359-Overcoming Chronic Pain with the Non-Diet Approach with Dr. Andrea Moore

by | May 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Overcoming chronic pain with the non-diet approach

That it is knee pain, back pain or fibromyalgia many women suffer in silence with chronic pain. They choose to suffer in silence as when they did speak up and ask for help they were meet with weight stigma.

Overcoming chronic pain with the non-diet approach 

“Just lose weight”

“The pain would go away if your body weight wasn’t so heavy”

“ This pain is a sign that your body isn’t healthy… you need to lose weight”.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Healing chronic pain doesn’t have to be about weight loss and in fact many forms of chronic pain will NOT be healed with weight loss.

There are as many people with chronic pain in smaller bodies than in larger body… so if weight loss isn’t the solution, then what is?

In this episode we have guest expert Dr. Andrea Moore Chronic Pain Specialist. 

What you’ll learn listening to this episode on overcoming chronic pain with the non-diet approach:

  • Why pain is a necessary experience for human
  • The problem is not the pain but how we experience the pain
  • Stephanie journey’s through Dr.Andrea’s process to overcome chronic pain.
  • The 3 day free event from Dr. Andrea to learn how to break the cycle of chronic pain so you can reduce pain levels by 50% 

Mentioned in the show: 

Health Habits Checklist

Rebellious Eating Solution Webinar

Quiz: Is it you or your diet?

Undiet Your Life Program

Non-Diet Coaching Certification

Connect with our guest:

Website – Dr. Andrea Moore

Instagram – Dr. Andrea Moore

Free 3 days experience with Andrea


Going Beyond The Food Show Episode 359 - Overcoming Chronic Pain with the Non-Diet Approach with Dr. Andrea Moore

This is episode 359 of the Beyond the Food Show

and today we're gonna talk about chronic painand how to overcome and reduce chronic pain in a non diet way, because many of us have been told that if we quote just lose weight, our pain will go away. My guest expert today as a whole different perspective, you ready stay tuned.

Hello my sisters and welcome back. This is a special episode. I have been looking for an expert to enlight us on chronic pain for more than five years. And today is the day after 357 episode that I'm bringing you, this magical person. Her name is Dr. Andrea Moore and her entire specialty revolves around chronic pain. Now, I wanna catch that very wide on this because her approach,a non-AI approach to chronic pain, catches all forms of chronic pain, that it is knee pain, low back pain, that it is fibromyalgia pain or idiopathic pain, pain without a cause. Her approach, her doctorate thesis on pain is about helping you find the solution and first, find the reason why you're experiencing that pain and then overcoming that pain.

I'm so excited to share with you this conversation. For some of you who've been listening to the podcast for a long time, you know my personal journey with chronic pain. I have been exposed to chronic pain since my mid twenties and I use my personal story in this interview with Andrea to really bring it to a concrete level of how I have changed my relationship to pain, reduced the pain that I'm experiencing every day, and Andrea sharing how she's approaching it as well.

I have to tell you this: my personal journey to overcoming healing chronic pain has been since the last 10 years, and it's really on the last three years where really reduced the pain that I'm experiencing on a daily basis. And I have to tell you this, if I had met Andrea 10 years ago, I would've skipped through seven years of me trying to figure it out on my own. And that's what Andrea does for people is she skips through what I had to experience was just trying a whole bunch of different things before figuring out what works for me and funny enough, as I'm sharing during the interview, what worked for me is what she teaches to people she work with.

So, If you experience chronic pain, this is a must listen. Or if you have anyone in your life that experienced chronic pain who's been seeking a solution, this is the episode you want to get them to listen. So without any further ado, my team will patch through the interview with Dr. Andrea. Enjoy.

Stephanie: Welcome to the podcast Andrea.

Dr. Andrea: Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here, Stephanie.

Stephanie: I am the same way and I am because we're gonna talk about a topic that's near and dear to my heart, which is pain cuz I've been living with chronic pain and as I was mentioning to you, I've been talking about pain from a non-AI approach mainly by illustrating my own lived experience but never been able to speak about pain from a factual and science based. I'm really excited to be able to put a resource out there for my client to understand pain and chronic pain differently so they can have a conversation with their caregiver to get them

a non-AI approach to chronic pain. [

Stephanie: Yes.] So I'm excited to have that conversation.

Dr. Andrea: Oh, me too. I love this so much and I love what you're doing and I think it's abso totally amazing and phenomenal. So just thank you for doing the work that you do. It's so important.

Stephanie: Same thing for you. So let's talk about pain. [Yes.] What is pain? Let's start with the basic and what build from there.

Dr. Andrea: I know, right? Alright. So the way I always like to start out is, pain, one is crucial to our lives. It sounds so counterintuitive, especially if you've been in pain, but ultimately we first need to recognize that we do need pain. If you stepped on a rusty nail, would you wanna know about it? Yeah. Kind of important, right, because you want to be able to clean your wound, not bleed out from your foot without realizing it, right? You put your hand on a hot stove, you want to know about it. So we first wanna recognize where pain is important. And what pain is, is a message from our nervous system to our brains about what's, what it's experiencing. There actually are no pain receptors in the body, which is really important. There are temperature detectors, which is why a hot stove will set them off, right? There are movement receptors that can like feel how much stretch is being put on, but ultimately what happens is this nervous system response gets sent up to the brain and the brain interprets it based on what else is going on.

Dr. Andrea: And so the brain can then choose to be like, Hey, ooh, this is important, let's pay attention, which is pain. It's like, ding, ding, ding, yikes, threat or ehh, we can ignore this, not important, which is also why you could be running from a bear and step on a rusty nail and not feel the rusty nail because the brain is literally me being like, feeling pain in that moment would not be helpful for your survival. Right.

Dr. Andrea: So your brain is always interpreting the message. This can unfortunately though be misunderstood as pain is in your head, which is what some people also could have heard. So let's just be real clear that that is not about this. Like can I swear on this podcast? [Oh yeah.] Okay. Good. [Used to that] Or say it appropriately, I always tell, because I speak to mainly women and often we're gonna make sweeping generalizations, right now. Often the doctor that is telling the women that the pain is in their head is a male. I always like to tell them, you can kick your doctor in the balls and be like, that pain is also in your head. [Yeah.] Cause all pain is the brain's interpretation of what happened. So like, come on. It's stupid. So anyway,

Stephanie: [is that over? And you're,] it's in your head, but it hurts.

Dr. Andrea: Exactly. So like, yes. Like technically yes it is the braids interpretation, but like it's become kind of useless to talk about it in that sense because it's missing out on the entire context and the fact is it freaking hurts, okay. So like it doesn't change that.

Dr. Andrea: So anyway, so we need pain, but what can often happen is pain becomes a threat detection. And the threat that pain is interpreting can be subjective. [ Okay, tell me more.] Yeah, so first I'm gonna back up and give another, ex I love analogies is, I'm sure we have all walked past that car the whose alarm goes off we're no freaking, it's like you just looked at it the wrong way, right? There was always that car in the parking lot. That car has a threat detection that is too sensitive. It is no longer useful because it is responding too heavily, but the car alarm is just as loud based on whether or not we are seeing, a threat there.

Dr. Andrea: So it is responding in the same way to a leaf blowing by it, or you giving the car a side eye as it would to somebody trying to break in. And so it becomes very difficult then to interpret what is an actual threat versus what is your system interpreting as a threat? [Hmm.] Both result, again, in levels of pain that are felt and lead to suffering and that we don't want to feel, okay. And so just because your body is misinterpreting something as a threat when it not isn't actually a threat, again, doesn't make it any less valid or real. It makes it just as important to attend to as if there was an actual threat.

Dr. Andrea: So what happens whether there was an injury or not, after pain has been going on for more than three months, up to six months, right past the six month mark, this is for sure, what we see are changes in the nervous system and of how it's wired, that it is actually increasing the number of receptors in a certain body part to like know about anything that's going on. This leads to nervous system sensitization, which leads to pain. Because the brain is now getting just all these messages even if it's like, wow, your knee just bent a certain way. Your brain's like, oh my God, it's, I'm being told about this over and over and over. This must be bad. And it's interpreting it as something bad because there's just so much information coming in at it do this increased sensitization that the pain, even if there was a point where there was tissue damage, or an injury, the pain now is due to nervous system sensitization, not due to tissue damage.

Dr. Andrea: And from an injury, when they've studied this happens in 25% of people, which is a massive amount of people, like it's not a small thing that happens or you're some like rare thing that this is like person that this has happened to. It's like this is a massive thing that happens in the population. And so again, this can be in response to an actual injury, then that just felt like it never healed. Often the tissues have healed, but what remains is the nervous system sensitization. Or if you're someone who's like, I just woke up with a pain, there is no clear response, this can still be the case. Either way if you've had pain for more than three to six months. [Mm-hmm.] These nervous system changes have been found to be like universally true. It is just then about the more complicated matter of what's the nervous system detecting us threat and how do we get it to calm down?

Stephanie: That's fascinating.

Dr. Andrea: Yeah. That's my very long mis overview on pain. Yeah.

Stephanie: It is fascinating because that's not at all what we're being taught [No] in mass communication, right? [Mm-hmm.] And the first thing that came up to my brain is the shame that we feel for having the pain [Yes] because we shouldn't be having the pain. And I'll layer in our particular conundrum because of our size or our body, or yes, our refusal to diet, then we carry the shame and I'm sure that carrying the shame sensitized the nervous system and create more pain.

Dr. Andrea: Oh my gosh. You are freaking brilliant. Yes. You are so spot on because what can happen within the system when we have shame, which is, you're right, it is such a common emotion, whether it is something that we have internalized based on, maybe there is a parents at a young age or putting a lot of emphasis on what you should be able to do with your body athletically, [mm-hmm] or what you should be able to live up to or whether it is a doctor making comments about your body, or it is just internal pressures you've put on yourself Probably based on what society has taught you. Let's be real, right? What it teaches then that every time we're feeling pain, it increases the threat response because it's like pain itself becomes a threat because pain is preventing me from being accepted by society, from having love, from feeling worthy, right? And so what happens is we start pitting against ourselves. Because what I love to really emphasize is that pain ultimately is a part of you. It is a part of your body and so when we hate on it, when we fight it, right, when we are like desperately trying to make it go away, when we feel like pain is ruining our lives, if you just imagine saying all those same things, let's even take it out of your, like to your best friend, right? Like it doesn't feel good. But it's like we are saying that kind of to a part of ourselves.

Dr. Andrea: Now, I also like to add any time I say that, it never means that you have to like love your pain or be like, I'm so happy you're here, like, okay, we don't have to get Pollyanna about it. [No] But it's just about seeing it as a part of our whole selves and that it gets a seat at the table. But it doesn't mean it runs the show. It doesn't mean it gets to dictate our lives for us, but it is a part of us.

Stephanie: Yeah. It's an alignment to what we teach with body image, which is body neutrality. [Mm-hmm.] We don't have to love our body. [Yes.] It's a vehicle to use and experience my life, that's it. [Yeah.] Don't have to love it, but you can't like hating it, it's not gonna serve you. You just gotta be neutral and make friend with it. [Yes. Yes. Exactly.] So it's the same place with pain.

Dr. Andrea: Perfect analogy. Yes, exactly. 100%.

Stephanie: Because as you're teaching us that, I'm relating to my own experience of pain, and I'm gonna ask you a question about this. So, for the listener who've been around, there's a number of episodes on the feed about pain and health and pain and my own story around pain and I was sharing recently that the work that has been the most profound in reducing my pain has been accepting my pain. [Nice.] And part of that was in parallel to the this, the concept of healthism, the obsession with being optimum health and thinking I should be able to not be in pain. I should be able to have a body that's not in pain if I work hard enough and when I accepted that not all humans have a perfectly functioning body that I made peace with that, my pain reduce. And it's not a promise to say, if you do that pain's gonna reduce. But that's what my experience was. Does that make sense in relationship to your teaching?

Dr. Andrea: Yes, absolutely. 100% goes with what I teach because it is about coming into this acceptance. And I think the word acceptance can feel so loaded to people [Yes] because acceptance can often feel like, oh, I'm just giving up and it's not. Acceptance can be the most empowering thing in especially the way you're describing it, right, of it's actually seeing your body for exactly what it is. It's not rejecting your body. And even what you were describing of like this, yes, this healthism, this obsession with being perfect or having a body operate in a certain way, it's like, who even defined that in the first place? [Mm-hmm.] Like what does that, what does that even mean? What is the optimum, like what? Like it's just so, it's just so ridiculous. And it's like, what if we were just allowed to be in the body we were given exactly as it was, meeting it exactly as it is right now. And often when we can do that, you're absolutely right, pain levels will decrease because we're no longer seeing our own body as a threat. So everything calms down. Your pain's like I don't need to yell is loud. You're like hearing the message.

Dr. Andrea: And so everything often does calm down and it's like this really like funny side effect that happens by being like, actually I'm just gonna accept that I have pain.This is a formed analogy, but it's like, it's part of the body neutrality piece, right? It's like being like, my body is the size it is, so I'm gonna find clothing that feels amazing [Yes] for it, right? It's like I am going to give it exactly what it needs right now. And when we do that, we just feel better, right? You just feel better when you're wearing something that feels amazing on your body exactly as it is. And then you're just like, ah, right. And so it's the same thing for pain. It's like when we can meet our bodies exactly where they are, maybe our body needs more rest. [Mm-hmm.] Maybe our body doesn't wanna do a certain type of workout that everybody's been saying we should do to lose weight, right. It's like, no, my body wants to just do this one movement practice that feels beautiful for me, and we can respect our bodies and meet its needs from that way. Nervous systems are like, they feel so much safer. We just start to achieve nervous system safety, which brings down that sensitization, which will then decrease pain.

Stephanie: And I wanna make sure I'm like, I'm going to the place where some people are going right now [oh yes] in their heads.

Dr. Andrea: Yes. Yes.

Stephanie: So pain is not in my head [mm-hmm] but it modulate itself through my head, my nervous system, my brain. [Mm-hmm.] Does that mean that, we'll take the classic knee example, because that's probably like 50 to 70% of the people listening to this. [Mm-hmm.] They have knee problem [mm-hmm] because their joint is getting older. And they're not in a thin body, so they're have more weight. Now, is it true that more weight impacts the joint of the knee and causes pain, [so] or was it just in their head?

Dr. Andrea: Yeah, right. So here's the thing. I'm a physical the, I work for the clinic and saw hundreds and hundreds of people. I saw zero correlation to between body size and pain, and knee pain. [Wow.] I myself am in a thin body that is the body that I genetically was given. [Yeah.] And I had all kinds of joint pain and knee pain [hmm] when I was a teenager. Like, and when I was like 16, 17 years old, like I had all kinds of knee issues. I was like probably 95 pounds when I was a teenager. Like, please. Right.

Stephanie: So, so it's not true anatomically that the weight causes joint pain?

Dr. Andrea: No, not, here's what I'll say from a, like, I will get physical therapy about this for a second. I'm gonna step into physical therapy. The biggest correlation is how well supported is that joint. [Okay. Tell me more.] So, yes, and I do think this is important, right, is what, the biggest, the thing that I wanna like ooh, get, so like, just get on a soapbox about, is this concept of like, if somebody comes in with knee pain, often they are told, oh, you should stop exercising or you should stop squatting, you shouldn't climb up. Like you should do all whatever. And ultimately the way the joint works, the more muscle we have around the joint, the more supportive the joint is. It actually sounds very counterintuitive, but it actually creates more space in the joint to have more muscle around it. [Hmm.]

Dr. Andrea: So that part is important. But even I, with that, even if you're somebody who hasn't been able to build up strength because there has been pain. [Yeah] Right, cuz that's the reality for money. It doesn't mean one that you can't obtain that, but it still doesn't mean you have to have a lot of pain. And so that's the thing is I would see people who were really weak and like, yes, we do wanna build up strength just so you can feel more independent in your day. You can do that in a way that doesn't involve shaming, that doesn't involve a lot of pain, that doesn't mean anything about you as a person. It's just as like, it feels good and loving to just give my joint more support. And it's possible to do that again without likethe hyposensitization piece. [ Tell me more about this.] Yeah. I also wanna make, one more thing before I go into that is often those who carry more weight are some of the frigging strongest people I know because you're literally carrying more weight.

Stephanie: I have the calf of a machine, like [yes] I cannot, like I'm back into the gym lifting weight, and I just keep like I'm at like 150 pounds on my caff and I cannot get [yeah] high enough just because it's supporting 200 plus pounds of weight. These sh, these muscles are strong as hell.

Dr. Andrea: Exactly. Like I, I feel like that was like a very, that was a consistent thing I would see is I would get these very thin bodied people who were very weak and they have a lot of knee pain, right. Because they're, they have no, have no muscle around it. And again, that's not shaming them for, [no] for, for having that. It's just, it is the reality. And so we wanna give them more strength.

Dr. Andrea: Most people who I worked with who had a larger body, they were so strong, it wasn't about the muscle, you know, sometimes it was more just gi pick more love to their muscles and actually more of like almost the self-care piece of like, maybe they were tight and were working so hard, so it's just like giving them love and massage [Stretching, yes] and stretching. Yes, exactly. And then teaching them more about this piece of bringing down the sensitization because if every step, if you have been told that your weight is causing [yep] pain, then imagine what you are thinking either consciously or at a subconscious level that, ah, I'm going up the stairs. How much weight am I putting through my joint right now? [Mm-hmm.] Weight is bad to put through my joint. If weight was bad to put through your joint, why are we promoting weightlifting. Like it doesn't make, [no] like, it's not our joints. There's something called wolf swa. The more force you put through something, the stronger it gets. Like we want to weight through joints. I'm like a massive advocate of strength training for that purpose.

Dr. Andrea: And so if every step you take, every time you have pain, every time you're going up and down stairs, every time you're squatting, you're thinking, oh, I'm creating damage. Yeah. Oh my gosh, I'm creating damage. Your body is like, I'm creating dam. Right. It just takes on that message you're sending and it's, and what your body will do, what your brain will do is like, we are worried about creating damage, therefore we need to know more about what is going on in this joint. And so how does a brain learn more? It puts in more receptors and so it's literally, a person with pain will have a significantly more receptors within a joint, which means your body is feeling every movement you do at a much greater level.

Dr. Andrea: So the best way to describe this sensitization is if you've ever had the flu, right? You know how you like just like laying under the sheets, you feel it on your body that's just like, oh my God, it's sore. If you like bump up against a doorway, it's like, oh my God, like it doesn't hurts. That is literally, that's sensit and that's like a chemical sensitization that happens cuz they detect chemicals too. So it's like things just hurt more, but there's not more damage being caused. You bumping against the doorway when you have the flu, is it more likely to lead it a bruise right. It's just your body was more sensitive to it, you felt it more, and then once that sensitization decreases, flu goes away, it disappears.

Dr. Andrea: So in the knee joint, it's literally just feeling more and then your brain is like, it's like a self-perpetuating cycle. So your brain's getting more information and it's like, oh my gosh, wow, this joint's moving and we've learned that moving is bad. Oh my gosh, we must be concerned about this. Let me throw in more receptors. And so it just creates this vicious cycle when instead if we can be like, it is safe to put weight through my joints because that actually is what increases my bone density. That is what brings nourishment to my joints because that is true when we put, when we use our joints, that brings in the synovial fluid that lubricates them, that, that tells our body, we are using this, so we must take, like, that helps it take care, to take care of it, to send in the healing when we can be like, yeah, I might be sore, but I'm safe. It is safe for me to go upstairs. I'm not creating more damage. Then our brain can be like, okay, this is safe. And slowly the receptor starts to replace themselves and start to fade out.

Stephanie: Are you saying the word taught work?

Dr. Andrea: Yes. It can be part of,

Stephanie: because people are familiar because that's part of our process.

Dr. Andrea: Yes. You have to believe the thought work though, just like right,so yes,

Stephanie: But the same process as we use for body image. Right? You have to start slowly, like, it's possible for me to accept my body, blah, blah, blah. Right.

Dr. Andrea: Exactly. And I work with a combination of like thought work isn't partially thought work, but then you [cognitive] use thought work to, yes, go on a body level. And so then I also take people through a process of like also getting to know pain, partnering with pain. Like, hey, what are you here for? [Yes.] What's going on? So like the knee can be a great example of like, is there fear of moving forward in life? Right. Or your back, where do I not feel supported? Right. Like things like that, I find, sometimes it can be helpful to have a global generalization of a body part, but sometimes the message can be so unique so I never like to assume anything. [Yeah.] But it's like we are, we're always working from both levels. We wanna make sure we're taking out the layers of beliefs that were put on us by the medical community. [Yeah.] But then we have to remember that the paint also was present. So it's almost like these two, I know it's a podcast and I use my hands so much. Okay, so it's like almost like two layers, right? There's the, like here we had paint, there was an moment of when pain started and then there was all these layers and beliefs that got built on top of it. I find those layers and beliefs are often, they work really well with thought work. But then it's like, why did the pain come on in the first place? So at first we have to clear the thoughts and beliefs that came on of like, that we're holding onto that movement is bad, or just walking around and being in your body is a problem. Right.

Stephanie: That's hyper desensitizing the pain. [Yes.] You have to remove that part.

Dr. Andrea: Yes, because that's keeping us in the cycle. And then it's like, okay, now we can be with our pain. [Okay.] Hey, what's going on? What? Why did you come on in the first place? And really then deep deepening into the body and getting to know,is there a message here for us? What does our body need to feel loved and supported and cared for? What would feel respectful to our body, and working in from a much more somatic level and an embodied level.

Stephanie: What's fascinating is I'm hearing you explain your methodology and how you help people release pain. It's what I did in a very disorganized way. [Yeah.] Would I have known like you were existing, I would've fast tracked my result to pain because I did it, but like poking over here and poking over there. So you're like taking that process, organizing it in step one to five [mm-hmm] in a very systematic way to fast track people, [yes] reducing their pain and hearing the message yes] in a awesome way, not just like from [yeah] quote unquote weight loss, but like from a, what is the whole big picture behind this?

Dr. Andrea: Exactly, yes. Cause I don't talk about weight loss at all. [Yeah, exactly.] Because it's not needed.

Stephanie: That's why you're here. Because you wouldn't be here if you were.

Dr. Andrea: Yeah, exactly. Like literally, I've never talked about that. Right? Like it's not required at all.

Stephanie: So why do you think that is, when we go to the doctor, we get told it's our wait. Like you are a specialist. You have a doctorate in that, like you're the ultimate up-to-date level of information, but that message is not what the thousands and thousands of doctor gives to patient every day.

Dr. Andrea: Yeah. So what I first wanna start with is what I am saying about pain in terms of the sensitization and all that is evidence based and backed by the neuroscience. [Yes] Like the is, it's not debatable. Like, it's not like a, oh, this is some woo French thing. [Mm-hmm] It's like, no, no, no,go read the research papers, this is what it says. The other thing the research papers say is all about bringing it back to your body and the mindfulness piece and the being with your body and it, the research 100% shows how harmful it is to like, speak about certain ways in pain to be like, oh, being in this body is creating damage and oh, like all of that type of language is so [stigmatization.]

Dr. Andrea: Yes, the research knows all of this [mm-hmm] yet it is not carried over at all in practice. Now, from talking to, you know, I've had some doctors on my podcast, from what I hear from them, they don't learn any of that in medical school.

Stephanie: Oh, so it's just generalized fat phobic [yep] socialization of the population that's carried over in their practice.

Dr. Andrea: Yes. And in, in like defense to be like, not all doctors are terrible people at all, so much because of insurance and things like that. So many doctors are limited to this like seven minute visit, where they have to get through way more than they can ever do. They are stressed. They are burned out, and at the end of the day, I think it's very easy to say you should lose weight. [Okay.] It's so easy because it's such like a, an accepted thing to say [okay]. To sit with someone and go into the deeper things takes a long time. I wanna be like, your doctor cannot do this type of work with you. And what I'm actually seeing now, it's funny because it's like, oh my God, this needs to get into the medical field, but I'm actually seeing it. It is getting into the medical field slowly, and it's actually really problematic because what's happening is doctors are like, I mean, it's better. It's better. It's a step up. But when it happens,

Stephanie: we get in the right direction

Dr. Andrea: They're moving. It's just slow. As long as insurance is dictating these seven minutes, we're kind of fucked. Like it's never gonna look good. Yeah. But what's happening is doctors are like, you need to have less stress. That's right, so that they've moved from weight loss to, okay, well you need to just have less stress in your life. Well, you should just do this, but what the, like, come on, like it's not helpful. Oh, you should be more mindful here. You should meditate more. And they're just doing the same thing where they're just throwing a, like this blanket statement without ever sitting with a person and letting the person be heard and loved on, and just have a chance to express what is being held in their body and in their system because it takes time and spaciousness and a relationship and being heard and seen to move through a lot of this work.

Stephanie: So, we understand pain better, we understand sensitization, I'm someone with pain, [mm-hmm] I go to the doctor, I'm being told it's weight. I told the doctor I don't want to talk about weight. Then what do I do? [Yeah] do I go to someone like you or is there anything else in the medical system that can help me?

Dr. Andrea: So chances are, if you have tried a bunch of things, if you have been, like either told, hey, there's really nothing more we can do, you just need to lose weight, or maybe they've taken x-rays and they're like, either it looks fine, or we could get into a whole nother conversation about, just because it says something in an image does not mean that there has to be pain present because that's again, proven by research that what we see in an image does not correlate. [That's fascinating] The pain levels at all, like it is so fascinating, like it is insane and I've had so many good stories of this. So, so just know that because I'm like a whole other conversation. Stay focused, Andrea.

Dr. Andrea: Okay. So what can you do? I think, it is a knowing that the medical system can be there to rule out something that does need to be medically treated. And that's tricky because like I'm talking from a place of like, I'm not gonna say some things, and I really don't mean to like throw anyone's fear detectors up, but it's like at the end of the day, there is some back pain that comes in and it's an early sign of, a kidney thing or right, there's bone cancer. Like, there, there are things we can't live in fantasy world [no] right. There are some times where pain can be an indicator of a deeper medical problem that does need to be attended to by the conventional field. But here's the thing, chances are if you've had pain for more than six months and years likely, like they would've seen that. Like know that the medical field tends to do a very good job of catching an acute emergency issue like that. And so if you've been to a bunch of doctors and they haven't had it, know that they've done their job. [Okay] You've gotten what you need and now it is like, okay, I'm never gonna get what I need from them because not only have they not been trained to it, even the ones that might be aware and are aware, they can't do it in a 15 minute visit.

Stephanie: They're not structured to give that kind of care.

Dr. Andrea: Yeah. When I was working in the clinic, I was very aware of what it took. It as the reason I came out of the clinic because even working in a clinic that I was able to have 45 minute visits with people. [Okay.] I felt like I could not do what I knew would help people because as long as it is covered by insurance, there are literally restrictions on what we're allowed to do. Okay? So I moved outta the clinic because I was like, I cannot do the things that I know will help. And this is the case for a lot of doctors who might have the knowledge. They can't do it in practice. So it is yes, finding people like myself who are going to walk you through it and be with you through the process, whether it's group or one-on-one. I do both depending on the needs of the person. I have a podcast, the Unweaving Chronic Pain Podcast, which of course I'm delighted to have you on as well, that, you know, I start to talk about it. And so just like getting yourself in your brain to hear a different side of things is amazing. There are so many,books and apps and things like that, that do help with this as well. Curable is one that I've heard. I,I've never like gone through what I've heard. There's some limitations of having an app, but it's like the overall messages, at least giving your brain different messages

Stephanie: And it depends where you're on the scale of affordability. The apps will help you to the extent which you can, right?

Dr. Andrea: Exactly, yes. And especially if you're like, man, I really can see where I need to reprogram my beliefs about pain. Alan Gordon has an amazing book called The Way Out, I Believe, and same with, Howard Schumer. They both, I think Shuber stuff, I think he's got some YouTube videos and things like they, he really does a great job of if you're like, I just need to hear more about, wait a minute, wait an x-ray, does it mean, if you're, like, some of these things are like, holy crap, I've never heard this before. Like, I recommend actually following some of those guys cuz they speak really, well about the like, medicalization of these things and how it just doesn't add up.

Dr. Andrea: Again, I will say they're men and they do have a certain perspective sometimes that I find, there's no reason women tend to come to me. [Yeah.] But no, I think like their information is like spot on. Like, it's so good. It's so good.

Stephanie: And I wanna be sure that we include the conversation around the fibromyalgia thing, like, I don't wanna call it a disease, Like it's an association of symptoms. Yeah. But when we talk about chronic pain, we're not only talking about knee pain, we're talking about pain that people can explain like fibromyalgia.

Dr. Andrea: Yes. Fibromyalgia 100% falls into this category. It is literally a sensitization of your entire nervous system and I've, rather than it happening at a joint level, often when we're talking about something fibromyalgia, there is something that the body is detecting as a threat that's much more external, like global in your life. [Yeah.] Like, let's use you as an example, right?[ Yeah] You are someone who is operating against status quo. You're coming here and being like, fuck diet culture. That is anti societal, like norms. Your body, sometimes for some people, their body can actually develop fibromyalgia like thing because it's like this is unsafe for you to be speaking out against. Do you know what happens to women when they use their voice? And so it's your body actually trying to protect you because guess what? What's, guess what a great way to stop you from using your voices, being in pain.

Stephanie: Yeah, but not being able court and do nothing because you're,

Dr. Andrea: Yeah, your body's not stupid. So if you're doing something where it's like, man, every time it feels like I'm making these big strides, or I'm making myself more visible or doing something I love, it's almost like the more aligned to life you get, if you have more pain, chances are, is because your body is seeing that as a threat. And we can rewire that. That can be shifted. Again, that's not gonna be the case for everyone, but it's definitely, if you're like, man, nothing makes sense or like, the better I feel internally, the worse my body feels, like that's why.

Stephanie: Yeah. Anne, it's often, like I'm thinking of a student recently who was a health coach with fibromyalgia, and part of her healing process was to stop being a health coach because it, it was very unsafe for her to be a health coach [mm-hmm] while being sick. And since she's [fascinating], since she changed her career and went back to an office corporate job, [mm-hmm] the pain, 70% less.

Dr. Andrea: Fascinating. It's so fascinating. Right? A body is just,it's amazing. Yeah. And I also wanna even say that logically, just because you're like, well, I don't see that as a threat. I feel like I'm sitting as a woman to speak. Oh, no, you're, you're nervous. Generational trauma, that's the thing that we work with, [Yeah] it doesn't, and societally, just you watch the news for five seconds, like your body's gonna be picking up on all kinds of threats. So like, often it can be, it's held at a subconscious level. Yeah.

Stephanie: That's amazing. So you've named your podcast as one of the resource. [Mm-hmm] What's the name event again?

Dr. Andrea: Unweaving Chronic Pain

Stephanie: Okay. So we can go there getting to know you, and then you work with people to do this work [Mm-hmm] 1 0 1 or in a group setting. [Yep. Absolutely I do.] That's amazing. And Andrea's here because she's fully aligned with our value system. Because I often tell people, you have to investigate the people you work with. You don't need to investigate. She's proofed. [Thank you.] She's not gonna like, trigger you into having to lose weight. So it's somebody that aligns with my work. A hundred percent.

Dr. Andrea: Mm-hmm. Yes. And then,the link that I'm including [yep] to will be a replay of a three day masterclass that I worked through, which is the first day is all about breaking the cycle of pain. So really looking at how we're responding to pain within our bodies to understand why our body like to help break down that threat response. Yeah.

Dr. Andrea: And then day two is all about reclaiming your body back from pain, so getting to know how to go deeper, like what we were talking about, going deep into the body to hear what it has for you. And then day three is how to integrate it, this into your life and reclaiming your life back from pain and starting to expand it back out again. So you can have access to those videos that will walk you through the process, in day two is this really deep, beautiful somatic process and embodiment process that, oh, it's just so magical.

Stephanie: So that's gonna be in the show. [That will be] You guys can go and grab that, and again, it starts your journey to feel more safe to then take the next step and do your own personal work on this. [Mm-hmm. Yes. Yes.]

Stephanie: Thank you for being here. I have been looking for somebody to talk about pain without including fat phobic message for years. [Mm-hmm] And the podcast has been running close to six years and you're the first one [oh] my years. [ It's horrifying. I'm sorry.] Yeah, about that, that couldn't find anybody that would tackle this message without blaming the weight on the body.

Dr. Andrea: I have literally, like, been working with pain since 2011 and I have, don't think I have ever mentioned anybody's weight. Because it's so irrelevant.

Stephanie: Yeah, but it's so rare, unfortunately.

Dr. Andrea: I just think I'm like in my own little bubble sometimes.

Stephanie: You are, but you're needed. Okay. Thank you very much for with us.

Dr. Andrea: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Dr. Andrea:

Podcast Stephanie Dodier


I’m Stephanie Dodier – Non-Diet Nutritionist and Coach. I help women fight diet culture by reshaping their mind not their body. I have been hosting a million downloads podcast- It’s Beyond The Food for over 8 years and created the Going Beyond The Food Method™️, which was born from my own journey with a 25 years dieting career  and has since grown into a global movement.

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