Healing Chronic Pain

By Brendan Mooney, Australia

This blog post is also on Truth about Serge Benhayon.com called “Despite the odds, deep down I knew there was more to life“. However, it also reveals the link between unresolved emotional issues and physical symptoms – in this case chronic pain and how it can be healed by addressing the underlying emotional issues and lifestyle choices. Thus it felt relevant to include it here as well.

On the outside, my life appeared to be going well. In my final year at a large private school in Brisbane, I was voted school captain by my peers. I was also one of the top academic students, the fastest runner, and the most talented violinist performing in front of many large crowds at various concerts. This type of success continued after school, as I completed a degree in Psychology (with Honours) at the University of Queensland. I then worked full-time for one year as a violin tutor, working privately and at various private and public schools. In total, I tutored 54 primary and secondary students each week.

In 2004, I decided to complete my psychology registration requirements and also commenced a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Queensland. I was awarded a scholarship to complete this PhD and also a University of Queensland Trailblazer award for innovative research. I had a long-term partner and was well-respected by family and friends. Life was very successful…

Although my life was successful, there was always a part of me that knew there was more to life than what I was doing. At quieter times I would consider deep questions about life and the meaning of it, but usually I was too busy to really think much about it. However, I was always one to ask questions, and as a child used to ask why? about everything (according to my beautiful father!). I completed three courses in philosophy at university, but these courses fell far short of the answers and meaning to existence that I was craving. But given that my life was already successful, I ignored the quiet voice deep inside me, and hoped that my questions about life would gradually fade away in time and not bother me any more.

It was just before I commenced my PhD that I started to experience pain in my body. I remember practising piano and I felt some weakness in my right forearm. I had never felt this before, and so I decided to take a break from practice for a week. Within this time, I started experiencing mild pain in my right forearm. For a person who had never had an injury before (as I have never broken any bones or even sprained an ankle), this was a new experience. After a few weeks I was surprised to see that this pain remained as a relatively subtle background pain. As it did not seem to be going away with rest, I arranged to attend some sessions with a local physiotherapist. In attending these sessions, I received massage and an exercise program. I adhered to this program and continued to take a break from playing piano. Given the mild nature of the pain symptoms I continued with my other responsibilities including my PhD, working as a violin tutor and performing with the Queensland Youth Symphony Orchestra. I thought with a bit of treatment, my pain would resolve just like any ‘normal’ injury. Little did I realise what was to play out in time…

Over the next three years, my arm pain gradually encompassed my entire right arm and shoulder, and worsened to such an extent that it was horrible all of the time. There was no abating of the pain, it was just chronic and awful all of the time. As a result, I lost about ten kilograms and had to stop many of the things I enjoyed doing, such as playing violin and piano and going out with my friends. I simply could not keep up with my friends any more as even going to see a movie would exacerbate my pain to excruciating levels. The pain became so bad that I ended up being on the disability pension and moved back in to live with my parents for support. My parents were a wonderful support but they felt so helpless. Here was their son who had once had everything going for him, but his life was now turned upside down, and there was nothing they could do to stop this.

Over the three year period, I sought many different treatments, but no one could explain the cause of the pain or the reason why I was not responding to treatment. Being scientifically minded, I sought treatment from a number of medical and allied health professionals. This treatment included regular visits with my GP, attending appointments at the Brisbane Multidisciplinary Pain Clinic, a neurologist, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, a nutritionist and psychologists. I tried many different pain medications to assist with the nerve and muscle pain I was experiencing, including a strong opioid medication, Endone. My diagnoses included thoracic outlet syndrome and fibromyalgia. One treatment involved a number of Botox injections over a period of months to paralyse my chronic muscle tension. However, no amount of medication, stretching, exercises or injections alleviated my pain symptoms significantly at all. Each new treatment that I tried seemed to offer some hope of being successful, however each time it would fail and I would become very frustrated and depressed that I was only able to gain minimal symptom relief for my condition. I knew that somehow the treatment I was receiving was only offering part of the picture and did not encompass the whole.

After many unsuccessful treatments, I considered that maybe all of this pain was in my head (i.e. just conjured up by me), because no one was able to offer me any valid explanation for it. To investigate this possibility, I sought treatment from a number of psychologists and counsellors, but they had no explanation either. As part of my PhD studies, I also had access to the most up-to-date scientific research on chronic pain by the world’s most respected scientific journals. At this point my life involved spending 80% of my time attending to my chronic pain through treatments and research, and 20% of my time completing my PhD. My PhD thesis was child’s play compared to the research I was undertaking on chronic pain.

I also sought treatment from other health disciplines with no results, for example osteopathy, homeopathy, and magnetic therapy. In the end I became open to trying anything that had a shred of scientific evidence or significant anecdotal evidence that it alleviated chronic pain. In some cases, treatment actually exacerbated the pain significantly.

After three years of treatment from a variety of different modalities, I was at a loss. At 25 years of age, I felt devastated by how my life had turned out. At times I felt to give up because the pain was so chronically unbearable. For example, I would brush my teeth in the morning and need to rest afterwards due to the flare up of my pain. And yet, even in this state I knew there was more to life. In other words, I always knew that a life of pain and suffering was not natural, even though my reality was so far from this being true. I remember curling up into a ball on my bed one night crying to myself because the pain was so bad, and feeling that I did not know how much longer I could keep this up. As I was lying there, I just could not imagine living the next 50 years of my life with such pain. However, in the midst of this agony I still felt deep down that somehow life was naturally harmonious, and that there is a way but I had just not found it yet. In essence, even in the dark times I knew that I could not give up on myself as there was more to life than what I was experiencing.

Around this time, I visited my brother Andrew in London. Andrew works as a well-respected physiotherapist and he gave me a few sessions. However, like all the others he too was at a loss as to what was causing my pain or how to treat it. After our sessions, as a last resort he suggested I attend an appointment with Serge Benhayon who practised esoteric healing. I did not know what this was and I had never had any experience with healing modalities in the past.

After some consideration and having tried so many other treatments, I decided to book an appointment with Serge. In my first appointment, Serge presented that the cause of my pain was due to my unresolved anger. He presented that this unresolved anger was congregating in my arm, and that this resulted in the pain symptoms I was experiencing. He mentioned that the key was for me to heal my unresolved anger. When he said this, I knew deep down that he was right, but I certainly did not admit it. Instead, I promptly stated; ‘no-one, not my partner or family members have ever mentioned in my whole life that I have anger’. After all, I had always been a very nice and polite person, and I never yelled or screamed at anyone. So in the session I did not openly agree or disagree with him, and after presenting what he felt, Serge did not try to convince me either.

Over the next few weeks following my session with Serge, I was surprised to find that my anger slowly became obvious to me. Essentially I started to notice that little things did annoy me, and had always annoyed me (even before I developed chronic pain). It did not take long for me to feel that I actually had an underlying sense of anger all the time, even though I never expressed it. These experiences confirmed my original feeling that Serge was indeed correct, and from this realisation I began to ask myself a number of logical questions. For example, how did Serge know I was angry when I never showed any signs or symptoms of the fact? And how did Serge know I was angry when he had only just met me and knew nothing about me? Given I had attended sessions with a number of psychologists and counselors, why had they never mentioned that I had anger issues? And how was it that in all my training as a psychologist and PhD study in Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology, I had not been able to resolve my own anger? I had no answer to any of these questions, but I was interested to do some further investigating. After all, despite all of my knowledge about psychology and my experience with many heath professionals, I had been defeated by the mystery of my own chronic pain.

After attending three sessions with Serge, he referred me to Kate Greenaway for ongoing treatment. Kate is a well-respected physiotherapist who specialises in craniosacral therapy, and I found her sessions to be very gentle and supportive. My program with Kate also included stretching, exercises and regular exercise. In having sessions with Serge and Kate, I felt for the first time that I was beginning to make real progress at last.

At some point I decided to attend a one-day course presented by Universal Medicine. In this course, a number of uncomfortable topics were presented. For example, the underlying theme of the course was that life is about choice, and that we need to be responsible in our choices on a daily basis. It was presented that life is not about what you do, but about the quality you do everything in. In other words, it was presented that we do many things in emotion or reaction, instead of doing things truly gently and lovingly. Other topics covered included being honest with oneself and all others, and making consistent and daily choices to lovingly support your body.

Given the enormous amount of pain I was still experiencing, I had nothing to lose in experimenting with what was presented by Universal Medicine. After all, by this time I had withdrawn from my PhD studies completely because I could not keep up with the work required. I also ceased working altogether because I felt that I could no longer handle the workload as a violin tutor with my ongoing pain symptoms. The presentation by Universal Medicine had emphasised quality in everything that you do, and so I began to choose to do things gently throughout my day. At first I could not actually feel whether I was doing something gently or not, as it seemed to be an elusive feeling that was just outside my awareness. However, I kept persisting, and after a while I actually felt myself moving gently for the first time since I was a child. I also started to be honest with myself when I reacted to something, for example admitting when I felt angry, frustrated, stressed, or sad. When I felt these things, I gently and honestly identified what was causing the reaction, as opposed to my old pattern of reacting to the issue or ignoring it. As a result, I found that each day gradually became more resolved, and issues did not accumulate into bigger problems as they had done in the past.

Over time, I continued to make further loving lifestyle choices and became more aware of my body. For example, I began to go to bed earlier, but most importantly I consciously chose to go to bed gently and lovingly. Furthermore, in the two hours before I went to bed, I would choose activities that would help me wind down from the day, and not stimulate my nervous system. I found that when I made these choices I had a more restful sleep, resulting in more energy and less pain the next day. In developing greater body awareness, I was also able to feel when I was overdoing things and disregarding my body.

I also started to feel the impact that my diet was having on my body and my pain levels. For example, all my life I had never enjoyed the feeling that I was altered and ‘not myself’ when I drank alcohol. I could now also feel that alcohol devitalised my body and exacerbated my pain. So I decided to stop drinking alcohol altogether (even though I only ever drank socially), and this resulted in a significant reduction in my pain levels and enhancement to my general wellbeing. I felt clearer in my ability to make decisions and I was able to resolve any emotional issues much more easily. As a result of feeling the differences within myself, I have never consumed alcohol ever again. I gradually made other changes in my diet as a result of feeling the effects of certain foods on my body and pain levels.

All the way through, I continued to attend regular appointments with my GP and to consume medication for my pain when needed. At times, if my pain became particularly intense, I would use strapping for support. These treatments were very useful in managing my symptoms in conjunction with the now more responsible choices I was making on a daily basis.

As I gradually made more gentle and self-loving choices for myself, I continued to attend appointments with Kate Greenaway and courses by Universal Medicine. These appointments and courses were a great complement and support to the changes that I was making in my daily life. One day I remember saying to myself ‘I have not felt pain for the past hour’, and that this was the first time I could remember not having pain since before 2004. This experience confirmed to me that what I was now developing for myself was truly working and my body was positively responding. Eventually I stopped taking pain medication altogether because I no longer needed it.

I realised that taking responsibility for the quality of my choices on a daily basis had been the missing piece in my treatment program. In the past, I had never placed emphasis on the actual quality that I did things in. For example, in the past when I walked during the day, I was never consciously aware of the quality that I walked in – I just walked. Usually when I walked I would be thinking about other things, such as what I would be doing on the weekend. Throughout my life, I had also performed regular exercise but never had I intentionally and consciously exercised gently. Instead, I would typically exercise at the end of the day as a form of stress relief. However, I slowly became aware that the quality that we choose for ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis eventually develops the quality of life that one experiences.

After consistently choosing to be gentle and loving with myself and others, my life has changed completely. I feel as though I am true to myself again, and at ease with life rather than angry with it. My relationships with people have changed enormously and deepened as a result of the newfound honesty in them. For example, I have close relationships and regular contact with all my family members. Although some within my family have had difficulty comprehending how my life has improved so much, they have recognised the obvious benefits. As one family member stated ‘I don’t understand what you are doing, but keep it up because it is obviously working’.

I have also not experienced any pain for many years as a result of the lifestyle that I continue to live. My life is simple and enjoyable now, as opposed to the complicated mess and chaos it used to be. In reference to how I used to live, I can now see that there were many warning signs that all was not right prior to my development of chronic pain. However, given that I ignored these signs and just continued it is no wonder why things built up to such an extent.

In relation to employment, I have completed my registration qualifications in psychology and am currently working six days per week. I work as a private Psychologist and also for one of the largest rehabilitation providers in Australia. I also continue to tutor violin at a local primary school.

Suffice to say, the lifestyle I now live is very normal. I go to work, tend to my domestic duties, and enjoy great food and company with family and friends. However, the quality that I now do everything in has changed completely. In other words, I now make choices that allow me to feel gentleness, love and joy on a daily basis. Whilst I am still learning and sometimes make mistakes, predominantly my life is very enjoyable and deeply meaningful. In short, life is as it should be, and as it was when I was a young boy. The returning of myself to this most natural way of living has been a development akin to coming home, having strayed off the path for some time.

276 thoughts on “Healing Chronic Pain

  1. Brendan with chronic pain being one of the most debilitating long term health conditions that governments around the world are unable to deal with or finance you show what the answers are. If this was rolled out around hospital and GP practices our entire health system could start to flow freely. It all starts with us.

  2. It is shocking to relaise that there are many people who are in pain all of the time and are completey debiltated by it as you were. I met a delivery driver recently and every time I saw him I would ask how he was. Every time his answer would be the same, that he was in a lot of pain and was on strong pain relief every day for his back. He has been to see many doctors but there is nothing they can do for him. This is such a common occurrence and yet once we know the root cause, we begin to feel empowered and can start to deal with it.

  3. It’s incredible but not unsurprising what happens to the body when we bury issues rather than deal with them. Most if not all chronic pain and disease could be avoided if humanity was educated on this fact.

  4. From what I understand, many of us put up with pain and just ‘get on with life’ until it gets too much to bare and then we ‘deal’ with it. What Universal Medicine has always presented is that if we connect with our bodies – stay still for a moment and simply feel whats going on, then we have a marker for how our bodies are and an instant knowing of if we are in discomfort or not. The modalities introduced by Universal Medicine are extraordinary and can support people to really heal before they get to a point where they are genuinely compromised because of pain.

  5. “I ignored the quiet voice deep inside me,” So true Brendan, when we ignore the quiet voice deep inside us we then live with the consequences of this choice.

  6. Brendan re-reading your blog from 4 years ago makes me appreciate just how powerful the presentations of Serge Benhayon are. During this time I have seen and heard more and more people having chronic pain, yet no answers coming forward as to how to heal these types of conditions. You’ve shown what is possible and it is simply a matter of time before personal responsible choices are seen as the most important part of our healthcare system. No doubt your story will be looked back on for years to come.

  7. Wow want a transformation Brendan, to read about the chronic pain you were in and resources you had available to you, yet still were in constant pain for such a long time, really shows that there is usually so much more going on inside of us that what initially meets the eye. It is truly a wonderful sharing, the power of understanding more than the physical of what is happening in the body.

  8. A great example of how any unresolved issues held within our body can cause a disease or illness. I find intense pain one of the worst things to deal with, as when it happens, even though it comes from one place and feels worse in that area, it seeps into the whole body, which is possibly the body’s way of showing us we can’t bury anything – the whole becomes infected with our ill choice. The way your health changed once this emotion was acknowledged is incredible – thank you Brendan.

  9. Our tendency as a species is to think that pain just happens and all we are really interested in is how to get rid of it. That may seem fair enough because none of us like pain, but what if there is always a reason behind it? Well because everything is energy and therefore everything is because of energy, there will always without fail be an energy behind the pain. So surely the answer is to look for the reason for the pain rather than just medicating in the hope of banishing the pain or at least reducing its severity? This blog is a brilliant example of this.

  10. How lovely, ‘My life is simple and enjoyable now, as opposed to the complicated mess and chaos it used to be’, wow, many of us could benefit from a simple and enjoyable life.

  11. This is a pretty amazing story and turnaround from having chronic pain after brushing your teeth to where you now live a normal life and are able to work with full vitality. Thank you for sharing your story Brendan and how you turned things around. ‘The quality that we choose for ourselves on a moment-to-moment basis eventually develops the quality of life that one experiences.’ – so true, and the more I tune into the choices I’m making in each moment, how I’m sitting, how I’m relating to myself, the kinds of thoughts that I’m having, the more I see how these build up and become a pattern or ingrained way of doing things.

  12. Being gentle and loving with ourselves, allowing ourselves to make mistakes and being true to who we are – all of these feel like the essential ingredients of living harmoniously, which then is reflected back to us in a harmonious body. Any disharmony in the body is a sign that there is something about the way we are living, the choices we are making, that are putting the body out of its normal and natural rhythms, and an invitation to look more deeply at that.

  13. A lovely account of a life from chronic pain to joy in every day. Emotions are poisonous to our bodies and when we discover that we are harbouring an emotion it does well to look more closely and bring understanding and seek support to let these harmful energies go. In daily life, rather than focus on the emotion being the issue we can bring a conscious presence to all we do, and choose to be gentle and loving in every way, aware of the quality we are moving in and everything changes. In this sense we are our own medicine.

  14. This emphasis on the quality of what you do, rather than the volume is such a key element to our lives today. What I see reflected in the world is that it is all about how much, and your list Brendan was incredibly impressive. Yet if we are doing so much, but not focussed on the quality of what is being put our there (or of what we are doing to ourselves) then ultimately that low grade harm is being magnified into the world, and into our bodies.

  15. I have also suffered at one time from chronic pain and have found a combination of looking at my lifestyle choices, connective tissue therapy sessions and conventional medicine in the form of pain medications and investigations supported me to also overcome and reduce the pain considerably. Serge Benhayon, has always advocated this combined approach to medicine which I completely agree with and have proven works.

    1. There is always a reason for pain and this is what we tend to overlook. Unless we look deeper for the message it is bringing us we are likely to simply want relief from the pain without addressing its causes.

  16. This article shows how simple it truly is to heal our bodies, that through tenderness, respect and an understanding of our feelings, our body talks. The healing is in choosing to listen.

  17. Your life experience Brendan, has opened my eyes to a greater awareness around the quality of every movement and the honesty in each feeling being the foundation for the life I choose for myself.

  18. Having also spent many years suffering from chronic pain, which after searching high and low for a cure I came to accept I would have to continue to live with, I too found my way to Serge Benhayon and Kate Greenaway, and my story has unfolded like yours Brendan. And amongst all the amazing support that I have had since from both of them, one of the most important understandings I have come to is that the quality of my movements is the key to developing the quality of my life and my well-being. It is a daily commitment but one, once made, I have never wavered from and know I never will.

  19. As I read this, I am feeling the severe pain in my left upper arm. Until about a few months ago, it was on my right arm, then as that pain receded, the left arm started screaming, as if it just jumped from one arm to the other. It felt like it came out of nowhere, but that is not true. Like you, I have spent most of my life pretty much pain/illness free but now having more awareness about the way I was living in contra to who I truly was, I am not surprised how much my body has had to hold to keep it running as if it was not being impacted. I don’t have access to esoteric practitioners in person, but what you share here is a great reminder that our Livingness is the greatest modality to bring about true healing. It just needs my commitment.

  20. what a life changing session to be presented with ‘anger’ being a driver. We can sometimes think pain is an after effect of something physical, not emotional – at least that is how I always looked at it. But to actually understand that how we live and move and feel all adds to how we are physically – is pretty huge.

  21. Having studied now with Universal Medicine for over 10 years in addition to my ongoing conventional medicine training, I now treat many people with chronic pain with this combination of complementary modalities, conventional medicine and lifestyle support. Many clients find this a very supportive approach and have had similar results to what Brendan describes here.

  22. “I realised that taking responsibility for the quality of my choices on a daily basis had been the missing piece in my treatment program”. What a wonderful and inspiring lesson to share with us Brendan, thank you.

  23. Being someone who suffered from very long term pain I know how debilitating and life changing it can be. I too tried every healing modality possible with very little relief and in the end I almost accepted this is how it was going to be for the rest of my life; almost, as like you there was always a part of me that suspected this did not have to be accepted as the only way. And like you, through the wisdom of Serge Benhayon, healing sessions with Kate Greenaway and my commitment to bring self loving changes into my life I am now virtually pain free and if it does flare up it’s not long before I realise why.

  24. I find it interesting that commencing the PhD coincided with the start of the chronic pain in your body. I associate PhDs with another level of separation from one’s truth and perhaps your body and soul were having their say in your future direction?

  25. The workings of the body are still in many ways a mystery to Western Medicine, even though it offers immense support. Enter the Esoteric or inner most, and the deeper wisdom of the body can be uncovered and thence work alongside Western Medicine to support a true healing.

  26. During a conversation with one of my work colleagues, they were telling me about how much pain their husband is in, and when he goes to the doctors, he just gets given stronger pain relief. If doctors became more aware of how we orchestrate our own situations by the choices we make, and getting to the root cause could save the NHS and the country as a whole millions, from the dispensing of drugs, and GP appointments, to the loss of employment days due to illness.

  27. ‘I realised that taking responsibility for the quality of my choices on a daily basis had been the missing piece in my treatment program.’ There is always something that we can bring more quality to whether it is the way we move or the tone of our voice, how we listen, how we put our coat on or brush our teeth. It seems as though there is a forever deepening love to access.

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