Times of the Islands - - To Your Health - Paula Michele Bo­lado is free­lance writer and a pro­fes­sional ed­u­ca­tor liv­ing in South­west Florida.

brain per­ceives the pain.” These nee­dles have the abil­ity to reg­u­late hor­mones, stim­u­late dam­aged nerves, break up scar tis­sue and heal the body from the in­side out, so life can con­tinue pain free.

When liv­ing with chronic pain, es­pe­cially in the back, you be­gin to be­lieve that this is it. This will be my life. And there are many peo­ple who are un­able to be present in their lives be­cause their minds are teth­ered to chronic pain. Re­cov­ery takes work, and re­leas­ing pain is a syn­chro­nis­tic ac­tiv­ity: The mind needs to let the pain go so acupunc­ture can ac­cel­er­ate heal­ing.

Dr. Brian Healy of Fort My­ers Acupunc­ture and Mas­sage, where I con­tinue my acupunc­ture treat­ments to­day, re­in­forces the idea that that the mind­body con­nec­tion is im­por­tant in quelling pain. “Acupunc­ture is so good at con­trol­ling pain be­cause it has been shown to in­crease the body’s abil­ity to pro­duce en­doge­nous opi­oids (i.e., opium-like sub­stances the body cre­ates it­self). We gen­er­ate our own 'Val­ium' and all sorts of dif­fer­ent chem­i­cals. Whether it is the re­sult of an acupunc­ture treat­ment or the re­sult of a be­lief sys­tem, it’s the same end re­sult. Peo­ple go through guided vi­su­al­iza­tions of their body heal­ing, and their body heals.”

I am as still as pos­si­ble, ly­ing here on the ta­ble, en­vi­sion­ing the pain be­ing pulled away from me like sticky black tar. I also vi­su­al­ize my body with­out back pain, run­ning with my dog, pick­ing up shells on the beach and sit­ting again at my easel.

Life can con­tinue with­out chronic pain.

Dr. Brian Healy of­fers holis­tic med­i­cal care, in­clud­ing acupunc­ture treat­ments, at Fort My­ers Acupunc­ture and Mas­sage.

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