It’s In Your Head

Boyleing Points

It’s all in your head.  That’s what my crystal ball is telling me about my latest pain.  Your back?  Your shoulder? It’s in your head.

You doubt my crystal ball? You should. My tips and predictions are usually a good sign to go the other way. If I say one thing, bet the opposite and enjoy the winnings.

I’m like a psychic with a million questions. Somebody not to be believed. You know how it is with psychics: What’s your name? Where did you grow up? Did you lose a loved one? You’re the frigging psychic why are you asking? Don’t you know?!

But like a broken psychic I’m right twice a horoscope. Last year I was giving real estate advice: buy Rockaway.  

I caught some grief from friends who snidely remarked, oh Boyleing Points is a real estate column. You’re a guru, huh? 

Well, just a few months after that tip The New York Times listed Rockaway as one of the next “hot” neighborhoods. And now real estate agents are all scrambling for listings because properties are being snatched up.

This time my crystal ball is about pain. I have a torn rotator cuff and a bone spur but I’m 99 percent sure the pain is in my head.  If I were 100 percent sure, there’d be no pain.

What the hell am I talking about? Tension, stress and our personal demons cause us to feel pain.

Yep. Real estate advice last year; medical advice this year.  Yeah, I’m a quack but I’m not only a fake doctor, I’m a patient.

I had sciatica several years ago and was pretty much incapacitated.  I had an MRI that revealed a couple of bulging disks in my back, the L-something this and the L-something that. Surgery was an option but I really, really didn’t want go that way. I tried everything – nerve blocks, acupuncture, physical therapy, steroids, massage – and then stumbled upon biofeedback which is basically half a shrink session and half a relaxation session. 

A few hours after my third visit I was watching a basketball game at the Summer Classic at St. Francis.  A suddenly weird sensation washed over me – I was pain free. I was like a born-again or a blind man given Ted Williams vision.

I could only trace the new lease on life to the most recent treatment I’d had which was biofeedback. So what’s biofeedback? Well, half the time you talk about the stresses in your life and the other half is spent trying to make a machine go quiet. They put a little strap that’s tied to something that sounds like a Geiger counter. It buzzes steadily if you’re stressed out.  The more you relax the quieter the machine gets.

On my first attempt, the machine sounded like it was gonna blow up and a Hazmat team would rush in. The second week the machine just burped a few times. By the third week, I was a Zen master, I’d turned the machine into a mute. I’d learned to relax (which by the way did NOT work with margaritas or Coronas or other libations).

My pain disappeared. The herniated discs were still in my back so why’d the pain go away? The pain disappeared when I let go of some of the tension and worries.

Ever since my born again experience I’ve been pretty obnoxious with other people about their pain:  It’s in your head, I’d say without hesitation. I was so bad I told somebody who was bleeding from cutting themselves shaving that it was in their head. 

And now, I’ve got shoulder pain and I know part of the pain is in between my ears. It’s in my head but I can’t get it out.  

If this was painful to read, take an Advil, and prepare yourself for next week – more pain’s on the way.

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