An understanding of chronic pain from a Physiotherapist’s perspective.

Chronic Pain is a significant problem in our societies worldwide and is generally defined as persistent or long-standing pain that responds poorly to treatment. According to different studies and reports, approximately 11-20% of our populations are living with chronic pain and it is reported to cost an estimated US$560 billion each year in direct medical costs, lost productivity and disability programs[1].

As a Physiotherapist, it is my experience that chronic pain is often a clinical conundrum in medicine because it is difficult to treat and so the treatment tends to focus on management or suppression of symptoms and supporting people to cope with their pain, e.g. with pharmaceuticals, pain clinics, counselling, pacing etc. Modern medicine does an exceptionally good and needed job at this and does support many people with this condition.

Sometimes a particular physical problem can be detected, but the typical presentation is often that the physical dysfunction and the reported symptoms do not match up. Often clients can be in considerable levels of pain, even though a direct physical cause for the pain cannot be discovered – e.g., severe chronic low back pain but no major cause identified on MRI scan. There have been some advances in our understanding of the physiology and psychology of chronic pain but, from my experience, it is still an area that leaves many questions unanswered.

This means that unfortunately people experiencing chronic pain are often treated with apprehension and confusion. In my clinical experience I have also observed that many clients in chronic pain consult many different practitioners but end up feeling disappointed and disempowered by not having a full understanding of their pain and why it is occurring.

There is an ancient wisdom called the Ageless Wisdom, which has surfaced in many different cultures and philosophies over time, that presents the fact that the human being consists of the physical body – which requires taking care of with physical (conventional) medicine (e.g. diagnosis, drugs, surgery etc. in our modern times) – but also recognises that there is an energetic being that is the ‘driver’ of the physical body and this being also needs its form of (energetic) medicine in order to truly and fully heal any condition.

This Ageless Wisdom also acknowledges the fact that everything is energy in our world and everything occurs because of the type of energy that is allowed to dominate the physical body. So, every illness and disease can have an energetic source as well as a physical cause. This approach does not need to oppose or contradict everything that modern conventional medicine offers but can truly complement it. The Ageless Wisdom offers an energetic perspective, leaving it to conventional medicine to determine the physical cause, diagnosis, and treatment/cure.

In my experiences and observations as a complementary health practitioner and Physiotherapist and also as a client who experienced chronic pain for 4 years, I have come to my own conclusions around chronic pain and have come to agree that this ancient wisdom appears to be correct. Energetically speaking, the Ageless Wisdom offers that chronic pain represents a release or clearing of a certain quality of energy (that was chosen previously) from the body. It is a bit of a case of what goes in, or has been taken on, must come out again. If we choose a denser, heavier form of energy than the natural and harmonious energy the human body is designed to work with, then this energy needs to be cleared from the body at some point in order for it to regain its natural energetic harmony and balance.

In my own case I benefitted greatly from the support of modern conventional medicine (I would not have coped without strong painkilling drugs and physical therapy to help me manage the pain), but it was only when I looked at the energetic root cause of what was going on and sought support from practitioners who genuinely understood the body energetically and healing from this perspective, that I was able to heal it. In my case this meant that with time and commitment to looking at and dealing with the energetic reasons behind the pain, I was no longer in daily chronic severe pain and was eventually able to stop taking all medication and enjoy a much higher quality of daily life.

In modern medicine we often observe and acknowledge that the human body has an amazing capacity to heal and restore if given the right circumstances. In my view these circumstances not only include creating the best physical environment, which necessarily involves using the marvels of conventional medicine to the fullest, but also creating the best energetic environment as well.

It is about providing a space and an environment that supports a reconnection to our inner-most essence and a discarding of anything that is not in line with this essence, provided we are willing to be honest about which quality of energy we are choosing to align ourselves with.

If we understand the body and its health energetically, we can bring a deeper understanding as to why the pain has occurred and how we are living, which may be contributing to the pain. This accords with World Health Organisation (WHO) findings that the vast majority of Non-Communicable Diseases are caused by lifestyle – i.e. they are preventable, depending on the choices we make in life. Specifically, we can bring so much more support to clients with chronic pain if we can do the following:

  1. Support them to identify, remove, reconfigure or clear the denser form of energy in the body
  2. Give an energetic reading as to what the underlying energy is
  3. Support clients with a program to help them make any changes they can see as needed in their way of living, along with the deepening/acceptance/surrender that may be required to allow the energy to clear and to prevent the accumulation of this energy again
  4. Support the physical body and the person to accept and observe what is occurring, from a connection to their inner-most essence which is not ill, and from there to heal and understand the energetic clearing that is occurring
  5. Make full use of the necessity of conventional medicine and its expertise
  6. Support the client to handle day to day life when they are in chronic pain.

In my experiences from both sides of the fence, as both a practitioner and a client, we can really support clients with chronic pain much more than we currently do and we can support conventional medicine in a truly complementary approach by bringing in the missing part of the puzzle – the energetic factor.

Bringing in the energetic factor does not mean we replace conventional medical treatment and it is always important to encourage clients to continue checking in with their GP and/or pain clinic and to continue to take their medications as/when they are needed, while we work together on healing the whole being.


  • [1]

    Dahlhamer et al (2018) Prevalance of Chronic Pain and high Impact Chronic Pain among Adults - US; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly report; Sept 2018/67(36); 1001 – 1006

Disclaimer: This article is the author’s opinion based on personal and clinical experience and observations and does not constitute medical advice or evidence-based research. It is personal opinion not written on behalf of nor purporting to represent the views of any organisation. If the reader is experiencing any pain that is recurring or otherwise requiring attention, it is imperative that they seek diagnosis and treatment from a registered medical professional. This article does not give medical advice or offer any cure whatsoever, and is in no way a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment, which remain a critical component of healthcare at all times.

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