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Keys to Treating Chronic Pain Based on Your Emotional Type

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22 February 2018

The most interesting thing about ‘Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain: Keys to Treatment Based on Your Emotional Type’ is the relation to emotional type and pain.

Before getting into anything else about this book I have to mention that I got this book from one of the authors, Sebhia Marie Dibra in exchange for an honest review. When I asked what the book was about, she told me it was about treating chronic pain through alternative methods while using your emotional type as a guideline to determine which treatment would best fit your emotional type and chronic pain condition. She also said that it would fit well with my business, self-help, and nonfiction book website.

Before reading the book, I also took into consideration that some of the treatments might even be useful for me since I have rheumatoid arthritis which is definitely a chronic pain. I thought that maybe by reviewing this book I can also help other people with pain similar to mine.

Chronic pain is something that plagues this world and I have to appreciate this book for attempting to solve terrible problems affecting hundreds of millions of people. But I can only appreciate it at face value. The cover and description of Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain seem promising but most of the key takeaways from this book are easily found online.

Emotional Type Concept

chronic pain emotions

The whole book’s foundation is based off of using the boundary type questionnaire which you can find the shortened version online as well. The shortened questionnaire includes 18 out of the original 145 questions created by Ernest Hartmann in the 1980’s to determine whether you are a thick boundary or thin boundary person. The ‘test’ consists of questions like ‘Do you spend a lot of time daydreaming?’ or ‘A good parent has to be a bit of a child too.’

A simple explanation of what thick and thin boundary types of people are is that people with thick boundaries are thick skinned or very rigid emotionally and people with thin boundaries are highly sensitive emotionally. Your boundary determines what types of chronic pain you might be susceptible to and what the best treatments might be to help lessen your pain.

In my opinion, this questionnaire was very interesting to consider. I wonder now whether my emotion has an effect on how much pain I experience which I do think it does play some factor in how much chronic pain a person might experience in their lifetime. This aspect of the book is its strong point.

One more thing to consider about boundary types is that each person doesn’t just land on one point in the thin or thick boundary spectrum, the books says each person lands on different points on the scale at different times and can even shift throughout life.

A Brief Mention of All the Treatments in Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain


Stress has become a buzzword. All the publicity has stimulated further anxiety. A fear of stress itself, will lead to even more stress…It is not stress itself that is harmful, but our reaction to it that wreaks havoc in the body, mind, and spirit.

Each of the following chapters follows this structure:

introducing the treatment and how it’s done,

who and what chronic pain its meant to treat,

an often lengthy history which didn’t necessarily need to be in this book, in my opinion,

and how to find a practitioner.

The information that follows will be some of my own thoughts on the treatments as well as snippets taken from the book.


chronic pain stress

There’s a good kind of stress and a bad kind of stress. In our society today many people are overstressed. They’ve got too many things going on. What people usually don’t do is use stress to their advantage such as helping them to accomplish more things and grow as a person.

This section of the book was probably the most helpful and interesting part to read since the wording was less robotic than the rest of the following chapters. I found this the most interesting because it was the most psychological of all. Stress is also something you all have experienced!


This is one of the treatments for stress and muscle training but also goes into helping to create a sense of confidence, concentration, and coping strategies. In general, biofeedback helps you to relax while focusing on improving some pain you may be experiencing in your life.

The aim of this treatment is to help a person to regulate his or her own inner mental and bodily processes by initially using a biofeedback machine then later being able to regulate by oneself.

This treatment can also help with lowering blood pressure, depression, anxieties, PTSD and phobias among a list of at least ten more chronic pain issues. It gets a bit mind-boggling looking at all these pains!

Imagery and Visualization

chronic pain imagry

This is quite an interesting topic. Imagery and visualization is about seeing in your ‘mind’s eye’. Authors use this tool to help connect with their readers by writing words to help the reader ‘see’ with their mind’s eye. However, in this book, its benefits are more specific to improving memory, with an overall sense of relaxation.

This section is all about visualizing positive things to help you to be more of a positive person, and for some more troubled people, this treatment has actually saved people from committing suicide.

The benefits of optimism can create a healthy balance without emphasizing unrealistic or unrealized expectations. Being able to visualize the worst-case scenario actually reduces anxiety levels. When you can assess how bad things can possibly get, you usually discover ways that you could cope if it ever were to get that bad.


chronic pain hypnotize

This may sound like a very strange treatment for chronic pain but the book does a good job of explaining its history and myths behind the treatment. There are actual applicable benefits to this treatment.

Hypnosis is the use of a technique to induce a state of consciousness that allows greater access to the deeper parts of the mind and is a method for communicating with those deeper parts. It uses the power of the mind to bring about changes in the body. There’s even a way you can hypnotize yourself!

Hypnosis may help with improving the immune system, erasing anxiety or phobias, dental pain, diabetes, headache, IBS, labor and childbirth, surgical pain and tinnitus.

Meditation and Yoga

chronic pain meditation

Understand that the mind and the body are not separate; they are interdependent, and meditation and yoga can realign the mind-body to create more harmonious interactions.

I think you know what these two treatments are, but one thing the book points out that you should consider is that there is a huge difference between just going through the motions of meditation and yoga and actually feeling it, living it and soaking it into both your mind and body.

Also, there are a plethora of gurus who claim to have the right knowledge to educate you in the art of yoga where in reality they may not know the correct way. Point is to be very careful with whom you want your instructor to be. Research thoroughly before joining any class.

Among the major benefits of meditation are treatments for sleep disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Related Post: What is the Meaning of Life? A Lesson From My Grandma

Spiritual Healing

chronic pain prayer

According to the studies in this book, it has been scientifically proven that prayer, whether religious in intent or not, has a positive impact on health even when you’re ‘praying’ for people at a distance.

It’s quite amazing to read about this as some of you might react in the same way I did. But I think if something is scientifically proven then it must be true.

I think a lot of the benefits from prayer plainly come from the positive emotions you feel after praying. It’s a natural way to vent whether you’re praying to God or not.

Massage and Bodywork

chronic pain massage

Massage and Bodywork have been treatments for chronic pain for centuries upon centuries. I personally have had some good quality massages by practitioners here in Indonesia and it works wonders for relaxation.

The history of massage has been tainted by less tasteful institutions but has recently made a small comeback around the world as beneficial for health.

The benefits of massage go further than just feeling relaxed. Some of the major benefits include:

  • improved blood circulation
  • improve joint range
  • improve breathing
  • raise in endorphins
  • back pain
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • IBS
  • muscle cramps


Chiropractic treatment for chronic pain is pretty straightforward but not everyone likes it so much. However, it has been proven to solve many people’s pains, especially in the back, neck, carpal tunnel, headaches, menstrual pain and a middle-ear infection.

Acupuncture and Qigong

chronic pain qigong

The book goes into quite a lot of details about how these procedures are done and give a huge list of which chronic pain it may be able to help treat.  The list is quite long. Acupuncture has a very long history and has been proven to benefit people’s well-being. Qigong is a type of meditation which focuses on positions, breathing and focused intention.

Vitamins, Nutritional Foods, and Herbs

chronic pain vitamins

The book presents the many different uses of common vitamins and goes on to explain which chronic pain it might help to heal. It’s actually quite informative if you don’t know much about vitamins, but it’s pretty common knowledge so you’re probably bound to know most of the information in this section.

Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

chronic pain oils

Essential oils are fregrant substances able to impact the body-mind via the olfactory sense, with its direct connections to the brain, including the limbic system and higher brain connections. These connections influence emotions, memory, desire, basic drives, and hormonal responses.

No wonder when you smell something familiar it can send a message to your brain triggering a memory of something or someone from your past. Smells have a strong emotional connection which is the major factor why using the correct aromas and oils that create a positive atmosphere, especially for someone who is in pain during a massage, is so important.

Essential oils and aromatherapies have been used for centuries to help treat chronic pain successfully. It is probably one of the most basic yet effective treatments for chronic pain.

In the End

This is one of those books that you don’t just read from cover to cover. If you want to know about a specific topic it’s best just to jump to that chapter directly.

I felt obligated to read every page since I got this book in exchange for an honest review, but while I was reading it, I had such a hard time getting engaged with the material since it was extremely dry.

Some of the other things I took note of while reading was the fact that out of almost the whole book there were only a few personalized stories from the vast amount of studies presented. Most of you know one of the best ways to market an idea, product, or alternative chronic pain treatment is by telling a story you can relate to as I discussed in a previous post.

It also felt like the book was too packed full of information and only touched the tip of the iceberg on most of the subjects. I would have liked to see more emphasis on the studies about emotional types in relation to chronic pain treatments.

Each chapter has a short, less than one page, description of which emotional type best fits with the specific treatment. I felt like that aspect of the book could have been expanded and the history of each treatment shortened.

Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain had good intentions to help people out but didn’t seem to have a target audience. It’s almost as if it were written for doctors trying to convince them that alternative treatments for pain is the way to go. The aim of this book should have been written ‘for the people’ in less of a technical robotic manner and more of a conversational way.

If you’ve got a friend with some serious health issues, chronic pain, or headaches pass this post on to them or comment below with some of your own thoughts.

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overcoming acute and chronic pain

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