Thursday Thoughts: Tapping as Distraction | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Thursday Thoughts: Tapping as Distraction

This edition of Thursday Thoughts comes from an amazing online consult I did a few months back with a chronic pain patient who was coping very well.



She found me by googling "central sensitization syndrome," we set up a google hangout for some pain science education and other strategies, and I think I got more out of her than she learned from me!

There were two nuggets I got from our 1.5 hour long conversation.

Tapping as a Distraction

  • she was centrally sensitized and she had allodynia in many parts of her body
  • when she had to have some dental or other procedures, or blood draws that required needles this the pain was excruciating
  • however, she found on her own, that tapping in other places that were not peripherally sensitized completely eliminated the perceived painful sensation from the needle
  • the bottom line: if a technique (TDN, other otherwise) is very uncomfortable, try having the patient tap in a place that is not threatened to modulate your treatment (or don't use that treatment)


Severe Tinnitus Neuroscience Nugget - borrowing from NOI Jam's great posts
  • this same amazing woman previously had severe tinnitus at night
  • it was causing extremely high anxiety, thus further lowering her pain thresholds
  • her self breakthrough was thinking of the ringing as her guardian angel communicating with her and protecting her
  • eliminating the threat abolished her anxiety and perceived threat about the tinnitus

Needless to say, much of the pain science education I normally deliver, she had already figured out, including graded exposure to movement, etc... She was already well on her way to improved function and meeting her goals of a long spiritual trek next year. I felt blessed to have met and spoken to her, and will possibly interview her for my Stop Thought Viruses/Physio Answers Sites.

Keeping it Eclectic...

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