I’ve had plantar’s fasciitis, a common foot problem, for 9 months. I’ve tried accupuncture, stretching, a night splint, a day splint, orthotics, physical therapy, and not walking. My right heel often hurts a fair bit. My left heel hurts a little. If I walk to work and back, a mile each way, for two days in a row, I have to be off my feet for several days. It’s not fatal. It’s not the worst pain in the world. And it’s irritating and a bit disheartening to be restricted in walking, dancing, and even standing around.
I’ve studied chronic pain, and have worked effectively with many clients to lessen or even eradicate it. I’ve used hypnosis, from my early training, and the Wilson & Tinker’s phantom limb pain protocol, published in EMDR Solutions to good avail. I understand that when something has hurt for a while, your brain sends pain signals even when the body part is in no real distress. I wondered if it was happening to me.
In November, I attended David Grand’s Brainspotting class in Boulder. This offshoot of EMDR, appears to access deeply into the not-so-verbal back of the brain and to both move trauma and create body-based immediate resourcing. I decided to try this out at home. I’ve gotten pretty good at Brainspotting and I’ve always had a talent for multi-tasking, so I asked my husband (not a therapist, Doug is professional photographer) to assist me while I set up the Brainspotting protocol, put one of David Grand’s "biolateral" CD’s to play through a headset (thus getting bilateral stimulation through the ears) and handed Doug the collapsible pointer, extended. The target, a la the phantom pain protocol, was the beginning of the pain. The subjective units of distress was 5/10, the current pain was about a 4 1/2. I felt sad and defeated in my core. The Validity of Cognition on "I have choices" was 1 out of 7.
By covering one eye and checking the distress level, and then the other, I figured that I felt more distressed when looking out my left eye. By directing Doug to move the pointer around, I found that the most distressed spot was on the midline, focused slightly towards the middle of my face. I started blinking rapidly, as soon as I focused from that spot. We were off and running. I twitched. I shook. My feet hurt alot. They felt nothing. They heated up, feeling like they were on an almost too hot skillet. The emotional distress dropped to 0. My brain reviewed many disappointing visits with the podiatrist, painful moments, frustrating choices. (No dancing, no hiking, no Mexican vacation.) My feet twitched, my stomach gurgled. That spot ran out and we found another, in the same eye, and I twitched some more. The foot pain returned. It left. It stabbed. It lessened to a 1 out of 10. 55 minutes had passed.
I switched eyes. Doug found the "happiest" spot in the right eye, and stayed with that for 5 minutes until I felt filled with energy, groundedness, and contentedness. The pain wavered from 0 to 1. It has wavered between 0 and 1 all day today.
I think that I have a real foot problem. My skinny feet, high arches, habit of coming down hard on my heels predispose me to this issue. I think that my brain learned to send out pain messages and to over-react to slight messages from my feet. I think I’m training it to stop doing that. I’d rather be completely recovered and I’m happy to feel I have choices (7) and to have less pain. I’ll keep you posted.