be bad today or that it is ruining their life, find that this is more likely to play out in reality.  The research discovered that you can have very real, debilitating pain without any biomedical injury in your body because of changes in the pain processing pathways.  Some 66% of the pain reprocessing therapy patients became totally or nearly pain free when the treatment ended compared to 10% in the group that received no extra care.  So what next? 

  • The first step to using this type of approach is to take aim at 'catastrophising' and to change the thought.
  • Challenge your thinking. Ask yourself 'how do I know this is true?' and 'what is my evidence for this?'. 
  • Create a more useful thought to have instead such as more positive 'safety' messages and images rather than fear. 
  • Take yourself to a place in your mind where you feel totally safe and see, hear and get the feelings of being in that wonderful place.  
  • Use a scale of 1 - 10 to measure the level of the pain and to notice when it starts to subside

If you need more help our Team NLP coaches are there to assist.

And, please remember our offer of free online coaching to any Ukrainain refugees starting to arrive in the UK.  We can help.

Use this link to contact us:

With warm regards 

Lindsey and all at Team NLP




50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.