Using Pain To Your Advantage– Like An Olympic Gold Medalist
When you watch the amazing feats of incredible athletes at the Rio Olympics it’s hard to comprehend that you have anything in common with any of them. At the same time, despite probably being one of the world’s worst swimmers I did keep my eye on Australian swimmer, Kyle Chalmers because we did grow up in the same town. I love the seaside town of Port Lincoln in South Australia but I admit that it is an odd place for an Olympic swimmer to grow up in, as it doesn’t even have a 50m pool. What it does have is a swimming area by the side of the local jetty that is surrounded by a massive steel cage to protect you from local great white sharks.
An interview with Kyle after he won the 100m freestyle gold, highlighted that we have even more in common…
Kyle Chalmers learned to listen to, trust, and USE the pain he experiences to his advantage…
“When I got to that last 15m and started burning up, I knew that I’d done so much training and could push myself. I glided a little bit into the wall but I didn’t have any more to give.”
What Chalmers said showed that an important part of his success was training his mind to enjoy and relish the pain of his exertion. To him, this pain signaled that he had given his all.
As a chiropractor who has spent the last 25 years helping people better manage and heal their physical pain, I also recommend that people ask themselves the same question:
“If your pain was your body telling you something for your overall good, what would it be telling you?”
With this approach, you don’t seek to avoid pain but you embrace any pain that you experience and use it as valuable feedback. For many, pain is a sign that you need to rest or you need to change certain lifestyle habits. If you listen to it and take appropriate action you begin to heal the underlying causes of pain.
Contrast this approach of listening and using pain to your advantage with those who, on experiencing physical pain like backaches, neck aches or headaches, seek to quickly ignore the pain or suppress it with pain killing medication. Suppressing valuable pain signals keeps you stuck in the lifestyle habits that contribute to the pain in the first place. Research by Dr. Holly Strausbaugh in the journal, Nature Medicine, indicates that the sensation of pain is helpful in the healing of inflamed joints.
Her studies show that when a joint is strained, the body sends out armies of cells called neutrophils that released chemicals that cause inflammation. But when the nerves around the affected joint fire off pain signals, these electrical alarms prevent any more neutrophils from entering the inflamed area.
In effect, the sensation of pain tells the inflammation-causing neutrophils to go away, which helps quell inflammation and promotes healing.
While you may never achieve a gold medal, if you adopt the Kyle Chalmers approach to embracing and listening to pain, you can achieve great success in winning the pain game.
And who knows? You may also inspire others around you to do the same.
Written by Dr. Paul Lanthois
Dr. Paul Lanthois is a Doctor of Chiropractic with over 23 years experience who has become a leading expert in what is fast becoming the New Standard For Pain Relief.
Having successfully overcome debilitating migraines and a fractured spine in his youth, Dr. Lanthois discovered that many times the most effective pain relief is to not to medicate or even treat the site of the pain, but to use the pain to your advantage.
With Dr. Lanthois’ own Lanthois Chronic Pain Relief Method, you learn to “use it to lose it.” You use your pain as a guide to seeing a bigger picture of your overall health and lifestyle.
He teaches how listening to your pain in this way helps you to translate your pain into positive holistic lifestyle action. This action, in combination with Dr. Lanthois’ revolutionary holistic treatment, not only helps you address the root cause of your pain but also are the keys to unlocking levels of energy and vitality that you thought weren’t possible.
Such has been the success of the Lanthois Method that is the subject of his upcoming book: Your Healthy Pain: Winning the Chronic Pain Game.
In addition to running his chiropractic practice in Queensland, Australia, Dr. Lanthois has also authored the top selling health and lifestyle guide “From Burnout to Balance in Four Weeks“. In addition, as part of the Your Healthy Pain Lifestyle book series, he has authored guides on Stretching, Fitness, Strength Training, Nutrition, Stress and Emotional Management.