This unique CD shows you how to change the brain processes that maintain physical and emotional pain, using focused attention and bilateral brain stimulation. This CD can assist in the relieft of stress, anxiety, insomnia, and chronic and acute pain. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with the book of the same name.
If you would like the book that goes along with this CD, it can be purchased directly from Amazon.com
1. Pain Relief ( 22 min. )
2. Developing Healing Resources ( 21 min. )
3. Healing Music ( 10 min. )
4. Bilateral Stimulation ( 21 min. )
This CD utilizes a combination of focused attention and bilateral audio stimulation to change patterns of brain wave activity associated with pain. Although pain is primarily thought of as a bodily experience, all pain involves some degree of brain activity. While the circumstances that caused the pain may be unchangeable, the brain is "neuroplastic" - changeable by experience. It is this capacity that the CD is tapping into.
How does this CD work?
Your brain has a unique structure and functioning, which determines how it processes information. Your brain processes sensory information in a bottom-up direction: bodily sensations travel up the brain-stem, into the sensory-emotional areas of the brain, and finally the frontal cortex(thinking brain). Knowing this makes it easier to know how to Change Your Brain, and Change Your Pain. Have you ever noticed how when you feel negatively you think negatively, but when you try control negative feelings with your thoughts it doesn't work - other than temporarily? This is because sensory-emotional information mainly flows upwards, not downwards. The reason positive thinking doesn't work, when you are flooded with anxiety or pain, is because it's a top-down strategy - it goes against the flow. So the smart thing to do is to change the type of sensory information entering your brain.
This CD is designed to do that. The bilateral stimulation de-activates the frontal cortex and sends the information straight into the lower areas of your brain. The bilateral tones provide a very direct route to the sensory areas of the brain. Once your brain starts processing the bilateral stimulation, it changes the way pain is stored in your brain. All you have to do is think about whatever pain you want relief from, turn on the CD, and let your brain do the rest. Because of how the brain responds to this type of stimuli, you can't help but feel relaxed, mentally and physically. When you listen to the CD you'll notice two immediate effects:
- Your ability to hold your pain in your mind will change.
- The way you feel about your pain in your body will change.
The more you listen to the CD, the more your brain will "learn" to relax and feel differently. The best part is that it doesn't require any special effort on your part; all you have to do is think about the problem you want relief from, concentrate on the bilateral stimulation and let whatever happens happen.
How to get the most out of this CD
The CD contains four recordings of guided bilateral stimulation exercises, which you can use to soothe physical and emotional pain. The first track is designed to stimulate pain relief. This track includes guided exercises to help guide you through the change process. The second track is designed to help you discover your own personal healing resources, based on the changes generated by bilateral stimulation, again via guided instructions. The third track blends bilateral stimulation with soothing music to provide a healing emotional journey which will take you from pain to pleasure, or at least relief. There are hardly any instructions on this track, you just have to listen and let the music and the bilateral stimulation do their work. You may notice that your nervous system seems to hear the music differently, more purely. The fourth track is just bilateral tones, which you can use for many purposes ranging from relaxation to stress-management to sleep.
To get the most out of the bilateral stimulation you should always listen to this CD through stereo headphones. It also helps if you can focus on your pain both in terms of how you feel it in your body and how you perceive it mentally. You must be able to:
- Get some sort of mental representation of the problem in your mind, based on how it feels.
- Hold the problem in your mind whilst concentrating on the bilateral stimulation
- Have a non-judgemental attitude whilst listening to the bilateral stimulation.
- Notice any differences in how you feel in your body following the bilateral stimulation.
Remember when you are listening to the bilateral stimulation, that you can control how much or how little attention you want to pay to it, depending on what feels right for you. If you are feeling a lot of pain, you might want to pay more attention to the bilateral stimulation to take your mind off the pain. But if you are not feeling that bad, you might only need to attend to the bilateral stimulation as a secondary, background stimulus. There is no "supposed-to" - just listen to the bilateral stimulation and let whatever happens happen. Because of the unique qualities and intent of this CD, you may need to adjust the volume on your audio equipment when listening to it.
You can also use the CD to help stimulate sleep. Listening to bilateral stimulation disrupts your thinking and facilitates relaxation, which makes falling asleep easier. Try listening to tracks 3 and 4 in bed, with your audio equipment set to a low volume. As always, attend to any pain or stress with your mind, switch on the bilateral stimulation track and "let whatever happens happen". Alternatively, you may just let your mind be empty and let your brain respond to the bilateral stimulation in whatever way it wants. Many people find that the bilateral stimulation seems to "switch off" their minds. The more you do this, the easier you will find it to fall asleep.
Your can also use your responses to bilateral stimulation as a bottom up way of changing your thinking. This simply involves focusing on the bilateral stimulation whilst simultaneously concentrating on a stress or pain, noticing any feelings of relaxation and relief, and re-interpreting any negative attitudes or beliefs in the light of those feelings. For example, Jerry felt anxious about a surgical procedure he had to have. "I've got no control - what if I die?" he thought. When he listened to the bilateral stimulation whilst focusing on his anxiety, it made him feel calmer about the surgery. "It's a pretty routine thing. I'll be alright, " he realized.
Bilateral stimulation is derived from EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing), and innovative and particularly efficient treatment of PTSD and, increasingly, physical pain. Bilateral stimulation was "discovered" by Dr. Francine Shapiro, who built EMDR around this discovery. Bilateral stimulation has been found to stimulate physiological changes consistent with relaxation, including decreased respiration rate, decreased systolic blood pressure and a decrease in galvanic skin response. Brain scans of PTSD sufferers who have experienced bilateral stimulation suggest that this process actually changes physical and neurological activity associated with painful memories.
If you suffer froma dissociative disorder psychosis or epilepsy, you should not use this CD without professional supervision as the bilateral stimulation can trigger physiological changes associated with these states. If in doubt, you should consult an EMDR-trained therapist who specializes in the treatment of these disorders.
For more information visit www.overcomingpain.com
About Mark Grant
Mark Grant is a psychologist with over 20 years experience treating sufferers of pain and stress. Mark has been developing and researching the use of EMDR in the treatment of chronic pain for over 15 years. In addition to his clinical work Mark has studied and written about the problem of stress and pain, mainly for fellow professionals, although his ideas have also been cited in the New York Times (11/6/7 - 'Living With Pain That Just Won't Go Away'). Mark is the author of a chapter in the edited volume Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing EMDR Scripted Protocols (Springer, 2008) and the forthcoming clinician guide/self-help manual " Change Your Brain Change Your Pain" and has published several articles on the subject, including in the Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology. Mark has presented at conferences and workshops in Australia , the Americas and Europe . His self-help CD's were the subject of an award of merit for didactic material from the University Education Distancia ( Madrid ) in 2007. Since 2005 Mark has worked in partnership with his wife Ana , who is also a psychologist. He was the chairman of the EMDR Association of Australia from 2000 – 2008.