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Can our thoughts and feelings really impact our physical health? Join us as we interview top researchers, best-selling authors, and field experts about the astonishing ways the mind can affect the body. Powered by Curable, an online program that uses science-backed techniques to relieve chronic pain.
Today’s story comes from Brandon, a test engineer whose mysterious hand pains eventually led him into a year-long medical leave. He joins us on the show to share the specific steps he took to get from a daily pain level of 8 to a daily pain level of almost nothing.
What’s more effective at treating chronic back pain: the usual standard of care, a placebo, or psychotherapy? That’s the question Yoni Ashar, PhD, sought to answer in his latest randomized clinical trial. Join us as Dr. Ashar talks through the results of his study and breaks down what it all means for people in pain.
After 10 years of conflicting diagnoses and mysterious flare-ups, Dr. Etrian Lim had no idea whether she’d ever find relief from the litany of symptoms that plagued her. She found herself having to lie down between seeing patients, going to her own medical appointments almost daily, and occasionally using a wheelchair.
Join us as Dr. Lim shares what’s happened over the past year that led her to 80% symptom reduction and a quality of life she never thought she could find again.
Have you ever felt that you simply don’t have the time, resources, or emotional bandwidth that it would take to heal? You’re not alone. In fact, according to Dr. Trung Ngo, this is one of the most common barriers to healing success. From his experiences as a refugee from Vietnam to his clinical work with complex, chronic diseases, Dr. Ngo has gained a deep understanding of the process of overcoming hardships. His personal and professional experiences have ultimately led him to investigating “resilience”, a new field of research that is opening up different avenues of care for people who struggle with chronic pain.
On this episode, Dr. Ngo shares an exciting new tool he’s using with patients to help them create a safe space for healing in their environment: “The Weave.”
Nathan has struggled with symptoms of back pain, IBS, fatigue, and a laundry list of other ailments since the mid-90s. In this episode, he shares about his experience with John Sarno’s book “Healing Back Pain,” his subsequent discovery of how the science has evolved since the book was written, and his life-changing journey of rewiring and reducing all of his symptoms. Tune in to hear about his routine with the Curable app, experience with Nicole Sachs’s “Journal Speak” technique, and more.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy isn’t just a buzzword flying around the chronic pain community, it’s a well-established treatment approach with abundant evidence of effectiveness. That’s why Dr. Rachel Zoffness is on a mission to make it more accessible, cost-effective, and widely used. In this episode, Dr. Zoffness breaks CBT down into simple terms, providing actionable strategies that people in pain can use at home right now. Join us as she advises people in pain AND clinicians on how to harness the power of CBT safely and easily.
For 20 years, Stefanie Reyes has navigated life with IBS, migraines, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. Today, she’s optimistic that the next 20 years will look very different. After living life at what she calls “30% of herself” for two decades, Stefanie shares her hopes and plans for a future with less fear, more joy, and radical authenticity.
Millions of children struggle with persistent symptoms. Millions more watch their parents or loved ones struggle. What they see, hear, and experience during these formative years will have a lasting impact on their adult experience of pain. What can we do to make sure the next generation responds to pain in a healthier way than the generations before them? Dr. Joshua Pate joins us to explore possible solutions.
Dr. Les Aria found his love in an unlikely place - a chronic pain clinic. For the past 16 years, Dr. Aria’s passion been helping skeptics to believe that pain psychology can help to reduce their physical symptoms. Dr. Aria serves as the Lead Pain Psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Medical Group in Northern California, and has helped countless patients put doubt in their pocket and open their minds to a new way of thinking about pain. Join us to hear more about his unique approach.
Taking care of yourself is a resilient act, one that requires vulnerability, rest, and compassion.” That’s the advice that Kamil Lewis, AMFT, gives to her clients who are struggling with chronic pain. In this episode, Kamil offers validation and guidance on navigating experiences that contribute to chronic pain, like oppression, marginalization, and burnout. Join us to learn tips on building community, validating your experience, and reigniting your sex life in the face of chronic symptoms.
Why do modern pain science and treatment seem so different from one another right now? As a physician and consultant, Dr. Deepak Ravindran observes this gap across thousand of pain patients, providers, and organizations each year. On this episode, he explains how pain patients and practitioners alike can achieve better outcomes by closing their knowledge gaps about how pain really works. Join us to learn about the difference between pain and nociception, what fibromyalgia has in common with back pain, why trauma-informed care is the way of the future, and more.
Every day, we move through life unconsciously processing a wide range of emotions and anxieties. Whether we realize it or not, the way we handle (or don’t handle) these stresses produces a physiological response in the body. Dr. Allan Abbass explains how this works, why it’s important to understand, and how it leads so many folks down the path to chronic symptoms.
After recovering from 20 years of chronic migraine, mindful meditation & self compassion expert Jessica Dixon simply couldn’t go back to “life as she knew it.” Her healing journey had changed the way she experienced life physically, mentally, and emotionally. Deep down, she knew it was time for her talents to be redirected towards helping others find their own way down the healing path. Join us as Jessica shares her journey from chronic migraine sufferer to mindful self compassion coach, meditation expert, defender of healthy boundaries, and Curable Groups facilitator.
The road to recovery from chronic pain is unique for everyone. But according to Christie Uipi, the journey almost always holds a few predictable twists. As the former Associate Director of the Pain Psychology Center, Christie helped hundreds transform their relationship to pain. Join us as she shares the 5 lessons her patients usually end up learning the hard way, and how to plan for them in advance.
Nicole Sachs is no stranger to chronic pain. After overcoming her own physical pain and transforming her life, she knew that her calling would be to help others do the same. Her unique approach to doing that doesn’t involve pills or years of therapy; it simply requires an open mind, a pen, and a piece of paper. Join us as Nicole explains her philosophy and guides you in how to use her “Journal Speak” techniques at home.
Dr. Bethany Ranes is a research scientist with a background in cognitive neuroscience. She’s currently working on a project that could dramatically change the future of healthcare for chronic pain patients. Her team at UnitedHealth Group Research and Development is tasked with significantly improving chronic pain patient outcomes over the next 10 years. And to do that, they’re building a new system: one that’s more reflective of modern pain science and one that treats patients from a biological, psychological, and social perspective.
Grace Theisen is a musician, songwriter, entrepreneur, and activist - all of which are parts of her identity that got shoved to the side after she woke up one day with excruciating pain in her back. A pain that stuck around for the next seven years despite two intensive surgeries and thousands of dollars worth of treatment. Today, Grace has a pretty good idea of where it came from and why it kept getting worse, but it took her nearly a decade to get these answers and find a way to gain control over it and get her life back. Join us as Grace peels back the layers of her physical symptoms and rediscovers herself along the way.
Neuroscientist, writer, consultant, and coach Dr. Alex Korb has studied the brain for over 15 years. The more closely he studies conditions like depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and addiction, the more he realizes that they’re not so separate from one another. Join us as Dr. Korb explains how the brain gets stuck in downward spirals and how we can play a role in turning them upside down.
Advisory: This episode contains a brief story about suicide. If you are not in a position to listen to this story, please skip minutes 8-11 of the episode.
When it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction, Evelyn Hecht has seen it all in her 20+ years of experience: pain with sex, vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, urinary frequency, pain associated with endometriosis, pudendal neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, post-surgical symptoms, and more. Throughout her career, she has found that the journey OUT of pain is just as unique and individual as the journey INTO pain. That's why she treats her patients with a more holistic approach, looking beyond the diagnosis to help them connect their symptoms with life experiences, thought patterns, learned nervous system habits, and more. Join us as Evelyn discusses the tips, strategies, and ideas that have helped thousands heal from pelvic floor dysfunctions. Read an excerpt here »
Lowri has experienced some form of pain or illness since she was a child. Over the years, her symptoms have taken many forms - including vulvodynia, endometriosis pain, IBS, migraines, and more. After years of various treatments, she resigned herself to the fact that she'd simply be in pain forever. Last year, all of that changed. Join us as Lowri shares her stunning journey into self-discovery, healing, and hope. Read an excerpt here »
As a physical therapist and yoga therapist, Katie Estridge has always been interested in treating her patients as whole-minded individuals. Depending on a patient’s needs, her unique approach will draw from pain science, traditional rehabilitation exercise, meditation, gentle yoga flows, and more. Though her techniques have helped many to live a better life, she’s only recently discovered the missing piece in her own struggle with chronic pain: the ability to connect her lifelong grief and long-forgotten emotions with the migraines that ruled her days. Join us as she shares what she’s learned from working with the Curable app, and how she’s paying it forward to her patients. Read more here »
John Stracks, MD, has been helping patients overcome their chronic pain for over a decade. Then last year, during a particularly stressful period of his life, he faced a case of symptoms that he couldn’t immediately solve. The patient? Himself. Join us as Dr. Stracks takes a journey inward: re-learning how to listen to his body, finding new ways to move on from his past, and discovering lessons to pass along to his patients. Read more here »
David Schechter, MD, runs his medical practice at the intersection of two seemingly conflicting fields: sports medicine and mindbody medicine. After a brush with mindbody symptoms of his own, Dr. Schechter was treated by Dr. John Sarno during his residency - an experience that would shape the way he approaches injury and rehabilitation. Now, in his own practice, Dr. Schechter works with athletes and individuals to help them tease out what’s physical about their symptoms, whether psychology could play a role, and how to move forward. Read more here »
Nikki, a former hairstylist and esthetician, is no stranger to pain. After working on her feet for hours a day, she endured excruciating symptoms in her shoulders, neck, hands, and wrists. Her search for relief spanned years, and proved to be mostly fruitless. Then one day, she saw an ad for Curable - an app that would transform her outlook on pain and her relationship to her body in ways she never imagined.Listen here »
Could daily 'mind training’ be the simple answer to a life of health and happiness? Dr. Dan Siegel thinks so. That’s why he developed the “wheel of awareness” - a practice he outlines in his latest New York Times Bestselling book “Aware.” Join us as Dr. Siegel explains how he developed the wheel, and why he believes that mind training practices like this one are a giant piece of the puzzle when it comes to chronic pain. Read more here »
Recovering perfectionist Katie has always held herself to high standards. But after giving birth to two little boys, she soon realized that perfection and parenting don’t mix. In today’s episode, Katie explains how the pressure to be a perfect wife, mother, and businesswoman led to the development of frightening physical symptoms, and how cutting herself some slack became the key to finding relief. Read more here »
New York Times Bestselling author and investigative journalist Cathryn Jakobson Ramin spent 6 years researching back pain. Join us as she discusses the startling discoveries she made about the $100 billion dollar back pain industry, including: why largely ineffective spine surgery is still performed regularly, and what the data really says about the effectiveness of injections, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, posture, the role of the brain, the role of exercise, the emotional component of back pain, and more. Read an excerpt here »
Rachel had an unconventional job: climbing trees for a living. But when her knee pain and shoulder pain start to spread throughout her body, she had no choice but to stop working for several months. Plagued by tingling in her arms, back pain, neck pain, chest pain, and an array of other symptoms, Rachel was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia. After the drugs she was prescribed failed to make a difference, Rachel turned to yet another physician for answers. After two hours in the doctor’s office, Rachel emerged with a new understanding of what might be causing her pain. The next day, she turned to the Curable app to see what she could do about it. Listen to hear the full story of how Rachel was able to take back control over pain, resolve nearly all of her physical symptoms, and return to the job she loves in the treetops.
Read an excerpt here »
What does making a free-throw have to do with chronic pain? Quite a bit, actually. Jim Heafner, Doctor of Physical Therapy and co-author of the new ebook “Sticks and Stones: A Collection of Analogies and Stories to Better Understand Pain,” joins us to explain how pain becomes wired into your brain and nervous system, and how you can teach your body to break the habit. Read an excerpt here »
One morning, Kate woke up with a pain in her neck. She didn't think much of it until the symptoms started to spread to all over her body. Over the course of a year and a half, Kate experienced the sensation that something was stuck in her throat, lost range of motion and sensation in her left arm, lost the ability to grip with her left hand, experienced burning and tingling, suffered an ocular migraine, and was left unable to perform everyday tasks. Doctors hypothesized that it could be a brain tumor, a dental issue, or carpal tunnel syndrome, but tests kept coming back negative. At her wit's end, Kate finally found a doctor who listened to her and an app that supported her needs. That was the beginning of a healing journey she never thought possible.
Is it possible to help people reduce chronic pain just by using an app? The co-founders of Curable were hopeful that the answer would be “yes” - and it was. This episode continues our story as we follow John, Erich, and Laura in their quest to increase access to the tools and techniques that freed them from years of pain. Hear about how Curable got started, how it’s evolved, and how relapses of pain can be transformed into helpful reminders. Read an excerpt here »
In the years before the Curable App was born, its three founding members were plagued by dozens of unexplainable symptoms and chronic ailments. They spent years of wasted time, money, and effort searching for answers before finally being led to an approach that would eventually transform their health, mindset, and careers. On this episode, all three founders share their unique experience with pain and journey to recovery from a wide range of symptoms, including migraine, back pain, degenerative disc disease, repetitive stress injury, hand pain, neck pain, sciatica, knee pain, foot pain, lyme disease, fainting spells, tinnitus, and more. Read an excerpt here »
After fighting her own battle with chronic pain at a young age, Dr. Beth Darnall is on a mission to provide people in pain with the answers and access she wishes she had all those years ago. These answers, she believes, don’t lie in pills, but in the human brain. Darnall is currently leading a $9M research award to find effective strategies for tapering off opioids and to validate the psychological interventions she believes can help many of those who suffer. Join us as she offers advice for pain sufferers, providers, and payers on how to move forward from the opioid epidemic, and reduce pain safely. Read an excerpt here »
"We generally don’t know where back pain comes from. We do know very clearly that disc degeneration has nothing to do with back pain. So arthritis, bone spurs, bulging discs, herniated discs, ruptured discs… disc degeneration has nothing to do with back pain. And this is where spine surgery, probably 70% of it, should not be done. Yet we are doing probably 400-500 thousand [spinal] fusions this year for back pain.” Read an excerpt here »
Why do we look at medical imaging to determine the cause of someone’s pain, even though research has proven that there’s no correlation between the two? Why do most clinicians still recommend opioids and injections before trying a few simple breathing exercises? These are the kinds of questions Dr. Tim Flynn has thought about for years, and the kind of practices he’s trying to change. Join us as Dr. Flynn, a widely-published physical therapist and host of the podcast “Pain Reframed,” shares the secret to his practices's success: believing in your patients. Read an excerpt here »
Alan Gordon has spent his entire career helping people to overcome pain they’ve been told is incurable. How? By looking at it from a different perspective: as a neural pathway problem. His approach has been successful enough to build the foundation for the Pain Psychology Center: a Los Angeles-based treatment facility that employs 19 therapists. But before Alan treated these incurable pain conditions, he lived through them. 22 different types of unexplainable symptoms, to be exact. Join us to hear more about Alan’s personal struggles with pain, how he helps his patients through their symptoms, and upcoming research that may change the way the medical system approaches pain. Read an excerpt here »
When a double-boarded physician developed pain conditions so severe she couldn’t lift a dinner plate, she thought her career was over. For a full decade, she was out of a job, living in pain, and searching for answers in every corner of medicine. Join us as Dr. Alicia Bond Batson shares the story of how she found a solution in an unlikely place: her own brain. Read an excerpt here »
San Francisco attorney Susan Brown battled migraines since junior high. After countless rounds of Botox, a weeklong inpatient hospital stay, nerve blocks, triptans, and just about every other migraine treatment on the market, she had given up hope that anything would work for her. Then one day, during an intense Googling session, she found her way to Curable. This is the story of what happened next. Join Susan for an uncompensated, unfiltered review of using the Curable app for migraines. Read an excerpt here »
In his mid-thirties, Aaron led a pretty normal life - he was married with kids, an active runner, and the breadwinner of his family. Then one day, all of that changed. A mysterious pain appeared in his foot, and quickly led to a string of doctor visits, incurable diagnoses, painful injections, and talks of surgeries. Within a span of six months, Aaron started using a scooter for mobility. Join us as Aaron shares his long journey of physical pain, anxiety, depression, recovery, and hope. Read an excerpt here »
Is giving really receiving in disguise? According to Dr. Stephen Post, best-selling author of “Why Good Things Happen To Good People,” that’s usually the case. He says we’re biologically hard-wired to flourish when we’re contributing to the community, and the research backs him up. Join us as Dr. Post discusses the health benefits of giving, how much is too much, and why the rules are different for people in caring professions. Read an excerpt here »
Dr. Howard Schubiner has appeared on the list of Best Doctors In America three times - and there’s a good reason why. Patients flock to him from around the country to get simple, straightforward answers to chronic aches and pains that baffle most physicians. Fibromyalgia, chronic widespread pain with no evidence of structural tissue damage, ranks near the top of that list. Dr. Schubiner joins us to explain his understanding of fibromyalgia, and why he thinks his methods have produced results where even the most cutting-edge drugs have failed. Read an excerpt here »
Why do diets make you feel so hungry? Why do some people only lose weight when they stop counting calories? How come you can exercise just as much as your peers, but not see the same results? Stanford professor and mindset researcher Dr. Alia Crum has been focused on answering these questions for the past decade. Join us as we investigate just how much of an impact our thoughts and feelings have on the effectiveness of diets, exercise, trips to the doctor, and more. Read an excerpt here »
Before he was a doctor, John Stracks was the medical mystery no one could figure out. With neurological symptoms extending all across his body, he was desperate for anything that would work. After finally finding a surprising cure, he became obsessed with helping others who seemed “incurable” through the same techniques that he used. Join us as Dr. Stracks reveals his personal journey from patient to MD, and provides insight into why his methods have taken some time to gain popularity. Read an excerpt here »
John Evans knows first-hand how transformative a few writing sessions can be to someone’s physical and mental health. 13 years ago, he picked up Jamie Pennebaker’s hallmark book Writing to Heal and used it to navigate his life’s biggest challenges, including a struggle with PTSD and an advanced cancer diagnosis. Today, he’s devoted his life to helping others transform their lives the way he has. He runs a 6-week intensive writing program, and even ended up co-authoring a book with Jamie Pennebaker called “Expressive Writing: Words that Heal.” Join us as he explains the connection between our words and our health, and gives tips on how to use expressive writing effectively. Read an excerpt here »
"What does it matter what we think?" That's the question Dr. Tor Wager has spent years in the research lab trying to answer. Now, as Director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab at CU Boulder, he uses brain imaging studies to understand the neural connection between our thoughts, feelings, and physical pain. Join us as he breaks down the placebo effect, explains the neuroscience of chronic pain, and shares stories of just how powerful the mindbody connection is. Read an excerpt here »
Forgiveness is not the same as reconciliation. It’s not the same as justice or vengeance. So what on earth is it? After years of personal struggle with an unforgiving heart, Dr. Fred Luskin knew something had to change. Today, he serves as the Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Project, and author of several books on forgiveness. Join us as Dr. Luskin explores the meaning of forgiveness, and explains how to develop it as a skill, take back your power, and restore your physical health. Read an excerpt here »
Leslie Kaminoff has been an internationally recognized yoga and breathing expert for decades. So what happened when he lost his breath for six months? When he lost control of his body? When he lost touch with his emotions? Join us as Leslie recounts his deeply personal journey to "mastery," and shares what he's learned about life, yoga, and the power of breath. Read the full transcript »
Dr. David Clarke has spent his career helping people recover from mysterious aches and pains across their body. The diagnosis? "Stress Illness" - the body's extreme physical reaction to emotional factors. 60% of the time, he says, the stress dates back to childhood, where parents have the opportunity to make or break a child's chances of developing pain. Join us as Dr. Clarke shares some of his wildest stories, along with what he's learned as a parent and how to avoid falling into the "tough love trap." Read an excerpt >