Anxiety and Back Pain [Book Giveaway]

by | Jun 21, 2019

Anxiety and back pain with Heather Pearson, Founder of London clinic 1body4life and creator of the Pearson Method.

Today’s episode is the final instalment from Heather, She’s going to be talking about anxiety, stress and how these negative emotions impact back pain.

“There’s an element to what I do, and I don’t discuss this with everybody, because not everyone is open to this kind of thing. That the stresses and emotional things that we have in our life can cause physical issues. And that’s something that’s really hard to swallow for a lot of people”

You’re going to learn about the link between gut health, depression and chronic pain. You’ll be surprised to hear Heather’s top recommended gut health food. It’s super cheap and easy to make so stay tuned to get the recipe.

You’re going to discover how poor gut health is one of the problems associated with long term use of pain medication.

You’ll find out how to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Heather’s book, Back Pain Free: Put an end to your suffering with the Pearson Method. So make sure you stay with us for all that good stuff.

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Anxiety and Back Pain

Heather explains that we need to pay attention to both the physical and the psychological factors at play in chronic pain conditions.

“With back pain, the physical side is just as important as the mental side – and vice versa”

Anxiety and stress can aggravate back pain

“Anxiety and worry can certainly make pain 10 times worse; I’ve seen that a lot”

There is less clarity around whether these negative emotions can cause the pain in the first place. What is clear, though is that your mindset is key to making progress

“Top of the tree is positivity; positivity will drive you forward

Today’s Guest

Respected therapist, and author of

Back Pain Free: Put an end to your suffering with the Pearson Method

Heather Pearson

 

Live Pain-free Eliminate Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery

Gut Health and Depression

Heather describes the GI tract, the gut, as the ‘second brain’.

“Look at your gut health”

We hear about the types of foods that help to get the gut back in good shape and help you to avoid the vicious circle of depression chronic pain and gut problems.

Heather shares her best recipe for gut health.

“There are very cheap ways of helping your gut. I say that, if you’re going to choose one thing, it would be bone broth

 

Hi, I’m Iain Barker creator of Back Pain Liberation.

I got back pain young and it got worse over time. Like many others in this situation, I saw plenty of doctors and therapists – all to no avail.

In the end self-help worked best – it often does for bad backs. Now I train regularly, focus on what works, and don’t get back pain.

My goal is to share what I learned. To help you find a more effective way when treatment doesn’t hit the spot.

 

Side Effects of Pain Medication

We talk about some of the dangers of using pain relief medication for extended periods.

“Long term effects of medication –  it does have a huge detrimental effect on the GI tract, on the gut

Heather understands that, for people in severe pain, there is a real need to get it under control.

“When you’re in dire straits, you do anything to get out of pain”

The thing to do is to try to wean yourself off the medication as soon as you can. To explore alternatives that get to the cause of the problem rather than deal with the symptom.

Book Giveaway

Back Pain Free: Put an End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method

Back Pain Free: Put an End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method - Book giveaway ends in:

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Full Episode Transcript – BPL29

Heather Pearson

Okay, we’re back.

Iain Barker

We’re back. Okay, good. I heard you almost running. So I hope you didn’t get too stressed.

Heather Pearson

No, no…I should have gone earlier…but my bad.

read more

 

Iain Barker

No problem. Well, we’ve actually been talking quite a long time, we’ve been talking an hour and a half. So maybe we should think about finishing up in a little while anyway, because I know you’ve got other things you need to do.

Heather Pearson

I mean, I, I’m good what what, you know, I’m not I’ve not pushed the time anyway. So.

Iain Barker

Okay, so if we could just carry on in that case of

things to avoid? And maybe I’ll hit you with the questions that I had at the end. Sure. And, and maybe you can just add anything you want to add? And then we’ll leave it at that. Does that work for? [Yeah, sure.] Yeah. Okay. So the more things in the should not list were long term use of pain medication, and or alcohol is, this is an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it?

Heather Pearson

Yes, unfortunately, I fell into that trap as well on, you know, no unbeknown to myself, didn’t realize the intensity of it at the time, taking pain away, as I have written in my book that I don’t advocate having alcohol, especially with with painkillers that’s a really, really bad road to go down. And it’s very dangerous. So. But again, when you’re in dire straits, you do anything to get out of pain. So, you know, alcohol, for me, it did take a lot of pain away, but I was on a ridiculous amount of medication. And, yes, all sorts of detrimental effects that that has, I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody. completely opposite. And, as we said about the, you know, long term effects of medication, it does have a huge detrimental effect, the GI tract on the gut, which you know, the gut is the second brain. And when you’ve already got an imbalance of brain chemicals from pain and depression, the demise of your gut just adds to that and it and it becomes a horrible vicious circle. So the minute that you can start to wean yourself off, get to the exercises, if you’re in less pain, you do the psychological work. And then I’ve, I suggest this to a lot of people that I come across on email and on the internet, in my treatment room, you know, look at your gut health, there are very simple things that you can do, which again, are in the book to help gut health, there are very cheap ways of helping your gut, I say that, if you’re going to choose one thing, it would be bone broth,

Iain Barker

Yeah, that surprised me. I’ve heard people or I’ve seen online people recommending it, but I wasn’t expecting to find it in your book.

Heather Pearson

Well it’s again, it’s is the journey that I’ve taken. And I’ve seen for me, and also working with with other people who’ve had back pain that I’ve suggested, you know, from the nutritional aspect of, you can try glutamine powder, there’s digestive enzymes, you need to break down food, there’s HCl, hyrdrochloric acid that you can take to help break down protein. You know, there’s there’s various supplements that are really good for you in when your gut health is very poor. One of the things

Iain Barker

So this is the this is stomach acid, isn’tit? hydrochloric acid, [so yeah]. So you can take supplements for that? I didn’t know that.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, I mean, I was I was told I mean, that’s the difference for me with taking hydrochloric acid. If I didn’t take it, I wouldn’t go to the toilet, because my gut was in such a bad way. I mean, I suffered constipation for two years anyway. And that, that my cranial osteopath told me that’s constipation was because of the medication. I didn’t realize it then also from stress, because I was on [Yeah,] going on, you know, I’ve been under so much stress but combination of both. And I lost count of the amount of patients that I know who have suffered constipation through taking lots of meds medication.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay. That makes sense.

Yeah. Okay. That makes sense.

Heather Pearson

And so this is poor, you know, leads to poor gut health. And I’ve had numerous numerous over the last year, specifically, patients of mine who have had issues with their back had issues with pain. And I put them on bone broth and glutamine powder, just those two things. And within two, three weeks, their bowels, they become healthier and healthier and healthier. So and I’ve seen it myself, so best thing in the world, and it’s so cheap.

Iain Barker

Well, yeah. it will be, who wants bones?

Heather Pearson

You know,the thing is, the only thing is you have to get organic bones, you can’t have any old you know, because you don’t know where that that food or fish or you know, because the vegetarian version that you know, you can have, but you boil you know, you just boiling organic bones with a, you know, a few other bits and bobs in there for flavor. And you get all the goodness, the only thing the only thing that you do and I do it on the web on the back pain free website, there’s a an article about bone broth, and I do state. If your gut health if you if you’re if you’re constipated, and your constipation gets worse, then you’ve probably cooked the bones for too long. So if you’re in a really bad way, so I always suggest start with just three or four hours boiling. Because that was me for months. I couldn’t boil them for more than four hours because my gut was in such a bad way. But yeah, amazing. for gut health – bone broth

Iain Barker

I’ll have to give that a try.

Heather Pearson

The recipes on the back pain free dot net website.

Iain Barker

Okay, [so check out.] The other thing you say not to do. Or there was a list but the thing that I’ve made a note of is ‘give up.’

Heather Pearson

Oh, yeah, that’s a lot of that comes down to not being able to move forward. And yes, various reasons. A lot of it is psychological. A lot of its physical where people will go to a therapist of some sort, albeit sports massage, osteo, chiro, physio. And they just don’t get anywhere. And then they see another therapist and another therapist. …. And they get stuck.

Iain Barker

The merry go round of different therapists. Yeah, I’ve done that

Heather Pearson

Yeah, exactly. You’re wasting time

Yeah that’s that’s and that’s it. You’re right. It’s a merry go round. So I’m going to use that from now on. Thank you Iain. [You’re welcome] That’s a very, very good term a merry go round. And that’s exactly what it is. You’re going round and round rather than moving forward in a path.

and money [and money.]

Iain Barker

Yeah,and energy. Yeah.

Heather Pearson

And effort. And the problem is, then you get stuck. And that’s how a lot of therapists get work. You know, because people are so desperate, they look online, … and then they find ART. Because it’s not the norm. Certainly, you know, this side of Europe. Well, this side of the pond, should I say? [Yeah, yeah.] So. So yes, I lost my train of thought.

Iain Barker

Sorry, I interrupted you. The question. Well, yeah, we were talking about your lists of things that you should not do. And on that list was, give up.

Heather Pearson

Yes. So. So this is where physically, you have the merry go round of therapists, and you get stuck. And that’s physical and psychological. And this is where it’s really, really, really important. top of the tree is positivity. Positivity will drive you forward, and the tools of positivity, get your support network, find one person in your life. That is that that will be your rock, and they will be in most people. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had someone like that in their life, whether it’s a mother, father, sibling threat, best friend. Yeah. You know, whoever it is, it’s really, really, really important to have that. And then you have your, you know, in the book, you’ve got the exercises, do your self diagnosis, when, when you are physically doing something new to your situation. Yeah, that’s positive.

Iain Barker

And especially if you can see a little bit of progress from it.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, exactly. And sometimes the exercises will get you even just 5% of progress, but then you’ve got to go and have treatment. Just that 5% of progress is okay. I’ve made 5% progress, I feel change, feeling a little bit of change is positive. And that’s the driving force. You know, to answer your question is all about positivity, and, and that all the tools are in the book, everything is in the book.

Iain Barker

Just a couple more questions before we finish off. And there is another concept in the book of intrinsic versus extrinsic back problems. So I, I would think of your back injury, that really bad car accident as being an extrinsic, back problem. Is that right?

Heather Pearson

Yeah, so the differenc is; extrinsic are external events, so events that happen like falling off a horse, falling down the stairs, you know, a martial artist, or, you know, getting a sporting injury, you know, these car accidents, these sorts of things. They’re the external event, so that that’s an external force, that causes the pain

Iain Barker

Yeah, I didn’t have that. My back problems, they just sort of gradually started. And you know, first, it was a minor kind of ache that would come, you know, come and go, occasionally. But then, you know, it happened more often. It hurt worse, and then after, you know, some time, it was all the time. So a gradual kind of onset. So I guess that’s kind of an intrinsic back problem. So the question is, what would be the difference in, in recovery from an intrinsic versus extrinsic back problem

Heather Pearson

Well intrinsic issues are typically, that there will be a reason there may have been an event, or something that would have triggered it, but it could be environmental. And that could be the facts, it could be someone who sits down a lot, who travels a lot, where certain muscles are short, and other muscles muscles are lengthened and the hip imbalance, a hip imbalance is created in that way, which takes a long time, for a lot of mothers at childbirth, and they have back pain on and off for a long time. For other people, it could be something they did as a child, and it stems from that and gradually gets bigger and bigger. And you’ve just described a typical version of someone with an intrinsic injury, it starts off minor, intermittently, gradually becomes more more constant, then it’s their full time. And the differences with the recovery, it with an extrinsic event, something that could happen. So you could have either had a very minor issue on a rugby pitch as a teenager, and gradually that has formed an intrinsic issue over time it’s developed. And so with, with people that have, say, a car accident, they may not seek treatment until five years after. So they there, and that issue has developed into something bigger. So they can be very, very similar with in terms of recovery. And it depends on each person. You know, you could have had an issue, that’s been an on/off for 20 years, someone could have had an accident like mine, or an accident, like mine five years beforehand, they’re going to differ depending on the person, the type of pain you have, what your symptoms are currently, you know, because even though someone may have had an issue for 20 years, it could be a very mild issue. Whereas someone who’s had an extrinsic event, could be mild, moderate or severe. It’s, you know, there’s no real differences. It’s just, it just depends on the individual. Very, very individual.

Iain Barker

Yeah, makes sense. And we talked about the emotional psychological effects of being in chronic pain, and how that can create a kind of vicious circle with downward spiral, that the the stress and the worry and depression making the pain worse. Do you in your opinion, can chronic pain, actually, be caused in the beginning, from psychological factors, stress and anxiety, for example,

Heather Pearson

I think pain…with back pain, I’ve never, I’ve never seen that, but I have seen it aggravated by anxiety, massively aggravated by anxiety. And, you know, pain is never just in someone’s head, that I’ve certainly seen, there’s always a physical element. But okay, but but anxiety and worry can certainly make pain 10 times worse, I’ve seen that a lot. Especially those who develop anxiety issues, through whatever situation they’ve been through, I’ve never seen pain just suddenly come on from anxiety, this, there’s always a physical element from what I’ve seen. But in some… I say that, I’m going to contradict myself now.

Iain Barker

That’s okay.

Heather Pearson

It’s just there’s … there’s an element to what I do, and I don’t discuss this with everybody, because not everyone is open to this kind of thing. That the stresses and emotional things that we have in our life can cause physical issues. And that’s something that’s really hard to swallow for a lot of people. But it’s it’s very interesting. When you do look at people’s lives. I’ll give you a for instance. And this is food for thought. This is definitely food for thought for a lot of people. But there is a lot of coincidence. If someone has a disk issue. On the right side, this hypothetically on the right side of the lower back. [Yeah.] When you give actually I’ll give you a real example of someone who is patient mine. I haven’t seen him for a long time. He’s he’s really good now. And he had an initially on the left side of his left, left side of his back is his mid back Actually, that was giving himself giving him issues in his lower back. He had, back pain. And when we started talking about halfway through the session, I asked him if he had an issue with a female in his life. And he thought it was a bit weird that I’d asked that question. He said, ‘Yes, I’m going through a very heavy divorce right now’ So in some schools, various like kinesiologists, spiritualist and various schools of thought, there are certain issues in the body mean, certain things are happening in your life, the left side of the body is female, the right side of the body is male, it influences. [Wow] And this is again, this is this is very much food for thought. And so when you do knuckle down, and I could give you a lot of examples of people that I’ve got them to work on the emotional side of things which has helped their injury they are coincidences. And I and I, this particular patient, when we talked about it, physically, he felt better after the session. But after three sessions, we only got you know, I didn’t get him as far forward as I could. And I said to him from the first day, you need to do a write up, which is in the last chapter of my book about write-ups and I said ‘I honestly think this would really help you’ And it took him months. And he finally did this write-up.

Iain Barker

Was it a bit painful for him?

Heather Pearson

Yes, physical pain, but it’s his energy that stresses, you know, I mean, the question that you asked is a fantastic question. Because, you know, this is this is where people again schools of thought, feel that injuries that you have can derive from emotional issues. And it’s … call it coincidental. There are very, there are a lot of people who have had issues on certain parts of the body, and we discuss, you know, have you got a female in your life, sometimes it’s work sometimes it’s a partner, could be a son could be a daughter, and there is also always a coincidence, I’m not as au fait with that, because certain joints can mean other things like you are trying to hold on to something or you can’t let something go. You know, that’s the shoulders and there are certain meanings for certain joints. I’m not as up on that as a lot of other people. But these are all and these are these some of these things come from clinical neurologists, and, and kinesiologists who are, you know, very, very successful. But this is in answer to your question about, you know, can pain come from stresses and anxieties. That school of thought, I’ve seen more of that, where influences people can be influenced – injuries are influenced by things that happened in their life, whether that’s a fact or not. I haven’t seen any research on that.

Iain Barker

So the jury’s out on this one. jury’s out

Heather Pearson

The jury’s out on that one. Yeah. Food for thought. Definitely. If you have anxiety, and you have pain, I do believe, and I’ve experienced this myself, you can make the pain worse by worrying. Yeah,

Iain Barker

Yeah, I don’t think that’s in doubt now, is it?

Heather Pearson

No, that’s 100 percent. ……

Iain Barker

Okay. Is there anything? We’ve been going for an hour and 15 minutes now, but is there anything that we’ve we’ve missed that you’d like to kind of clarify or add?

Heather Pearson

I think we’ve probably been over most, most subjects to say, obviously, with back pain, you know, the physical side is just as important as the mental side and vice versa. You need, both. And, you know, that’s, that’s the crux of back pain. It’s, you know, it depends what level you’re at. And, of course, you know, some people are very mild, but their personality will change, they become much happier, and people around them will notice that their pain disappears. [Yeah]. One thing I would definitely is it, unless you’re constantly aggravating your pain, you get better then you get worse, and you get better then you get worse. And this could be your posture is awful when you sit at your desk for eight hours, or you’ve just totally stopped in your exercise. You don’t do the maintenance or you know, you’re driving constantly, constantly aggravating it. I’ve never met anyone to date, touch wood now that I haven’t been able to resolve their back pain. Well, if in and this is, let’s say, I’ve been doing this for 15 years, but particularly in the last 10 I’ve never met anyone (I’m touching wood right now, I don’t want that to happen.) There was only two people that I’ve never been able to help them. One lady was she actually had a very, very, very bad hamstring, tendon tear. And her glutes wouldn’t activate properly. And I couldn’t, she was too far gone. She she needed surgery. But eventually after she had surgery, she she got better the pain went. But the other one gentleman quite a few years ago now probably about eight, nine years ago, he had a cyst. In his back which I sent him for an MRI. Because after two sessions, he got better, but only to the extent I sent him for an MRI. And it turns out he had actually had cancer. So for him, I’m glad that we found it and you know, [yeah], with it. But other than those two, it just and it’s not about for me, it’s not about ego. I have no ego. On that note at all. I just because of what I’ve been through. I believe nobody has to suffer in pain. [Yeah,] and that’s the most important thing of writing this book. And anything I can express to anyone is you don’t have to suffer. I can’t tell you the amount of people I’ve spoken to this week, even it’s only Wednesday, who’ve said ‘Oh yeah, I just thought I had to live with it’. They don’t! [Yeah], you can you can resolve it, you know, in the right way you can resolve it. And like I said, I haven’t met anyone to date. That was probably the most important thing that I would want to mention.

Iain Barker

Wow. Fantastic.

Heather Pearson

So hopefully, I could inspire people to, you know, get that a little bit of motivation, which is hard when you’re in in strife when you when you you know when you’re in agony yes to do something, do something do the right thing and and resolve it.

Iain Barker

Yeah. So you books out on Amazon, both on the uk website and amazon.com. And it’s got a total of 11 customer reviews, all five out of five stars. So that’s some that’s pretty good, isn’t it? [Fantastic]. You must be very pleased.

Heather Pearson

If I still keep meaning to. I haven’t actually advertised it yet. But I think we’ve sold a good couple of hundred copies considering I haven’t done any advertising which is fantastic. But I’m just about to start an advertising campaign very soon.

Iain Barker

So the title again, is Back Pain Free: Put and End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method. And it came out in paper book in November of last year.

Heather Pearson

Very late November very late. Yeah. I did have actually had proof copies in October, but they were they weren’t as I realized very quickly. 100% proof free so far on it came out on Amazon yes in November.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay. I’m gonna put you on the spot, I’m afraid because there’s something that it’s just occurred to me. And I haven’t asked you this before. So it’s okay we can edit this bit out if you want. But I normally do a giveaway. Would you be interested doing a giveaway? Say three copies of your book?

Heather Pearson

Absolutely. And I just got the last week, I’ve got the delivery of the final print. [Okay,] so yeah, that would be amazing. Signed copies would be great.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay, great. We’ll do that. And then I’ll make that happen and send you the, the the names and contact details of the winners.

Heather Pearson

Yeah. Fantastic. Fantastic. I’ll be more than happy to do that. Brilliant. And thank you for suggesting it.

Iain Barker

Okay, good. And if people want to find out more about you, you’ve got a website haven’t you?

Heather Pearson

Yet the the work website is… Well, there’s the back pain free websites. [Okay]. But the the work website is 1body4life.co.uk. So any questions….

Iain Barker

And the back pain free website was the

Heather Pearson

backpainfree.net (correction http://backpainfree.me/)

Iain Barker

Okay, well, I’ll tell you what, I’ve if you can send me those URLs. So we make sure that their right and and I’ll put them in later.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, [how about that. Yeah, I think so. I actually think it’s .me, not .net.

Iain Barker

We’ll make sure we get that right.

Heather Pearson

I’ll make sure you’ve got that in writing, just so make sure that’s correct.

Iain Barker

Yeah. And you’re on Facebook, and Twitter as well.

Heather Pearson

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Yeah, that says one body for life and one body. Okay, good.

Iain Barker

I’ll put all the links for all these all your online presence on the blog post for this, well it’s going to be several episodes, actually, because we’re getting up towards two hours now. So I’m thinking that I’m going to spread this over. Probably four episodes, otherwise It just becomes

Heather Pearson

a little bit too much too much to listen to a long time to listen.

Iain Barker

Yeah. I think some people do podcasts that go on for like hours. Personally, I I like, you know, I think half an hour’s about right.

Heather Pearson

I couldn’t agree more. I think half an hour is great. And it’s it’s quite nice for someone to listen to a podcast and want to listen to the next episode. [Yeah,] I quite like a series, which I would say as well.

Iain Barker

Good! I wasn’t sure about this, because a lot of podcasts, they’ll be like discrete bits, you know, you can listen to like, you know, one person for one show and another person’s for the next show. I have done it on several times where it’s been like a long interview, and I’ve split it over over a number of episodes. So yeah, I wasn’t really sure whether people would like that or not having said that I generally get he can tell on the on the iTunes stats, where how much people listen to whether they listen to the whole episode or not. [Yeah]. And I, you know, I’m generally pretty pleased with with the, with the results. So, yeah,

Heather Pearson

Well, that’s great I mean, I, I listen to a lot of podcasts and and I love listening to [Do you?]. Yeah, I love listening to a series. But if it’s a subject that I’m interested in, then, you know, I’ll listen. I mean, I have I listened to Tim Ferriss podcast, and, you know, some of them are quite long. And I’d much prefer to listen to half an hour slots, rather than, you know, how many people have got two hours in their day to listen to a 2 hour podcast? You know, most people, you know, might listen to, you know, a little bit here and a little bit there half an hour, it’s not too much time to take out. You know, two hours is long, an hour and a half. I think it’s quite long, but then you can listen to it in, you know, three stages. So yeah, yeah, I agree. I think series is great.

Iain Barker

Brilliant. Okay. Well, lovely talking to you,

Heather Pearson

You too. Thank you for the opportunity,

Iain Barker

Well, thanks for thanks for coming.

Heather Pearson

Great to actually, you know, put the voice to the name.

Iain Barker

Well, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. We had a bit a bit of a email back and forth, to organize things. But yeah, it’s been it’s been a good chat. Thank

Heather Pearson

Thank you so much, Iain I really appreciate your interest and really, really appreciate it. Very grateful to be on your podcast. Oh, pleasure. Pleasure. Yeah.

Iain Barker

Oh, pleasure. Pleasure. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for talking to me. So have a great day. Thanks. I know you got other things to do later on. So enjoy the rest of your day. And we’ll be in touch about you know, the promoting the show and

Heather Pearson

And the winners. Yeah,

Iain Barker

Yeah, and the winners. Yeah, absolutely.

Heather Pearson

Fantastic. Thanks so much Iain

Iain Barker

Brilliant bye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks for Listening!

What’s your experience of stress, anxiety and chronic pain?

Maybe it’s an issue that you are trying to resolve now and you are trying to figure out the best way?

Let us know in the comments below.

All the best

Iain

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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Anxiety and back pain with Heather Pearson, Founder of London clinic 1body4life and creator of the Pearson Method.

Today’s episode is the final instalment from Heather, She’s going to be talking about anxiety, stress and how these negative emotions impact back pain.

“There’s an element to what I do, and I don’t discuss this with everybody, because not everyone is open to this kind of thing. That the stresses and emotional things that we have in our life can cause physical issues. And that’s something that’s really hard to swallow for a lot of people”

You’re going to learn about the link between gut health, depression and chronic pain. You’ll be surprised to hear Heather’s top recommended gut health food. It’s super cheap and easy to make so stay tuned to get the recipe.

You’re going to discover how poor gut health is one of the problems associated with long term use of pain medication.

You’ll find out how to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Heather’s book, Back Pain Free: Put an end to your suffering with the Pearson Method. So make sure you stay with us for all that good stuff.

Click the play button to listen to this episode now

Today’s Guest

Respected therapist, and author of

Back Pain Free: Put an end to your suffering with the Pearson Method

Heather Pearson

 

Live Pain-free Eliminate Chronic Pain without Drugs or Surgery

Anxiety and Back Pain

Heather explains that we need to pay attention to both the physical and the psychological factors at play in chronic pain conditions.

“With back pain, the physical side is just as important as the mental side – and vice versa”

Anxiety and stress can aggravate back pain

“Anxiety and worry can certainly make pain 10 times worse; I’ve seen that a lot”

There is less clarity around whether these negative emotions can cause the pain in the first place. What is clear, though is that your mindset is key to making progress

“Top of the tree is positivity; positivity will drive you forward

 

Hi, I’m Iain Barker creator of Back Pain Liberation.

I got back pain young and it got worse over time. Like many others in this situation, I saw plenty of doctors and therapists – all to no avail.

In the end self-help worked best – it often does for bad backs. Now I train regularly, focus on what works, and don’t get back pain.

My goal is to share what I learned. To help you find a more effective way when treatment doesn’t hit the spot.

 

Gut Health and Depression

Heather describes the GI tract, the gut, as the ‘second brain’.

“Look at your gut health”

We hear about the types of foods that help to get the gut back in good shape and help you to avoid the vicious circle of depression chronic pain and gut problems.

Heather shares her best recipe for gut health.

“There are very cheap ways of helping your gut. I say that, if you’re going to choose one thing, it would be bone broth

Side Effects of Pain Medication

We talk about some of the dangers of using pain relief medication for extended periods.

“Long term effects of medication –  it does have a huge detrimental effect on the GI tract, on the gut

Heather understands that, for people in severe pain, there is a real need to get it under control.

“When you’re in dire straits, you do anything to get out of pain”

The thing to do is to try to wean yourself off the medication as soon as you can. To explore alternatives that get to the cause of the problem rather than deal with the symptom.

Book Giveaway

Back Pain Free: Put an End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method

Back Pain Free: Put an End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method - Book giveaway ends in:

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Full Episode Transcript – BPL29

Heather Pearson

Okay, we’re back.

Iain Barker

We’re back. Okay, good. I heard you almost running. So I hope you didn’t get too stressed.

Heather Pearson

No, no…I should have gone earlier…but my bad.

read more

 

Iain Barker

No problem. Well, we’ve actually been talking quite a long time, we’ve been talking an hour and a half. So maybe we should think about finishing up in a little while anyway, because I know you’ve got other things you need to do.

Heather Pearson

I mean, I, I’m good what what, you know, I’m not I’ve not pushed the time anyway. So.

Iain Barker

Okay, so if we could just carry on in that case of

things to avoid? And maybe I’ll hit you with the questions that I had at the end. Sure. And, and maybe you can just add anything you want to add? And then we’ll leave it at that. Does that work for? [Yeah, sure.] Yeah. Okay. So the more things in the should not list were long term use of pain medication, and or alcohol is, this is an easy trap to fall into, isn’t it?

Heather Pearson

Yes, unfortunately, I fell into that trap as well on, you know, no unbeknown to myself, didn’t realize the intensity of it at the time, taking pain away, as I have written in my book that I don’t advocate having alcohol, especially with with painkillers that’s a really, really bad road to go down. And it’s very dangerous. So. But again, when you’re in dire straits, you do anything to get out of pain. So, you know, alcohol, for me, it did take a lot of pain away, but I was on a ridiculous amount of medication. And, yes, all sorts of detrimental effects that that has, I wouldn’t recommend that to anybody. completely opposite. And, as we said about the, you know, long term effects of medication, it does have a huge detrimental effect, the GI tract on the gut, which you know, the gut is the second brain. And when you’ve already got an imbalance of brain chemicals from pain and depression, the demise of your gut just adds to that and it and it becomes a horrible vicious circle. So the minute that you can start to wean yourself off, get to the exercises, if you’re in less pain, you do the psychological work. And then I’ve, I suggest this to a lot of people that I come across on email and on the internet, in my treatment room, you know, look at your gut health, there are very simple things that you can do, which again, are in the book to help gut health, there are very cheap ways of helping your gut, I say that, if you’re going to choose one thing, it would be bone broth,

Iain Barker

Yeah, that surprised me. I’ve heard people or I’ve seen online people recommending it, but I wasn’t expecting to find it in your book.

Heather Pearson

Well it’s again, it’s is the journey that I’ve taken. And I’ve seen for me, and also working with with other people who’ve had back pain that I’ve suggested, you know, from the nutritional aspect of, you can try glutamine powder, there’s digestive enzymes, you need to break down food, there’s HCl, hyrdrochloric acid that you can take to help break down protein. You know, there’s there’s various supplements that are really good for you in when your gut health is very poor. One of the things

Iain Barker

So this is the this is stomach acid, isn’tit? hydrochloric acid, [so yeah]. So you can take supplements for that? I didn’t know that.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, I mean, I was I was told I mean, that’s the difference for me with taking hydrochloric acid. If I didn’t take it, I wouldn’t go to the toilet, because my gut was in such a bad way. I mean, I suffered constipation for two years anyway. And that, that my cranial osteopath told me that’s constipation was because of the medication. I didn’t realize it then also from stress, because I was on [Yeah,] going on, you know, I’ve been under so much stress but combination of both. And I lost count of the amount of patients that I know who have suffered constipation through taking lots of meds medication.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay. That makes sense.

Yeah. Okay. That makes sense.

Heather Pearson

And so this is poor, you know, leads to poor gut health. And I’ve had numerous numerous over the last year, specifically, patients of mine who have had issues with their back had issues with pain. And I put them on bone broth and glutamine powder, just those two things. And within two, three weeks, their bowels, they become healthier and healthier and healthier. So and I’ve seen it myself, so best thing in the world, and it’s so cheap.

Iain Barker

Well, yeah. it will be, who wants bones?

Heather Pearson

You know,the thing is, the only thing is you have to get organic bones, you can’t have any old you know, because you don’t know where that that food or fish or you know, because the vegetarian version that you know, you can have, but you boil you know, you just boiling organic bones with a, you know, a few other bits and bobs in there for flavor. And you get all the goodness, the only thing the only thing that you do and I do it on the web on the back pain free website, there’s a an article about bone broth, and I do state. If your gut health if you if you’re if you’re constipated, and your constipation gets worse, then you’ve probably cooked the bones for too long. So if you’re in a really bad way, so I always suggest start with just three or four hours boiling. Because that was me for months. I couldn’t boil them for more than four hours because my gut was in such a bad way. But yeah, amazing. for gut health – bone broth

Iain Barker

I’ll have to give that a try.

Heather Pearson

The recipes on the back pain free dot net website.

Iain Barker

Okay, [so check out.] The other thing you say not to do. Or there was a list but the thing that I’ve made a note of is ‘give up.’

Heather Pearson

Oh, yeah, that’s a lot of that comes down to not being able to move forward. And yes, various reasons. A lot of it is psychological. A lot of its physical where people will go to a therapist of some sort, albeit sports massage, osteo, chiro, physio. And they just don’t get anywhere. And then they see another therapist and another therapist. …. And they get stuck.

Iain Barker

The merry go round of different therapists. Yeah, I’ve done that

Heather Pearson

Yeah, exactly. You’re wasting time

Yeah that’s that’s and that’s it. You’re right. It’s a merry go round. So I’m going to use that from now on. Thank you Iain. [You’re welcome] That’s a very, very good term a merry go round. And that’s exactly what it is. You’re going round and round rather than moving forward in a path.

and money [and money.]

Iain Barker

Yeah,and energy. Yeah.

Heather Pearson

And effort. And the problem is, then you get stuck. And that’s how a lot of therapists get work. You know, because people are so desperate, they look online, … and then they find ART. Because it’s not the norm. Certainly, you know, this side of Europe. Well, this side of the pond, should I say? [Yeah, yeah.] So. So yes, I lost my train of thought.

Iain Barker

Sorry, I interrupted you. The question. Well, yeah, we were talking about your lists of things that you should not do. And on that list was, give up.

Heather Pearson

Yes. So. So this is where physically, you have the merry go round of therapists, and you get stuck. And that’s physical and psychological. And this is where it’s really, really, really important. top of the tree is positivity. Positivity will drive you forward, and the tools of positivity, get your support network, find one person in your life. That is that that will be your rock, and they will be in most people. I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t had someone like that in their life, whether it’s a mother, father, sibling threat, best friend. Yeah. You know, whoever it is, it’s really, really, really important to have that. And then you have your, you know, in the book, you’ve got the exercises, do your self diagnosis, when, when you are physically doing something new to your situation. Yeah, that’s positive.

Iain Barker

And especially if you can see a little bit of progress from it.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, exactly. And sometimes the exercises will get you even just 5% of progress, but then you’ve got to go and have treatment. Just that 5% of progress is okay. I’ve made 5% progress, I feel change, feeling a little bit of change is positive. And that’s the driving force. You know, to answer your question is all about positivity, and, and that all the tools are in the book, everything is in the book.

Iain Barker

Just a couple more questions before we finish off. And there is another concept in the book of intrinsic versus extrinsic back problems. So I, I would think of your back injury, that really bad car accident as being an extrinsic, back problem. Is that right?

Heather Pearson

Yeah, so the differenc is; extrinsic are external events, so events that happen like falling off a horse, falling down the stairs, you know, a martial artist, or, you know, getting a sporting injury, you know, these car accidents, these sorts of things. They’re the external event, so that that’s an external force, that causes the pain

Iain Barker

Yeah, I didn’t have that. My back problems, they just sort of gradually started. And you know, first, it was a minor kind of ache that would come, you know, come and go, occasionally. But then, you know, it happened more often. It hurt worse, and then after, you know, some time, it was all the time. So a gradual kind of onset. So I guess that’s kind of an intrinsic back problem. So the question is, what would be the difference in, in recovery from an intrinsic versus extrinsic back problem

Heather Pearson

Well intrinsic issues are typically, that there will be a reason there may have been an event, or something that would have triggered it, but it could be environmental. And that could be the facts, it could be someone who sits down a lot, who travels a lot, where certain muscles are short, and other muscles muscles are lengthened and the hip imbalance, a hip imbalance is created in that way, which takes a long time, for a lot of mothers at childbirth, and they have back pain on and off for a long time. For other people, it could be something they did as a child, and it stems from that and gradually gets bigger and bigger. And you’ve just described a typical version of someone with an intrinsic injury, it starts off minor, intermittently, gradually becomes more more constant, then it’s their full time. And the differences with the recovery, it with an extrinsic event, something that could happen. So you could have either had a very minor issue on a rugby pitch as a teenager, and gradually that has formed an intrinsic issue over time it’s developed. And so with, with people that have, say, a car accident, they may not seek treatment until five years after. So they there, and that issue has developed into something bigger. So they can be very, very similar with in terms of recovery. And it depends on each person. You know, you could have had an issue, that’s been an on/off for 20 years, someone could have had an accident like mine, or an accident, like mine five years beforehand, they’re going to differ depending on the person, the type of pain you have, what your symptoms are currently, you know, because even though someone may have had an issue for 20 years, it could be a very mild issue. Whereas someone who’s had an extrinsic event, could be mild, moderate or severe. It’s, you know, there’s no real differences. It’s just, it just depends on the individual. Very, very individual.

Iain Barker

Yeah, makes sense. And we talked about the emotional psychological effects of being in chronic pain, and how that can create a kind of vicious circle with downward spiral, that the the stress and the worry and depression making the pain worse. Do you in your opinion, can chronic pain, actually, be caused in the beginning, from psychological factors, stress and anxiety, for example,

Heather Pearson

I think pain…with back pain, I’ve never, I’ve never seen that, but I have seen it aggravated by anxiety, massively aggravated by anxiety. And, you know, pain is never just in someone’s head, that I’ve certainly seen, there’s always a physical element. But okay, but but anxiety and worry can certainly make pain 10 times worse, I’ve seen that a lot. Especially those who develop anxiety issues, through whatever situation they’ve been through, I’ve never seen pain just suddenly come on from anxiety, this, there’s always a physical element from what I’ve seen. But in some… I say that, I’m going to contradict myself now.

Iain Barker

That’s okay.

Heather Pearson

It’s just there’s … there’s an element to what I do, and I don’t discuss this with everybody, because not everyone is open to this kind of thing. That the stresses and emotional things that we have in our life can cause physical issues. And that’s something that’s really hard to swallow for a lot of people. But it’s it’s very interesting. When you do look at people’s lives. I’ll give you a for instance. And this is food for thought. This is definitely food for thought for a lot of people. But there is a lot of coincidence. If someone has a disk issue. On the right side, this hypothetically on the right side of the lower back. [Yeah.] When you give actually I’ll give you a real example of someone who is patient mine. I haven’t seen him for a long time. He’s he’s really good now. And he had an initially on the left side of his left, left side of his back is his mid back Actually, that was giving himself giving him issues in his lower back. He had, back pain. And when we started talking about halfway through the session, I asked him if he had an issue with a female in his life. And he thought it was a bit weird that I’d asked that question. He said, ‘Yes, I’m going through a very heavy divorce right now’ So in some schools, various like kinesiologists, spiritualist and various schools of thought, there are certain issues in the body mean, certain things are happening in your life, the left side of the body is female, the right side of the body is male, it influences. [Wow] And this is again, this is this is very much food for thought. And so when you do knuckle down, and I could give you a lot of examples of people that I’ve got them to work on the emotional side of things which has helped their injury they are coincidences. And I and I, this particular patient, when we talked about it, physically, he felt better after the session. But after three sessions, we only got you know, I didn’t get him as far forward as I could. And I said to him from the first day, you need to do a write up, which is in the last chapter of my book about write-ups and I said ‘I honestly think this would really help you’ And it took him months. And he finally did this write-up.

Iain Barker

Was it a bit painful for him?

Heather Pearson

Yes, physical pain, but it’s his energy that stresses, you know, I mean, the question that you asked is a fantastic question. Because, you know, this is this is where people again schools of thought, feel that injuries that you have can derive from emotional issues. And it’s … call it coincidental. There are very, there are a lot of people who have had issues on certain parts of the body, and we discuss, you know, have you got a female in your life, sometimes it’s work sometimes it’s a partner, could be a son could be a daughter, and there is also always a coincidence, I’m not as au fait with that, because certain joints can mean other things like you are trying to hold on to something or you can’t let something go. You know, that’s the shoulders and there are certain meanings for certain joints. I’m not as up on that as a lot of other people. But these are all and these are these some of these things come from clinical neurologists, and, and kinesiologists who are, you know, very, very successful. But this is in answer to your question about, you know, can pain come from stresses and anxieties. That school of thought, I’ve seen more of that, where influences people can be influenced – injuries are influenced by things that happened in their life, whether that’s a fact or not. I haven’t seen any research on that.

Iain Barker

So the jury’s out on this one. jury’s out

Heather Pearson

The jury’s out on that one. Yeah. Food for thought. Definitely. If you have anxiety, and you have pain, I do believe, and I’ve experienced this myself, you can make the pain worse by worrying. Yeah,

Iain Barker

Yeah, I don’t think that’s in doubt now, is it?

Heather Pearson

No, that’s 100 percent. ……

Iain Barker

Okay. Is there anything? We’ve been going for an hour and 15 minutes now, but is there anything that we’ve we’ve missed that you’d like to kind of clarify or add?

Heather Pearson

I think we’ve probably been over most, most subjects to say, obviously, with back pain, you know, the physical side is just as important as the mental side and vice versa. You need, both. And, you know, that’s, that’s the crux of back pain. It’s, you know, it depends what level you’re at. And, of course, you know, some people are very mild, but their personality will change, they become much happier, and people around them will notice that their pain disappears. [Yeah]. One thing I would definitely is it, unless you’re constantly aggravating your pain, you get better then you get worse, and you get better then you get worse. And this could be your posture is awful when you sit at your desk for eight hours, or you’ve just totally stopped in your exercise. You don’t do the maintenance or you know, you’re driving constantly, constantly aggravating it. I’ve never met anyone to date, touch wood now that I haven’t been able to resolve their back pain. Well, if in and this is, let’s say, I’ve been doing this for 15 years, but particularly in the last 10 I’ve never met anyone (I’m touching wood right now, I don’t want that to happen.) There was only two people that I’ve never been able to help them. One lady was she actually had a very, very, very bad hamstring, tendon tear. And her glutes wouldn’t activate properly. And I couldn’t, she was too far gone. She she needed surgery. But eventually after she had surgery, she she got better the pain went. But the other one gentleman quite a few years ago now probably about eight, nine years ago, he had a cyst. In his back which I sent him for an MRI. Because after two sessions, he got better, but only to the extent I sent him for an MRI. And it turns out he had actually had cancer. So for him, I’m glad that we found it and you know, [yeah], with it. But other than those two, it just and it’s not about for me, it’s not about ego. I have no ego. On that note at all. I just because of what I’ve been through. I believe nobody has to suffer in pain. [Yeah,] and that’s the most important thing of writing this book. And anything I can express to anyone is you don’t have to suffer. I can’t tell you the amount of people I’ve spoken to this week, even it’s only Wednesday, who’ve said ‘Oh yeah, I just thought I had to live with it’. They don’t! [Yeah], you can you can resolve it, you know, in the right way you can resolve it. And like I said, I haven’t met anyone to date. That was probably the most important thing that I would want to mention.

Iain Barker

Wow. Fantastic.

Heather Pearson

So hopefully, I could inspire people to, you know, get that a little bit of motivation, which is hard when you’re in in strife when you when you you know when you’re in agony yes to do something, do something do the right thing and and resolve it.

Iain Barker

Yeah. So you books out on Amazon, both on the uk website and amazon.com. And it’s got a total of 11 customer reviews, all five out of five stars. So that’s some that’s pretty good, isn’t it? [Fantastic]. You must be very pleased.

Heather Pearson

If I still keep meaning to. I haven’t actually advertised it yet. But I think we’ve sold a good couple of hundred copies considering I haven’t done any advertising which is fantastic. But I’m just about to start an advertising campaign very soon.

Iain Barker

So the title again, is Back Pain Free: Put and End to Your Suffering with the Pearson Method. And it came out in paper book in November of last year.

Heather Pearson

Very late November very late. Yeah. I did have actually had proof copies in October, but they were they weren’t as I realized very quickly. 100% proof free so far on it came out on Amazon yes in November.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay. I’m gonna put you on the spot, I’m afraid because there’s something that it’s just occurred to me. And I haven’t asked you this before. So it’s okay we can edit this bit out if you want. But I normally do a giveaway. Would you be interested doing a giveaway? Say three copies of your book?

Heather Pearson

Absolutely. And I just got the last week, I’ve got the delivery of the final print. [Okay,] so yeah, that would be amazing. Signed copies would be great.

Iain Barker

Yeah. Okay, great. We’ll do that. And then I’ll make that happen and send you the, the the names and contact details of the winners.

Heather Pearson

Yeah. Fantastic. Fantastic. I’ll be more than happy to do that. Brilliant. And thank you for suggesting it.

Iain Barker

Okay, good. And if people want to find out more about you, you’ve got a website haven’t you?

Heather Pearson

Yet the the work website is… Well, there’s the back pain free websites. [Okay]. But the the work website is 1body4life.co.uk. So any questions….

Iain Barker

And the back pain free website was the

Heather Pearson

backpainfree.net (correction http://backpainfree.me/)

Iain Barker

Okay, well, I’ll tell you what, I’ve if you can send me those URLs. So we make sure that their right and and I’ll put them in later.

Heather Pearson

Yeah, [how about that. Yeah, I think so. I actually think it’s .me, not .net.

Iain Barker

We’ll make sure we get that right.

Heather Pearson

I’ll make sure you’ve got that in writing, just so make sure that’s correct.

Iain Barker

Yeah. And you’re on Facebook, and Twitter as well.

Heather Pearson

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Yeah, that says one body for life and one body. Okay, good.

Iain Barker

I’ll put all the links for all these all your online presence on the blog post for this, well it’s going to be several episodes, actually, because we’re getting up towards two hours now. So I’m thinking that I’m going to spread this over. Probably four episodes, otherwise It just becomes

Heather Pearson

a little bit too much too much to listen to a long time to listen.

Iain Barker

Yeah. I think some people do podcasts that go on for like hours. Personally, I I like, you know, I think half an hour’s about right.

Heather Pearson

I couldn’t agree more. I think half an hour is great. And it’s it’s quite nice for someone to listen to a podcast and want to listen to the next episode. [Yeah,] I quite like a series, which I would say as well.

Iain Barker

Good! I wasn’t sure about this, because a lot of podcasts, they’ll be like discrete bits, you know, you can listen to like, you know, one person for one show and another person’s for the next show. I have done it on several times where it’s been like a long interview, and I’ve split it over over a number of episodes. So yeah, I wasn’t really sure whether people would like that or not having said that I generally get he can tell on the on the iTunes stats, where how much people listen to whether they listen to the whole episode or not. [Yeah]. And I, you know, I’m generally pretty pleased with with the, with the results. So, yeah,

Heather Pearson

Well, that’s great I mean, I, I listen to a lot of podcasts and and I love listening to [Do you?]. Yeah, I love listening to a series. But if it’s a subject that I’m interested in, then, you know, I’ll listen. I mean, I have I listened to Tim Ferriss podcast, and, you know, some of them are quite long. And I’d much prefer to listen to half an hour slots, rather than, you know, how many people have got two hours in their day to listen to a 2 hour podcast? You know, most people, you know, might listen to, you know, a little bit here and a little bit there half an hour, it’s not too much time to take out. You know, two hours is long, an hour and a half. I think it’s quite long, but then you can listen to it in, you know, three stages. So yeah, yeah, I agree. I think series is great.

Iain Barker

Brilliant. Okay. Well, lovely talking to you,

Heather Pearson

You too. Thank you for the opportunity,

Iain Barker

Well, thanks for thanks for coming.

Heather Pearson

Great to actually, you know, put the voice to the name.

Iain Barker

Well, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. We had a bit a bit of a email back and forth, to organize things. But yeah, it’s been it’s been a good chat. Thank

Heather Pearson

Thank you so much, Iain I really appreciate your interest and really, really appreciate it. Very grateful to be on your podcast. Oh, pleasure. Pleasure. Yeah.

Iain Barker

Oh, pleasure. Pleasure. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for talking to me. So have a great day. Thanks. I know you got other things to do later on. So enjoy the rest of your day. And we’ll be in touch about you know, the promoting the show and

Heather Pearson

And the winners. Yeah,

Iain Barker

Yeah, and the winners. Yeah, absolutely.

Heather Pearson

Fantastic. Thanks so much Iain

Iain Barker

Brilliant bye.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Thanks for Listening!

What’s your experience of stress, anxiety and chronic pain?

Maybe it’s an issue that you are trying to resolve now and you are trying to figure out the best way?

Let us know in the comments below.

All the best

Iain

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

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