Pain Relief the LOA Way

This guest post from Coach Janette Dalgliesh offers a law of attraction friendly management approach for physical pain.  If you know someone who might benefit from it, please pass it along:
the law of attraction way to relieve pain

We’re familiar with the placebo effect, right? That’s where we believe something is good for us – and it becomes so.

People get better after taking sugar pills, or having ‘fake’ surgery (incision and sutures only).

It’s real and it’s well-documented, to the point where the placebo effect is allowed for in modern scientific research such as drug trials.

Our minds can make physiological changes to our bodies based solely on what we believe. Which is great news for those of us who wish to use mind-body healing!

But do you know about the nocebo effect?

It’s been called placebo’s evil twin, and it’s the ‘dark side’ of this phenomenon.

The nocebo effect occurs when someone tells us something that is counter to healing, and we believe it.

It might be a doctor who unwittingly says “this treatment doesn’t always work…” and that statement gets locked in our minds as “it won’t work FOR ME”.

Or it might be a news story that women at a certain age are thought to have a greater risk of…. well, you get the drift.

How can we use this knowledge to increase healing and reduce pain? As we know, our brain makes a decision to give us the pain experience based on its assessment of risk. Reducing that sense of risk is a good place to start in retraining our brain. And that means reducing our exposure to the nocebo effect.

Here are my top five tips to support healing in the face of physical pain:

1. Stop googling your symptoms! Seriously, stop it right now. There is nothing out there that will reduce your brain’s sense of danger. You already know everything you need to know about your injury or condition…. and probably more!

2. No more TV or radio news. At all. If you need to know something, it will find its way to you. Broadcast media makes its money by having a large audience; and humans LOVE a sensational story full of danger and adventure. Sadly this means most mainstream media only tells the stories that increase the brain’s risk alert systems. So let it go. You don’t need it.

3. Manage your interactions with well-meaning family and friends. Support is wonderful, and that’s what you want more of. You don’t need excessive sympathy (you poor, poor helpless victim) or anyone else’s drama queen energy (OMG look what they did to you….). Get comfortable with saying “I don’t want to talk about that right now”.

4. Manage your interactions with health practitioners. This is YOUR body. Set an intention before every encounter that the meeting will go well; that they will listen and respect your perspective; that you will be happy with the outcome. If you feel your practitioner is not supporting you in the right way, set an intention that the perfect person will come to you easily. NB: I do NOT advocate simply stopping any health treatment you are receiving, or leaving your doctor!

5. Get picky about any support group you join. There are some great support groups around which focus on the positive – sharing good news stories of healing and recovery, sharing ideas about techniques or tools that have worked for them. And there are some which seem full of doom and gloom. Choose one that makes you feel hopeful and optimistic about your situation, and that also allows you to vent and seek support when you need it.
Janette Dalgliesh, Sweet Relief Coaching

It’s estimated one quarter of adults in the West suffer from persistent or chronic pain; and a significant proportion of those are in pain from an injury which should have healed long ago. Is this you, or someone you love? Janette Dalgliesh is the Sweet Relief Coach, and alumnus of Good Vibe Coach Academy. Having gone through two life-changing injuries, Janette is passionate about supporting those who are struggling with injury recovery and persistent pain, blending the latest thinking in neuroscience with ancient mind-body wisdom.  Find her Relief Manifesto at

  • September 12, 2012
  • Janette says:

    Wow, Christina – what a fabulous job you’ve done of manifesting a perfect support group!! And yes – I love that reframe “doctors don’t know YET”.
    So glad you’re listening to your inner Self. That’s a huge part of the healing journey 😀

  • Christina says:

    Thank you, Janette.
    I am not in pain, but I am dealing with a medical issue. I agree with stop Googling. I found so many horrible photos of people with this disorder and my husband finally said, “Stop. You don’t need this in your head. That’s not going to happen to you.”
    And the support group message is right on! I found a group online, but after a few posts – me trying to be positive and offer what was working and happening with me, I felt like the rest of group was very down and pessimistic about this disorder. I sense a lot of desperation from many, which would be right for those just diagnosed or discovering the disorder, but why not greet them with hope instead of “nothing will ever, ever change.” I did meet a wonderful woman on that group, though, close to my age, and we’re emailing privately and supporting each other in a positive way.
    After this experience I asked for a supportive group that offered hope and support. That day I was invited to join a group on Facebook. It’s made up of women from all over the world, primarily Australia, and everyone is hopeful and optimistic, sharing research, doctors, treatments, diet changes, AND many are LOA savvy and practice positive thinking, meditation and tapping. It couldn’t get any better!
    Sometimes too much research can be detrimental. What we read seeps into our minds and we believe the negativity. “There is no cure” basically means, for this disorder, that doctors don’t know enough about it yet. But they don’t tell you that. My inner self doesn’t believe it, anyway, but it took me a while to listen to her.
    I also agree with knowledge will come to you when you need it. Absolutely true.
    Thanks again.

  • Janette says:

    Wow, thank you Jacqui, for sharing your story.
    “adoring my body” is the best possible healing “tool”. Because adoring includes listening, loving, having trust in and enjoying your body. I love it!

  • Jacqui says:

    Cancer arrived in my life on a bright beautiful summer’s day. After the diagnosis and once home, I cried all day.
    The next day I started to remember all the metaphysical lessons I have learned through the years and started to practice them patiently.
    I never had any side affects from chemotherapy and all went well. Once in remission I sort of forgot my lessons and negativity took over once again. Yes, the cancer came back and another round of chemo came and went.
    Next month I am having a scan again and since I have been getting the ‘all clear’ for three years now, I know all is well.
    This time, adoring my body as I am now, I know I am on the way to complete recovery.
    Enjoy your day. Jacqui.

  • Janette says:

    Wow Dana, that’s a really good point. Motherhood seems to be one of those topics that almost invites everyone to parade their worst stories, without even being asked!
    I found the same with having surgery a while back – people were keen to tell me the latest media horror story about going to hospital. I’m afraid I took some delight in turning it into a game, seeing how much I could shock them. I wouldn’t argue with them or engage with their story. Instead, I’d blink a little and express my surprise that they would have anything but an optimistic view. Like, that person was the first person who’d ever said something doubtful or negative on the topic.
    “Really?” I’d say “Really???? Oh no, I’m really looking forward to it! It’s going to be brilliant!” I loved watching the confusion on their faces as I told them how I saw it as being like a spa retreat where I’d be taken care of and pampered. It helped if I didn’t let them get a word in LOL!! Yes, I was a little mischievous. Ha!
    It did really help, to find a fun way to deflect those gloom merchants. And not surprisingly, when I got there, the experience was in fact pretty close to that of a spa retreat! I’ve no doubt you could get some juice out of playing the “let’s see if I can shock the naysayers” game, if it appeals.
    It can be harder with the medicos. But kudos to you for saying you’d rather not see the chart. Statistics are irrelevant to the individual experience, so what’s the value? None!

  • Dana Boyle says:

    OMG!!!!! Janette and Jeannette, thank you for putting this out there! I have been practicing this myself lately because I started did IUI treatment and from day one I didn’t want to know the statistics on how successful it is, or whether or not it worked for people around me…OR anything about their “horror stories” about it.
    Also, I recently had a few people say, “You must be getting REALLY anxious by now…isn’t it close to time to test?”
    I need to put myself in a bubble.
    You’re so right. Hearing horror stories happens automatically the minute you get pregnant, though, or start trying. I don’t know why people feel the need to tell you what can go wrong or what doesn’t work, etc. Even doctors do it. My doctor took out a big FAT chart with ages on it and how likely you are to get pregnant each cycle by age and I told her, “Please put that way, because I get pregnant easily.”

  • Janette says:

    LindA, you’re exactly on target!! See my comment for MissyB. Pro-actively invite greater understanding of your own emotions – and don’t stress if you don’t get answers to the question “how do I feel?” every time you ask it. Or ever! It’s the asking that matters. And then just allow.
    I sometimes think of pain a bit like this. We’re rolling along in life, doing our thing, and firmly ignoring something our inner guidance is trying to tell us. Maybe we’re in the wrong job or the wrong marriage; or maybe we’re living a lifestyle we don’t really like, or we’re embracing perfectionism to the point of exhaustion.
    Whatever it is, we’ve developed really good ‘ignoring muscle’. We don’t listen to it. We don’t even hear it any more.
    Now imagine there’s a part of us which is getting a bit ticked off. It’s like a three year old tugging at our skirt going “Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum….”. Get the picture? Eventually, if we keep ignoring that three year old, she’s going to find another strategy. She’s going to pick up a lump hammer and she’s going to wreak whatever havoc she can, just to get our attention.
    This is why your strategy of asking the pain itself is so good. I love that you do it very gently, and with gratitude for your clever brain doing exactly what it’s designed to do. I used to be the Queen of the Migraine, so I absolutely know how frustrating and confusing that experience can be. I do still get the occasional headache and I do exactly what you do. Thank it. Ask what message it has for me. Listen for even just a single word. In my case, it’s usually “sleep” or “rest”.
    And then I do that.
    Thank you for your comment – great instincts!

  • LindaA says:

    MissyB, I really like your approach. I’m going to try it.
    For me, pain management includes expelling the gremlins that tell me the pain will never go away. This thought causes me to tighten up, feel stressed, and makes it even worse. Since I’ve had a headache for decades (just posted a forum message about a breakthrough there), it’s not unrealistic to believe a pain won’t go away. So I have to quiet this fear.
    My first move these days is to sit with it. Let it hurt. Just keep my attention on it–observe only. Sometimes I get a message; mostly I don’t (because I’m still not very dialed into the voice of my Source).
    Sometimes the relief is instantaneous–just needed special attention. If the pain doesn’t abate, then I know there’s something deeper to explore.
    I don’t know if this works with severe pain from something like a broken back–might not want to intentionally feel it more deeply.

  • Janette says:

    MissyB, you’re spot on – pain (whether physical or emotional) always has a message for us. It’s been said that the body is our soul’s only way to communicate with us, and I think that’s not a bad way of summing things up.
    Of course, the tips given above are specific to how we best deal with the nocebo effect – think of it as the easy first stage of letting go of pain. Stage two is as simple as hearing pain’s message. Note that I said ‘simple’, which isn’t always the same as ‘easy’ LOL!
    It might help to remember the mechanics of the pain experience. ALL pain – acute or chronic – is in the brain (not where you feel it in the body). And the brain only gives you a pain experience when it believes there is risk. In the case of chronic pain, that means the brain continues to believe in danger, long after the damaged tissues have in fact healed.
    So your strategy is spot on. Feel what your body wants you to feel (emotions and/or pain) and accept it without resistance. Resistance will trigger that danger -> pain response pretty easily, and we don’t want that!
    You could even amp it up, by asking yourself “how do I feel?” on a regular basis – at least daily, more often if you can manage it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get an answer, but by pro-actively opening up that dialogue to discover any unresolved or unexpressed emotions, you are telling your body loud and clear “I’m listening!”
    And once it settles into accepting that you really are listening, it can stop shouting to get your attention. This can take a while, and it requires persistence, but let’s face it – what’s not good about being way more in touch with our own emotions, right? 🙂
    If anything comes up for which you need support, I’d highly recommend finding support from someone who has faith in your ability to heal, whether it’s a doctor, a physical therapist or a coach. Thank you for your excellent comment – and yay for your mum!

  • MissyB says:

    Having broken my back just under 4 years ago I’m afraid acute and then chronic pain have played a part in life. My mum taught me a very good trick and it works for me too. I think pain is the body’s way of saying hear me. So I hear it and then thank it for being there. Then I get on. The pain is probably still there but I can move freely without it hindering me.
    Loved this post – thanks.

  • Janette says:

    Thanks Barbara! Yay for ‘all is well’ 😀
    I admit I’ve kept my TV, mainly because hubby and I are both movie nerds. But I do like the idea of more wall space for paintings. Hm…. wonder if it’s time for a bigger house? Heheheh!

  • Janette says:

    Wow, great example Leigha! Thanks for sharing it – and kudos to you, for recognizing what was going on and taking steps to…well, stop it. 😉
    Leighaland sounds like a grand place!!

  • BarbaraM says:

    u,u,u “Leighaland” I love this…I actually shifted from fainthly strong menstrual cramps to all is well in this time of the month! Just with the power of body/mind wisdom.
    I love: no more TV & radio news… I am not listening those for 2 years or such and my belief is: “All information I need comes to me in perfect timing.” And it does. Actually I think of throwing TV out of my aparment, because I am not watching it at all and to make room for some of my paintings….
    Thank you Janette for fabulous post!

  • Leigha says:

    ooohhh….I loved this post Janette!!!
    and seriously the googling one’s symptoms…that’s a big one for sure!!
    I actually had surgery this summer…and everything went AMAZING (just like I intended)! Then I went on this forum for those who have had the same surgery and I left feeling anxious and nervous…it took a few more times of me feeling that way to STOP going to that forum! I read things that I didn’t even know existed!
    I really like living in Leighaland ….where all is well 😉

  • Janette says:

    Jeannette, thank you so much for letting me come and hang out in the Good Vibe Blog playground!
    Of course, the two extra bonus LOA gifts you can give yourself are firstly, to entertain the possibility that you can recover (ahhh!!). And secondly, to master the delicious LOA Paradox Tango: appreciate your body for its clever current pain trick of protecting you, while simultaneously embracing the desire for a new experience.
    If you’ve mastered this fancy footwork in other areas of life (parking spots, hot guys or perfect job) then you can do it here.

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