In my practice, I have treated many patients who had claims with ICBC or Work Safe and these agencies are always on the look-out for malingering. The patient/claimant is often viewed as an opportunist making a big deal out of a small incident.

Questions based on the “objective” findings of the physical damage come up such as: How can a whiplash take 6 months to heal when 2 fractures and a mild concussion only take 3 months? When filling out the forms, past history must be disclosed so that previous physical injuries can be excluded from coverage. The injuries to the physical body are the only criteria taken into account. Many people I see have been under physiotherapy care for 12 to 24 months. And as I have surmised, physically attributable pain has a greater context than the justifiable circumstances of the accident or incident. This explains both why certain minor injuries in one individual take longer to heal than multiple injuries in another, and also why solely physically-based therapeutics have a limited ability to address many of the presentations. The reality is that the body holds the memory of the trauma and it is added cumulatively to existing trauma or memory, which may only exist dormant in our subconscious. Let me give you a simple example:

Let’s take the example of you falling and hurting your back. Days later you develop a headache which you never had before. What if your headache and back pain were actually intensified by your thoughts and beliefs and the internalized stress that your body is holding unto? What if you were not even aware of this level of stress?  Yes structure governs function but what if your emotions governed structure?

How do emotions play into your pain?

You may be thinking that you fell and physically injured yourself so how could emotions play into your pain? Well that is where research on trauma and neuroscience comes in.

Our body is like an onion which heals in layers and the pain in your back which you are experiencing now has woken up a memory of a pain you had earlier when you were in school and you slipped in the hallway rushing back from recess. You were rushing because your teacher was stern and you were afraid of being humiliated in front of the class for being late. Your cognitive mind is looking for justification for back pain while your subconscious is releasing associated memories you had not processed. In traditional Chinese medicine, the kidneys are the organ of fear- and the kidneys are located right where your back is killing you now.

What if there really was a connection understood by thousands of year-old healing arts and this information was incorporated into a pain relief system that would facilitate this process?