Thursday, July 7, 2011

Words do Shape Your Reality!

Last week, in my office, one of my pain management clients came in to tell me how the advice I gave her reduced her discomfort tremendously. She was amazed how a simple change in how she describes her pain could actually make a difference in her perception of the pain.

She has severe jaw pain and finds it difficult to talk, eat and drink. Opening her mouth wide is extremely painful and she reports being in chronic pain 24/7. She hates pain medications and uses them sparingly, stating she would rather have the pain and feel clear and sharp than dulled by meds.

Well, the change in words she used is something I have posted before and she isn't the first person to report a change in their perception of pain by doing this. What this woman did was stop using the word 'Pain.' She substituted the word 'Discomfort.' She stated that after only three days of doing this she was talking to a friend who made her laughing usually causes her pain to escalate, but this time her mouth opened and she was laughing without care. Her friend noticed it and made the comment on the wonderful change.

My client was ecstatic with delight.

So, how does this work?  Discomfort has an imbedded hypnotic suggestion of Comfort. The Subconscious Mind which is responsible for your healing can't pick up on the Dis in Discomfort. It can only see and respond to Comfort. One of the prime examples of how a negation, like Dis, or Un or Not, can't be picked up the subconscious is for me to ask you right now..."Do Not think of a Blue Monkey with a big red butt".

Yep...Blue Monkeys...Big Red Butts.

So, be mindful of the words you use. They do shape your reality. Now, don't think of Blue Monkeys tonight when your head lies down on your pillow...

For more info on Pain Management make sure you check out "Black Belt Healing: A Martial Artist's Guide to Pain Management & Injury Recovery" can buy it at

Hands palm to palm,


  1. I agree that it only takes a little change to feel the difference and to feel better.

    Great post! I joined your Google Friend Connect!

  2. Ha, ha . . shoot, now I have red butts on my mind!

    Great post Shinzen, totally agree with you, the words we use shape much more than simply our thinking, if you catch my inference!?

  3. My husband is a chronic pain patient. He uses the word pain a lot especially in front of my daughter. Every once in a while, my 12 year old daughter uses the word "pain" when another word is probably more accurate. I am concerned about her perception of pain.