Brain Plasticity - Advantages of Journaling

Having recently graduated from occasional pain due to a deteriorating spinal condition to constant pain, I am interested in any and all means to control or cure it.  I have experimented with a variety of exercises I have learned from physio, chiropractic and the internet.  I discovered a routine of exercises that has helped to reduce the intensity of the pain.  What I had noticed is  the pain is either absent or less intrusive when I am focused on activities that fully occupy my mind in meetings with my business clients.  I am also free of pain when I play Pickleball on Mondays, although I suffer afterwards.

I have begun reading Norma Doidge's second book on brain plasticity, 'The Brains Way of Healing'. The first chapter is on Chronic Pain and explains why I have less or no experience of pain when my brain is otherwise occupied.  Very simply, the brain has the remarkable ability of blocking severe pain in other parts of the body. It is possible to use the power of the conscious brain to lessen or eliminate the pain in the moment and by sustained effort eradicate persistent pain. 

I have begun to experiment with my back pain using the simple strategies that he suggests.  

I have learned that the best way to change any behaviour is to catch myself in the act.  So far, I have become aware of occasions when the pain spikes and have simply focused on my breathing so that my brain is otherwise occupied and the pain immediately lessens.  This result is congruent with what I have noticed in my work and playing Pickleball.

I plan to use my Happy Heart daily journaling to chronicle and monitor my progress towards the eventual eradication of my persistent pain. [Russell]