mindful pain management

The BPS Model

Focusing on people not labels

Ever been to the doctor suffering? Not well? Or in pain but no obvious 'cause' can be found? 'It's probably a virus' tired and not coping too well? 'Maybe your run down or depressed?' The BPS (it stands for Biopsychosocial, you can look it up here (hyperlink?) but lets stick with BPS for now) model considers people not diseases and the biomedical, psychological and social factors that always combine to produce symptoms. Pain is a BPS symptom and is made up of a sensation, a thought about the pain, (what it means), a belief (what I think it means 'its my old back problem') behavior around the pain, stay home, rest, take a painkiller, make an appointment with the doctor etc. and it affects our spirit. Pain is stressful; it drags down our mood and stops us enjoying life, many people with long term chronic pain can become depressed and no wonder. If we feel threatened by pain, our own thoughts, or our life in general, the body, immune system and mind react automatically based on all these BPS factors and more. When we are seriously ill or injured this survival mechanism helps us survive, however without such an obvious cause it can actually disable us and make us chronically sick. There is an epidemic of chronic mental and physical illness sweeping the world, which will affect 1 in 2 of us in our life times. So its time to take back control, this leads to less stress and better health overall and understanding and adopting the BPS approach is an excellent place to start!

The BPS approach remains poorly understood by many health professionals outside of specialist clinics. All the case studies on our website were considered with a BPS approach, understanding what is going on with each individual, and not just a narrow focus on the sensation of pain. The BPS and the secular mindfulness models have developed alongside each other and both have helped our understanding of neuroscience and just what it takes to be well. Richie Davidson the acclaimed neuroscientist sums up the science of what factors combine to keep us well. Later in the web site I discuss these factors and provide the tools to start to make the changes