Habits & Health episode 14 with Dr Paul Worrell, who has proven Non-Surgical Techniques to Lead a Life Without Pain.
We explore the topic of pain; causes, symptoms and methods to handle it.
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The Dr Paul Worrell interview link:
This video is related to an older episode featuring Greg Potter
Tony Winyard 0:00
Habits and health Episode 14.
Welcome to the habits and health Podcast, where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. Brought to you by an educator and coach for anyone who wants to create a healthier life. here's your host, Tony Winyard.
Tony Winyard 0:21
Welcome to another episode of the podcast where we give you ideas on habits you can create that will help your health in some way. Today's episode is with Dr. Paul Worley, who is a specialist in helping people alleviate pain in proven non surgical techniques to lead a life without pain. And we are going to hear a lot more about how he came about to do that. And how he actually helps people. If you do enjoy this episode, why not share it with anyone that you feel will get some benefit? benefit from it. And please do subscribe, and leave a review and hope you enjoy this great show. habits and health. My guest today is Dr. Paul well, that I that I pronounced that right? Yes, you did. Fantastic. How are you poor? Doing well. And you're in Dallas?
Dr Paul Worrell 1:15
Tony Winyard 1:17
How is Dallas today?
Dr Paul Worrell 1:21
It's rainy, but tolerable.
Tony Winyard 1:26
And what is it that you do Paul?
Unknown Speaker 1:29
I'm a family practice physician. I'm board certified in family medicine as well as Sleep Medicine. But I have a particular interest in seeing to it that people don't live with pain.
Tony Winyard 1:42
And how long have you been specialising in those areas?
Dr Paul Worrell 1:46
I've been working with that for 40 years.
Tony Winyard 1:50
Wow. Okay, so you're pretty experienced? Yeah, what was it? What was it that attracted you to that in the first place?
Unknown Speaker 1:58
You know, years ago, I had a fall on the ice. And for 10 years, every day, I had back pain, some days worse than others. And I was helping to teach a course to physicians, we had 185 doctors from all over the world in San Diego, teaching them about ligamentous articular strain techniques, techniques that were developed to help people with various neck back shoulder problems. They were developed actually in the 40s. And I thought there's a there's a problem here that that I have back pain, and I'm teaching my fellow physicians how to take care of their patients with back pain, when I should certainly be able to take care of myself. And so I thought, okay, physician heal thyself. And I came up with some techniques, and I've been using them for over 20 years without one day of back pain, I have not had one day of back pain in more than 20 years. And so I thought I have to share this, this is this is such good information that I don't want to just use it on the patients that I see that I help every day, I want to spread the word and so we put the book together. Resolving pain is the name of the book. And with that I offer basically self help manual on how people can take pain and make it go away.
Tony Winyard 3:22
And so what was it? How long did it take you to to come up with the solutions that you have in in a book or recommendations?
Unknown Speaker 3:31
You know, it was a fairly simple concept that I started thinking okay, what what reasons are there for people having pain? Well, physical damage causes pain, tear me break me cut me. Both my disc and my route gives me arthritis physical damage is one reason why people hurt. And that was the reason that I gave myself when I suffered with the pain that I did for 10 years. And then it occurred to me that the only other reason why we heard is we flinch, we wince we guard, there's a response to pain that is somewhat predictable, we all flinch the same way with pain in the same areas. And I thought well, there isn't really any other reason for pain, then those two reasons physical damage causing pain. And if you go around wadded up, of course, if you if you react to the pain and in such a way that your muscles are tense, then you're going to hurt from that. But I think if there's any changes to the concept, it is that there is no other reason other than those two reasons for having back pain. So I took it upon myself to determine how can I recognise the difference between the two. And so that's what the book is all about how to recognise that you are indeed flinching, how to turn it off, and then how to sustain what you've turned off in such a way that you're successful in ongoingly not having back pain.
Tony Winyard 4:55
And would you say there's most back pain come from pain To set a lot you know, a lot of hours now at computers and so on and so is our the number of back cases, back pain is increasing quite a lot now.
Unknown Speaker 5:10
You know, I've got ongoingly seen patients who had neck back shoulder pain for years and and typically when I show them what to do to make the pain go away, of course, I work with them in the office to see to it that we stopped the pain on the spot, and then show them how to sustain the effect by holding themselves accountable for the way they hold themselves.
Tony Winyard 5:38
What do you think about the a lot of people at the first sign of pain, they immediately take a painkiller to you know, rather than trying to find out what is causing the pain, they just would take a painkiller and said, What do you think about that sort of reaction that other people have?
Unknown Speaker 5:56
You know, I would hope that people would look for other means of taking care of it than just popping pills.
Tony Winyard 6:05
And how, so when if someone comes to see you, they've got severe back pain, for example, how long typically and I realise this is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string, but how long might it take to to alleviate someone's pain?
Unknown Speaker 6:21
You know, for people who come into my office, sometimes they're carried in sometimes they're wheeled in wheelchairs, sometimes they hobble in, and not uncommonly, they will walk out the door, almost skipping and jumping with no pain at all.
Tony Winyard 6:36
Wow. And so what is it the me because a lot of people go to see work chiropractors and osteopaths, and so on. So what is it you're doing? Are you doing something similar to as to what those people are doing or something very different?
Unknown Speaker 6:52
Well, I do what you think of is classic manipulative techniques on my patients and, and sometimes I give them injections of something to help calm them down. Because when people are in the throes of severe pain, it's difficult to negotiate with a self protection mechanism. And that's really what I do, I have to be able to negotiate with the body. The most important thing I would say is, don't do anything to provoke yourself protect mechanism. In other words, if there's something that you're doing, that hurts, especially if it causes excruciating pain, it's going to provoke the body to respond in such a way that it continues to hurt. So this primitive self protection mechanism is designed in such a way to keep us from dangerous situations as the as the car door slams, you don't have to stop and think about pulling your hand back out of the way to keep your fingers from being crushed, you just automatically do it. The problem is that pain no matter what the reason, is interpreted by this primitive mechanism as an assault. And when you're assaulted, of course, you run you have nowhere to go. And I call that a flinch. The difference between using the term spasm and flinch is that spasm is a word that you would use for a victim. And I asked my patients to roll up their sleeves and take on the position of being a competent problem solver. They have to figure out how to recognise the pain is just the information that they need to turn off the issue of how the body responds predictably to pain. It is human nature that says when I hurt or think I'm going to hurt, I actually hold myself in a way that makes me hurt. Yeah, so you have to as a competent problem solver recognise that the pain is just the information you need to solve the problem. And Dallas we have I'm sure you have the same and England that you have bumps in between the lanes. So when you move out of your lane, you start feeling bump, bump, bump. And I tell people, nobody likes driving all the bumps and nobody likes pain. But just like the bumps give us the information we need to get back at our lane. The pain gives us the information we need to know what we do to hold ourselves accountable and turn off our built in self protect mechanism.
Tony Winyard 9:20
Once people come and see you and you've alleviated the pain wherever it might be, I'd imagine they would need to change certain habits that's caused the pain in the first place. So how do you help people with that kind of thing?
Unknown Speaker 9:35
Yeah, there are certain key areas that you can check and find that you are able to discover the information you need to monitor. And so that's key that there are a couple of places that I really like to utilise more than the other and one is in the hand. There's a place right here right here on the hand that when you touch it, and I use my hand around my hand Use the knuckle of my thumb, to pull it into my hand, so to speak, and find that there's just enough pressure that I can put on it that it causes discomfort. And when I recognise that, all I have to do is relax my shoulders, arms and neck, and the pain of the hand goes away, immediately.
Tony Winyard 10:23
One, this This podcast is audio only so that people will be able to hear it, but they won't see. I mean, I can see you now. But when you were describing this, no one will know. So could you could you be able to explain it? whereabouts on the hand? Is
Unknown Speaker 10:38
it Yes, at the at the base of the thumb, where the wrist comes in to the base of the thumb is where you'll find a place that's tender, almost as if you were trying to shake your hand from the backside, right hand shaking the left or left shaking the right, putting the hand, the palm over the back of the other hand, the knuckle of the thumb lands just right at the base of the thumb as it comes into the wrist and the end. That's one of the areas that I use most commonly to have people recognise that they're in a pattern of flinching.
Tony Winyard 11:15
And so do you. Do you get them to do Repeat this on a sort of frequent basis to prevent it from coming back?
Unknown Speaker 11:22
Yes, the whole idea is, how do I how do i a recognise it be do something about it convince myself that indeed, I turned off something that was making my hand uncomfortable. And then how do I adjust the way I live in my body. And some of it is imaging that I utilised in the book, like the idea of imaging, that there is a helium balloon tied to the top of your head. And as you see it very clearly in your, in your mind that your head becomes lighter. And then I have people think about their centre right in the middle of their chest, as though they're filming a movie, I call it This is my life, right. And as you film the movie, or look as though you are blinded from your vision in your eyes, and you see from your centre, then recognising that as you breathe out, you can drop your energy utilising the image of the helium balloon and, and the thought of I can only see from the camera in the middle of my chest. And I tell people envision that this is a place called. And that as you feel that, you'll notice that if you go to check your hand, it doesn't hurt. And so when people ongoingly work at the idea of trying to see from that point of view, they're able to get more comfortable in their own skin. And so these are these are valuable tools and not only relieving pain, that when we talk about peace of mind, we interchangeably use the concept of being comfortable in your own skin. So when people approach life, from that point of view, they're able to turn off part of what feeds the pain mechanism. There's a certain threshold for reacting. And I speak to this in the book, that when people are tense or stressed or angry, frustrated, there's a certain body language associated with it. When you watch people with pain in the back, like if you stab somebody in the back, their body reacts in exactly the same way that we do with those emotional states I just mentioned. So it's like you need to stay away from being angry and frustrated and focusing on stress. You need to find some means by which you focus on how good it feels, to relax, and then focusing on the more positive things of life, that you're turning your attention toward. seeing to it that you purposefully as you film this movie called This is my life. Point your camera at things that please you. I tell people in the absence of aggressive optimism is despair. And the absence of paying attention to what you're doing with your body. It starts tensing up because of this fear factor, this feeling that I'm being attacked and I have to defend myself. Well, everything I do to save myself from pain causes the pain.
Tony Winyard 14:40
And so what do you think about things such as meditation, for example, what do you do you advise people to do things like that?
Unknown Speaker 14:48
I think meditation makes a lot of sense, but it's one thing to go take a vacation. It's another thing to come back with an attitude that that you've actually gotten something from that. That holiday or vacation right?
Dr Paul Worrell 15:01
And so it's what I'm working on as a concept in the book is having people live their meditation, not just take a break, and then go back to doing what was causing them to hurt, or what was causing them to feel stress.
We hope you enjoy this episode of the habits and health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you're looking for deep support to create the health and life you want, we invite you to consider one on one coaching sessions with Tony. Coaching sessions give you personalised guidance to fit your unique goals and life situation. Only a limited number of spots are available. But you can easily get started by booking a free introductory call at Tony winyard.com. Now back to the show.
Tony Winyard 15:43
If someone has had pain for a long time, not for a number of years, and they come and see you as opposed to someone who, who gets pain and immediately comes and sees you. Is there. If someone's had the pain for many years, will it take a lot longer to solve that issue?
Unknown Speaker 16:03
It's always a question of what does it take? I talked about what what size hammer does it take? Well, it depends on the size of the nail, right? If it's if it's if it's a railroad tie, you need a sledge hammer, right. And so for people who are physically stronger, or spiritually stronger, let's just say more stubborn, stubborn personality types, more aggressive personality types, they're going to have to work harder than someone who is have a weaker spirit. So people who are physically weaker can find fatigue in the muscles I that that should bring me to the next point, I just talked about the first thing that I do when I talk to people about how do you break the habits that cause pain, checking the hand, and you can then relax your upper part of your body, but the lower part of the body is a little bit more stubborn. As a matter of fact, you know, there's a place right on the outside of where you sit, called the piriformis. Right on the outside of the bone, you sit on the you'll find an inappropriately tender area, you can take a sock, make a ball, prop yourself on top of it, and you'll find that tender spot. And that represents only one thing and that is that you're pulling your legs inside you Well, you might just say that we're phylogenetically related to turtles, that when we have pain or when we're frustrated, we're angry upset that that we pour our arms legs and head inside our body is that we have a shell and we can find a place to to hide from the pain or get away from it. Of course, we don't have a shell. And yet we still respond just exactly like turtles do. So when you prop yourself on that wad of sock finding the inappropriately tender spot on the outside of the bone you sit on, then that's a recognition of the fact that indeed, there's too much tone in that area. And that is the only reason why it would be inappropriately tender, then you hold it tight enough long enough that you fatigue it to the point that hey, I'm still sitting on this wad of sock away, it doesn't hurt anymore. And so there's recognition at that point, that if I hold a muscle to muscle failure, and that's the second part of the technique that I use, find it and drop it like we did with the hand or hold it tight enough long enough to fatigue it and then recognise that there is no more tenderness in that area for a while. So it's like a temporary reprieve. And the concept that we're working on here is to hold it tight enough long enough to find the reprieves and then string your temporary reprieves into a long term success story.
Tony Winyard 18:46
One What advice would you give for people genuinely what what are the worst habits people can do consistently to bring pain upon themselves?
Unknown Speaker 19:01
You know, I think you have to work on the idea of having peace of mind like I talked about that if if you choose to be angry, you're going to respond in some way and people get angry about having pain for a long time. And and people who are more confrontational personality types are confrontational with their pain. But that's exactly what the pain wants you to do if you want to make a home for the pain five it
Tony Winyard 19:34
when when did you first decide to go about writing a book and what was it that made you what helped you make that decision?
Unknown Speaker 19:43
You know, I was so excited when I figured out how to stop my own back pain. And and as I came across the thought that there's pain from physical damage, and there's pain from reaction to the, from the damage, so to speak, and those are the only two reasons I thought, you know, this is, this is something that I can't imagine how valuable this might be, but I bet I can. I can help people as much as 50% with their pain. But the fact of the matter is that all of my pain went away. It's not because it was in my head. It was because of how I was interacting with a pain that was causing me to continue to hurt. So it was a misunderstanding when people saw me walking like you do when you have low back pain? They would say What happened to you? And I would say, Well, I was injured, and they say, Oh, I get it, you're damaged goods. And I thought, well, I just have to learn to live with it. Well, I decided, maybe there's a way around this. And I could learn to live without it. And and I have been so excited about the fact that I have had no pain at all, for more than 20 years. And ongoingly it's, it's a matter of kind of, like breaking the spirit. Seem to it that I don't respond with my built in self protection mechanism that caused me to suffer as much as I did. So in answer to your question, for over 20 years, I've been contemplating and making notes, I would write something down, but I have a busy life, we have altogether, like 10 children. And that's over a 32 year span. And so I have plenty on my plate with a practice where I have 30 employees, that extended hours, family practice, and then my work in sleep medicine as well because of my my interest in that, that I really didn't have a lot of time to sit down and put it all together. And so there were pages, I would work for a few hours here and a few hours there on putting it together. But finally, I had to come to the point of synthesising everything, organising it and putting it in such a way that it was digestible. And so that just came to pass to this past year.
Tony Winyard 22:08
And how did you find the process of actually putting it all together into a book?
Unknown Speaker 22:15
You know, I found someone to help me organise and and that was, that was the key to making all of this happen, is getting someone who, who helps authors put their thoughts together in such a way that they can publish something and, and share the information with other people.
Tony Winyard 22:38
And what's the reaction been like, since you were since the book was published,
Unknown Speaker 22:41
we've had really good response, I'm very excited to have my course I have the books here. And I have them on Amazon, for people to be able to pick up and we've had great reviews. And I knew I knew what would come of it, if I could just get the information out there and share it with people that I can only have so much impact on helping a number of people from seeing them on a daily basis. But when you're able to publish something like this, you can have such an impact on so many more people's lives. And and I'm just I'm just wanting to share that information.
Tony Winyard 23:26
You mentioned as well as working in pain, you also do a lot in sleep. I mean, they seem to be very different areas. How is it that you ended up doing those two, two different areas?
Unknown Speaker 23:40
honestly, I have a lot of interests. I take care of a lot of diabetics hypertensives hyperlipidemic 's, I have a extensive background in advanced lipid testing, as well as the art of taking care of various endocrine problems. I've delivered over 1000 babies in my first 15 years as part of building the practice. never lost a baby. I do surgery every day. I set broken bones I take care of colds, sore throats, venereal disease, COVID pneumonias, various skin issues, across the board I have I have a lot of interest. And so when people come to me not uncommonly, I may have a problem list of 15 different things that I want to take care of at that visit. And you know, understand their time limitations. You have to focus on whatever it is you're you're going for, but I can brush across a number of issues in one visit and tie things together. I'm very much interested in preventive care. I tell people an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Tony Winyard 25:07
And what is it about sleep that really appealed to you to go into that area?
Unknown Speaker 25:15
It was probably 12 years ago that I, I saw graphs and statistics of how heart disease came to people who have sleep related breathing disorders. And so I went with an effort to not run on to the tangent too much I can I can tell you that, that it is truly the valley of the shadow of death, that the majority of people who have early heart disease have sleep apnea 70% of the people who have high blood pressure, have sleep apnea. And hearing that you would say then why doesn't everybody get a sleep study when they have high blood pressure? Well, that is my standard of care. Because of what I just said.
Tony Winyard 26:00
Um, what about breathing itself? Because it seems there's not so much. I don't know, research or not so much people focusing on the breathing aspect of it. is, why are you talking about
Unknown Speaker 26:14
breathing at night? to sport, just everything in general?
Tony Winyard 26:18
Yeah, and functional breathing and so on.
Unknown Speaker 26:22
Yeah, and so there are pathological issues. So you have sleep obstruction, you have restrictive problems, air trapping issues, asthma, COPD, emphysema. And there are medications that I'm very much familiar with, that I utilise, on taking care of all of those issues. And then there's a tie in between pathology, problems with function of breathing, that are tied in with sleep. And so there's a marriage between all of the disciplines of medicine, including the techniques that I write about in resolving pain.
Tony Winyard 27:05
What tips would you give people, a lot of people have many problems with sleep? What are your in your experience? What are the what are the habits that could solve many people's issues with sleep?
Unknown Speaker 27:21
We call those sleep hygiene issues. The most important one is go to the bed the same time every night, get up at the same time every day. There's the homeostatic mechanism where where you make adenosine, which builds up in the body as a sleep load asleep, that a burden, if you will, that influences itself during the day, the longer I stay up, the busier I am, the more I feel like I need to sleep. And then there's the circadian rhythm, which is a 24 hour clock built into the base of the brain. And when you synchronise those, everything seems to work out better. When people get jetlag. There's a, there's a distinct problem with the synchronisation of those two mechanisms. And so that's the idea. Go to bed the same time every day, get up the same time every day. Try not to break that try not to nap, use the bedroom only for sleep. Don't stimulate yourself before going to sleep, turn down the lights, get off the screen, stay away from bright lights or heavy social interaction, heavy meal. Those are some of the things that we that we talk about in terms of, of how do you set your clock to be synchronised in such a way that you can fall asleep easily? And stay asleep?
Tony Winyard 28:47
How long ago was a book published?
Unknown Speaker 28:49
Yeah, it's just been this year that it came out.
Tony Winyard 28:52
And so d Can you foresee yourself doing any other books in the future?
Unknown Speaker 29:01
I have thoughts about other things I would like to promote and articles I would like to publish in medical journals. And that will all come I'm I'm putting those notes together on the side and and thought that eventually I'll publish those.
Tony Winyard 29:24
And so just to because Can you repeat the title of the books? I don't think we've actually talked about the title?
Dr Paul Worrell 29:31
Tony Winyard 29:32
And so it's available on Amazon and all major bookstores. I presume.
Unknown Speaker 29:38
Amazon is where we have it published right now. I'm I'm continuing to work on, on how I can put it out there for people. I'm going to get a Spanish translation. I'm going to get an auditory version so that people couldn't just listen to the book. A lot of people like to just have the audio version of a book
Tony Winyard 30:02
And if people want to find out more about you, Paul, where would they go to?
Unknown Speaker 30:08
We have a website on resolving pain. So if you look up resolving pain or look at my name, Paul, well, then you'll see other information. My office is Dallas family medicine.com. And we have a website, of course for the office.
Tony Winyard 30:28
And before we finish for is there, is there a quotation that you can think of that you particularly like?
Dr Paul Worrell 30:38
anything worth doing is worth doing well?
Tony Winyard 30:43
Why does that resonate with you?
Unknown Speaker 30:46
It just has always been a theme I've had. You know, I work with a concept that as a physician, I'm privileged to be able to take care of my patients, and I owe it to them to give my best.
Tony Winyard 31:02
Well, Paul, thank you for your time. And I really appreciate you sharing all your knowledge with with our listeners. So thank you very much.
Dr Paul Worrell 31:10
Tony Winyard 31:13
Next week is Episode 15. With Dr. Andrea Pennington. She's done numerous TED Talks, written quite a few books spoken to audiences like massive audiences. She's been on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz show she been interviewed on Dr. Mark Hymens podcast, and many other podcasts and TV shows. And she's a specialist in in self compassion, self care, and then some other areas as well. So we're gonna hear from next week's episode with Dr. Andrea Pennington. Hope you enjoyed this week's show and see you next week.
Thanks for tuning in to the habits and health podcast where we believe creating healthy habits should be easy. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and leave us a review on your favourite podcast app. Sign up for email updates and learn about coaching and workshop opportunities at Tony Winyard calm. See you next time on that habits and health podcast.
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