For many years you have practiced what you call a resilience approach to health care and to helping people who are in pain. What does that mean, and what does it look like?
Generally speaking, resilience is the capacity to positively adapt to challenges. I'll use an analogy to illustrate this concept.
Imagine that you're driving on the highway of life. If there's a problem with your car during the journey (and we’re talking specifically about pain here) you need to stop the car, get out, assess what’s wrong and fix it. The fix is the neuroplastic work that Curable talks about.
But do you have the capacity to make your way through traffic to get to a place that’s safe to stop and get out of the car? That’s a question of resilience. A lot of people who are able to do the neuroplastic work get better. But what about those people who can’t even get to it?
When we try to help people make their way through traffic, we look at internal and external factors. Internal factors are things like:
- Do you have a destination that you’re excited to get to? This makes you more willing to fix the car or do whatever it takes to get to the destination.
- Are you aware that there is a problem?
- Are you able to signal to others that you have a problem and need to get off the highway?
- Are you able to speed up or slow down as needed to change lanes?
External factors are things like:
- Is traffic heavy or light?
- Do you have someone you can call to help you or tow you?
- Do you GPS to guide you?
- Are there a lot of exits to get off the highway?
- Is there a mechanic nearby?
- Can you pay for the mechanic?
These examples of internal factors represent things such as meaning and purpose in life, awareness, communication skills, ability to be flexible. And the examples of external factors represent your environment. Is it toxic or is it calm? Your support systems - do you have a mentor to guide you in things? Do you have a lot of opportunities to rest and relax? Is there access to quality healthcare? Do you have access to material resources such as time and money to help you?
What we do is we take a look at a person’s life, or help them to take a look at their lives, at both internal as well as external factors. Then we help them to see which ones are useful and aren’t so useful to them, and how to change them in a meaningful way so they can finally do the work to rewire their brain and their nervous system, to get them out of pain.
[this is an excerpt only - for the full episode, listen to the podcast above]
View All Episodes