A Podcast Where Real Chronic Pain Sufferers Meet Science-Backed Solutions 💫

Join us as our expert hosts help listeners overcome obstacles to healing through evidence-based techniques.

Never miss an episode! 💌

Enter your email to receive updates.


How Do I Use Both My Left and Right Brain to Overcome Pain?

This excerpt is taken from an episode of the "Tell Me About Your Pain" podcast. You can listen to the full episode below, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts


In the latest episode of "Tell Me About Your Pain", Alan and Alon explain how you can use your left brain and your right brain together, to overcome pain. The left hemisphere of the brain is generally looked at as our logical side. We use our left brain to think rationally and gather evidence. While the right brain is considered to be more emotional and intuitive.

Alan talks to Amber, who suffers chronic pain in multiple parts of her body. She has a lot of fear around her pain and a lot of doubt that she'll recover. Alan works with Amber on two fronts: First, he uses a left-brain approach to help her see that her pain is coming from her brain and not her body. This calms her fear and her pain fades. Then he uses a right-brain technique to solidify those pain-free neural pathways. In other words, her left brain gets her out of pain and her right brain helps her stay that way. Finally, Alan and Alon give guidance on how you can use these two parts of your brain to overcome your own pain.

Try Curable Now!
Curable is an online program that uses proven mindbody techniques to reduce chronic pain.

Alan and Alon recall Amber's story and how it relates to overcoming pain.

Alon: I think that a lot of our listeners are really going to be able to relate to Amber's story and especially her hyper-vigilance. A lot of people are walking around and are constantly worried about their bodies checking in with their bodies. She used this phrase "walking on eggshells" in fact, I think a lot of chronic pain sufferers feel like they're made of eggshells, you know, they feel so fragile, and they're always so worried that am I hurting something did I heard something yesterday? Did I do the wrong thing? She said, "when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is you don't check in with my body, and is there something wrong?"     

Alan: And I think it's really interesting; the first part of the call, we were debunking this idea that there was something structurally wrong. It's not scoliosis or anything like that.

Alon: Right, her symptoms are moving around, which is totally different than a physical problem.

Alan: But then her mind went immediately too well, then maybe it's something wrong with my muscles. 

Alon: It just shows how insidious that kind of thinking can be.

Alan: It's true it's like you know we're wired to associate pain with physical damage. I remember when I had really bad back pain for a long time. I thought that it was because I had gotten in a car accident six months before the paint even came on.

Alon: Right in the hides for six months and then jumps out randomly.

Alan: Exactly it made no sense rationally. But there were so many times that I had looked back and thought why did I take Sepulveda that day that I got in the car accident like why did take the 405?  And then one day, a physical therapist said to me, "you know, I don't think it had anything to do with the car accident. I think that it's this kyphosis of the spine this disc degeneration that you have, and I think it was caused by the fact that you had a really bad posture when you were younger." And immediately my mind goes to why didn't I sit up straight when I was in high school. 

Alon: Right, you were finally free. You can stop obsessing about the car accident and immediately start obsessing about something else. Like why were you slouching in geometry class?

[this is an excerpt only - for the full episode, listen to the podcast above]

View All Episodes
Recommendations for you...

Life After Opioids: How Pain Can Improve Without Pills

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, lie in the human brain. Dr. Darnall offers advice for pain sufferers, providers, and payers on how to move forward from the opioid epidemic, and reduce pain safely.

Turning a Downward Spiral Into an Upward Spiral

Neuroscientist, author, 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.

More from Curable...

Like Mind, Like Body

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.

Explore Episodes
The Curable App

Enjoy evidence-based chronic pain therapy in your pocket. The recovery program includes 100+ neuroscience lessons, brain retraining exercises, and more. Plus: access to our members-only support community.

Try for Free