Dealing With Chronic Pain: Tips and Techniques

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Life Force" by Tony Robbins, Peter H. Diamandis, and Robert Hariri. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Do you struggle with chronic pain? What are some techniques for managing chronic pain?

Chronic pain can significantly affect the quality of your life both physically and psychologically. But there are methods to eliminate or, at least, manage chronic pain to minimize its interference with your life.

Here are some tips for dealing with chronic pain from the book Life Force.

Managing Chronic Pain

The authors discuss several methods of pain management, some of which helped Robbins deal with his own pain, which included decades of back and spinal issues, a torn rotator cuff, and intense growth pains from an overactive pituitary gland. 

Robbins explains one of the most effective techniques for dealing with chronic pain a technology called pulsed electromagnetic field therapy, or PEMF. This involves delivering electrical pulses to the body using a specialized machine to stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. Robbins says the machine also helps with his sleep and energy levels, and he found it so beneficial that he purchased his own machine to use every day. 

(Shortform note: PEMF treatment is considered to be generally safe, though side effects may include a temporary increase in pain, lowered blood pressure, and dizziness. Experts don’t recommend it for people with conditions like pregnancy, heart disease, or epilepsy. Alternative treatments that can provide similar benefits include acupuncture, massage therapy, and yoga.)

The authors also recommend postural therapy, a type of physical therapy designed to restore alignment to the body as a way to treat injuries and chronic pain. They specifically discuss the Egoscue Method, a set of exercises developed by Vietnam War veteran Pete Egoscue to treat the severe nerve pain he incurred from his combat wounds. These exercises take just a few minutes and focus on keeping your body balanced and your posture in alignment.

(Shortform note: Postural therapy works off the premise that the way we hold our bodies determines how we feel. Treatment involves identifying problem areas and implementing exercises that, over the course of two to four months, train the body to maintain optimal posture and alignment. Postural therapy is intended to be a long-term or permanent solution to pain, and it is considered to be safe for people of all ages, including children.)

Additionally, the authors discuss a therapy called counterstrain that involves repositioning the body to target inflammation and relax the body’s overactive protective reflexes. This therapy can treat not only inflamed muscle, but also organs, nerves, and even bone. It’s performed by a practitioner who massages the body to find trigger points, then manually stimulates those trigger points to release inflammation. It differs from massage in that it focuses on the source of the inflammation instead of just the muscle pain that results from inflammation.

(Shortform note: Counterstrain therapy, also known as postural release therapy, works in the opposite way that stretching does. While both stretching and counterstrain are focused on releasing kinks or knots in the body’s tissues, stretching does so by lengthening the tissue, which can inadvertently cause muscles to stiffen and the pain to worsen. Counterstrain instead induces a position that shortens the tissue, gently allowing it to relax and loosening the knots in the tissue.)

Dealing With Chronic Pain: Tips and Techniques

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Tony Robbins, Peter H. Diamandis, and Robert Hariri's "Life Force" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Life Force summary:

  • How new technology may dramatically expand the human lifespan
  • Lifestyle changes you can make now to increase your lifespan
  • Whether or not it's possible for humans to become immortal

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.