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Key to a Path out of Pain
The Pain Hell is just that. The person reacts to the pain in a way that tends to amplify it. He/she tries to avoid it, resist it, or becomes helpless and hopeless in the face of it. The characters here are: “I am scared of you”, I hate you”, “I will beat you”, I’ve given up”, “You control my life”, and “This is a catastrophe!”.
The Medical Merry-Go-Round offers pain relief and the character rushing towards the it is crying out “Fix me”. Three routes to the Merry-Go-Round are shown: Surgery St., Chiro Cres., and Physio place. The promise of pain relief attracts people in pain but the danger of the Merry-Go-Round is not being able to get off, hence the character “I can’t get off”. People in pain go round and round seeking solutions and ending up desperate when one treatment after another fails.
The Door of Willingness is the major turning point in the healing journey. The person in pain has let go their resistance to change and developed curiosity about what lies beyond the door of willingness on the Healing Highway. Beyond the “Door of Willingness” the pain is transformed from danger/ a catastrophe, to an opportunity. In Chinese there are 2 symbols for the word crisis: danger and opportunity.
The Self-Manager stands on the rainbow with her clipboard, representing organisation and wand, representing her own healing potential. Awakening this healing potential is an essential part of the journey to becoming a self-manager. The sign beneath the rainbow points to Self-Carer’s paradise. The self-manager at the base of the rainbow has learnt to dance or be in step with his pain.


The Self-Management Program is shown in the border indicating the structure it provides. It consists of 4 components: relaxation, exercise, attitude and occupation.

The Process is contained inside the structure and illustrates the path a person could take to become a self-manager. The journey from the pain hell to the self-manager has many detours.


Rest Road
attracts the person who finds that it hurts to move. Avoiding movement may temporarily relieve pain but it ensures the pain will remain in the long-term.

Analgesia Avenue attracts the person who can’t stand the pain any longer. It is a dead end because numbing the pain numbs the person and there is nowhere to go from here.

The Medical Merry-Go-Round dominates the lower part of the landscape with the Pain Hell. The character rushing towards the Merry-Go-Round is crying out “Fix me”. Three routes to the Merry-Go-Round are shown: Surgery St., Chiro Cres. and Physio Pl. It represents the opportunities different practitioners provide for pain relief. The inherent danger of the Merry-Go-Round is not being able to get off hence the character “I can’t get off”. As well as treatments, the Merry-Go-Round offers many investigations and sometimes practitioners simply send patients away unable to make a diagnosis or provide a treatment hence the “?”.


The Pain Hell is just that. The person relates to the pain in a way which tends to amplify it. The person tries to avoid it, resist it, or becomes helpless and hopeless in the face of it. The characters here are:

“ I’m scared of you”
“ I hate you”
“ I will beat you”
“ I’ve given up”
“ You control my life”

“ This is a catastrophe!”


Some turning points in the journey are illustrated.

I’m stuck is a character who has recognised that these attitudes to pain keep him stuck. Acknowledging the stuckness can be the first step to becoming unstuck.

Partnership Parade is the route off the Merry-Go-Round. Practitioners who provide their services but also support the person in learning how to be a self-manager assist the person to become independent rather then staying dependent on them.

The Door of Willingness is the major turning point. The person in pain has let go their resistance to change and developed curiosity about what lies beyond the door of willingness. They are now travelling the Healing Highway. Beyond the door of willingness the pain is transformed from something representing danger and a catastrophe to opportunity. The person faces their pain and asks “What’s the opportunity here?”. In Chinese the symbols for the word crisis are danger and opportunity.

The Self-Manager stands on the rainbow with her clipboard, representing organisation and wand, representing her own healing potential. Awakening this healing potential is an essential part of the journey to being a self-manager. The sign beneath the rainbow points to Self-Carer’s Paradise.

The Parachutists have opened their minds to perceiving the problem differently. They are open to the idea of self-responsibility and self-healing. Their parachutes display some of the qualities of the self-manager: purpose, acceptance, tolerance, balance, aliveness and relaxation.

The characters beyond the Door of Willingness have developed a different attitude to their pain. They are facing their fear, learning to accept the pain, letting it be and learning to live their lives in step with it. They have moved from avoidance, resistance, helplessness and hopelessness to acceptance, curiosity, courage and patience. They include:

“ What’s the opportunity?”
“ I face my fear”
“ I am learning to accept you”
“ I let you be and you let me be”
“ Let’s dance”

 

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