“VERIFYING VISUAL VERBIAGE”: WORD ASSOCIATION AND IMAGERY IN MANAGING PAIN, OR RATHER “UNEASY AWARENESS/CONSCIOUSNESS/PERCEPTION” – Wendy Blanchard, M.S., INHC, CPS

In my continued work professionally, and personally seeking a deeper understanding of the mind/body connection, I have learned a simple, yet very effective technique when it comes to experiencing and diminishing  physical pain from whatever dis-ease, or dis-order that which we are experiencing.

If we are willing to change our verbiage, meaning that rather than using descriptions such as “the pain is like a knife stabbing me in the stomach,” where our mind immediately visualizes that thought sending a signal to our body at the specific area which we are describing, using a “gentler” term rewires the amygdala part of the brain. The amygdala “plays a key role in emotional responses and affective states and disorders such as learned fear, anxiety and depression. The amygdala has also emerged as an important brain center for the emotional-affective dimension of pain and for pain modulation. Changing your language will change the way in which your neural circuitry is programmed to respond to pain signals. You won’t be processing them as pain, rather processing as an “uneasy, awareness, consciousness, or perception.”

What is a “gentler term?” Try mindfully using terms like “I am feeling an uneasy awareness in my tummy.” In addition, if we believe that, and continue to think thoughts that tell our body that we will not heal, we are too unwell, or this is hopeless, the body will, in response, create these neurological responses to the subconscious thoughts that are in your swirling around in your brain.

In order to diminish, and even reverse physical symptoms, you must empower your amygdala’s response to pain by reprogramming through what I have termed “verifying visual verbiage.” Choose your gentler term mindfully, state it aloud, visualize it…as much as you need to throughout your journey. It will be different for everyone. Allow this to become your personal “health coach” as you work with your medical team of professionals whether it is traditional medicine, holistic medicine, or a combination of both.

I am feeling “stabbing pain,” which the brain commutes into a catastrophizing event, where we hop onto the hamster wheel of an unwell body/mind connection and pain response, or choosing a “gentler” thought and visualization like, “I am feeling an uneasy consciousness, and I am visualizing healing light, (or whatever visual imagery is healing for you,) gently surrounding this awareness, shrinking, and soothing my body.”

The image that you choose has an impact in the way in which the brain responds.

It really is…

ALL IN YOUR MIND.

This is all a form of mindfulness, awareness, and self regulation.

Whether you believe that you will heal, or whether you believe that you will not heal, that’s right!

Some suggestions for positive affirmations: “It feels good to feel good.” “When I see wellness, I expand wellness.” “I am healing.” “I perceive an uneasiness that I can calm with my breathing.” “This is fixable!” “I will take my time because if I give my body the time it needs, it will heal.” And, using our breath to de-escalate fear that is associated with chronic or long term pain, can speed up the process. Our breath is our most accessible tool in intervening in real time with our physiology and nervous system! You have everything that you need to heal within you!

I would love to share my journey of pain management through positive “visual verbiage” and the power of positive thinking, writing, speaking, with you! For more information, please email me at wendyblanchard044@gmail.com.

Wishing you wellness!

Love and blessings,

Wendy

Wendy Blanchard, M.S., CHHC, CPS