Which Came First, Mental Illness or Chronic Pain?

It is well known that people with anxiety, depression, insomnia, PTSD or other mental or emotional conditions also suffer from chronic pain.

Recently someone asked me. Which comes first?

  • Does pain or fibromyalgia cause anxiety?
  • Does PTSD give you headaches?
  • Does insomnia cause migraines?

Inflammation is the key

  • Mental illness can be linked to inflammation in the brain.
  • Pain can be inflammation in the body.

What are the causes of inflammation?

  • Toxins such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungus, mold, metals, pesticides and other chemicals.
  • The other main cause is your diet.
  • The first big problems are sugar, dairy, gluten or gains.

Can physical trauma be the problem?

  • You get in a car accident, you hurt your neck or back.
  • That pain becomes chronic, your life becomes very different.
  • You become sad and hopeless.
  • You gain weight because you do not have as much physical activity.
  • You become depressed.

This is a case where the physical pain is causing the emotional distress but it is a real emotional reaction to a real situation. It is a real loss that you are grieving about. It is situational because if the problem went away so would the depression.

However here is how a physical trauma may cause deep emotional or mental issues.

If you were in a car accident, a victim of a violent attack, were involved in a lifetime of playing football or other contact sport you may have suffered a blow to the head or multiple blows to the head. If as a baby you were involved in a traumatic birth that could also be a significant head trauma.

  • These blows to the head could cause inflammation in your brain.
  • We can see what the inflammation does to your brainwaves.
  • The inflammation can cause the right side of your brain to more dominant than the left side.
  • This puts you into a “fight or flight” situation.
  • This is known as “hyper vigilance.”
  • You can’t sleep, any little thing sets you off, you become anxious, and you may get diagnosed as PTSD.

If your brain is hyper vigilant what does it do to your body?

  • The nervous system will be over stimulated, your muscles spasm, your heart races, and your breathing increases.
  • Your digestive system shuts off you can’t digest when you are anxious.
  • You get bloating and gas.
  • You may become more sensitive to foods because your body perceives everything as an enemy.
  • Your body even perceives itself as an enemy.
  • It attacks itself and you get diagnosed with an auto immune disease.
  • Over time you get chronic digestive issues, chronic inflammation, chronic muscle spasms. You can’t sleep so you never get time to heal.

That is how a head injury can be the cause of inflammation that leads to both chronic pain and mental emotional problems.

More precisely your autonomic (autonomic) nervous system is off balance.

  • Your brain controls your autonomic (automatic) nervous system.
  • It controls your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and your emotions.
  • Some people call this the mind-body connection.

So what can be done?

  • With Brainwave Optimization we look at your brainwaves, turn them into musical tones and play them back to you.
  • You become aware of your own brainwaves and you brain re-calibrates itself. It is like tuning a piano.

When we get your brainwaves more balanced then your autonomic nervous system becomes more balanced. Then your mind/body connection becomes more balanced.

Who is a candidate for Brainwave Optimization?

  • If you had a head injury or emotional abuse or emotional trauma you are very likely to be a candidate.
  • Anyone who’s brainwaves are imbalanced is a candidate.
  • This is easily seen on an evaluation.