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Are you saying it's all in my head???

All forms of health intervention carry with them risks and side effects.

Yes - all forms.

If you see a clinic or guru promising 'no side effects - guaranteed' then go have a chat with them about how much they're willing to bet on that boast holding up to scrutiny - a properly conducted audit would see you receiving a lovely pay out.

So, do talking therapies have risks and side effects? Surely just talking about something is the ultimate example of a safe, no risk, no side effect form of intervention?

Remember - all forms of health intervention carry with them risks and side effects (sound familiar?).

When any health care provider interacts with someone who needs their help, it is the things that they say - or don't say - which quite often carry the most weight and have the most profound effect. Getting this wrong is the difference between guiding someone on the course to overcoming a problem or leading them further into despair.

Sound a bit drastic?

Well, compare these; essentially the same thing being expressed in very different ways:

"There's nothing you can do about your back pain"


"There's nothing you need to worry about what's going on in your back"


"Your X-ray looks normal for someone your age"


"You have an arthritic spine" or my pet hate: "You have crumbling discs"

But even when being careful about the use of language there is a regular risk when coaching anyone with persistent pain. It is the risk of someone thinking they're being told it's all in their head.

(Now if you were a smart Alec, you might know that pain is a sensation that is produced by the central nervous system with the master organ being the brain, which is the head - but that's not what I mean!!).

So here's a simple fact that may be the most important thing you need to know about your ongoing pain: it is 100% real and it is never you imagining it.

Now, what we do about it - that is the question...

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