Sunday, May 30, 2010

Surgery Without Anesthesia - Lessons for Chronic Pain & Fibromyalgia

Surgery without anesthesia. Can these unbelievable feats help people who live every day in pain? I believe they can. You can read about in my new book, Unbelievable pain Control.

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Victor Rausch. Actually, I was a student in a workshop he led for the Ontario Society of Clinical Hypnosis. He was quiet and very intense. This was part of his power and charisma, I believe. Later on, he helped with the book I was writing, by sending me videotapes of himself undergoing complex dental surgeries, without anesthesia or medication. Previously, he had documented undergoing abdominal surgery (without anesthesia) in a well-known journal.

It is clear, from Dr. Rausch's work that his control over pain has nothing to do with willpower. He does not try to force himself to feel no pain or to overpower the pain. In fact, such an approach would lead to more pain and less control.

This is a common message to my patients as I try to help them in their battle with long-term pain. The message is - If you go to war with  pain, pain will always win.

Unfortunately, this is how some people who live with chronic pain and fibromyalgia try to manage. People with limitations want to be able to do more. This is understandable. And sometimes, forcing yourself to do more is the only option available. But, forcing yourself to do more will not reduce your pain or lessen your suffering. It may help your life by catching up a little, or doing some very important activity. Only you know whether or not your activity was worth the extra pain it caused.

What is important is your approach. You want to work with your injured body, not against it. You want to be as realistic as possible about your pain and limitations and make informed decisions the best you can. Dr. Rausch did not try and pretend that surgery was any less painful that it is. He makes sure that he knows exactly what he is up against and then prepares himself for the task ahead.

Few people would even consider surgery without some sort of medication. But, we can all learn from Dr. Rausch's accomplishments. He has made an incredible contribution.

Stay tuned. I will be writing more about his fascinating topic in posts to come.

Yours with care,

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