By Laura Smith, PsyD
Science: (n) Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
Science is the basis of everything in the Mastering Pain Method. The approach and skills are based in medical and psychological research and are considered “evidence-based practices.” However, the reach of science extends to the method as well. Signing up and getting started is the beginning of an experiment.
You may have a hypothesis that this website will help your pain, or you may be skeptical of its utility in your life. Anything goes at this point. In fact, we invite healthy skepticism. If you have had chronic pain for very long, you have likely learned that there are a lot of products and services out there. Some help, and some don’t. Some help some people and not others. Whatever your hypothesis is, you can then begin the experiment which means gathering data. Along each step of training, for each skill, users track their data before and after an intervention. They also track other variables that they hypothesize might be contributing to their pain. For example: Stress, pushing oneself “too hard,” certain foods that are suspect, or bariatric pressure changes, etc. All along, tracking any changes in pain intensity and in how much the pain is bothersome throughout the day. All of this data, over time, tells a story. And the story is in black and white.
For your sake, you can see if what the Mastering Pain Method is offering you is beneficial or not. For your doctors, you can print off or email your results. This can be especially helpful if you are feeling any stigma or negative messages from anyone as you have real, objective, and subjective data in black and white for anyone to see if you want to show them. A great tool for validation.
No matter what anyone thinks, you are the expert on you. You know your body and you know your pain better than anyone. You be the judge of what works for you.