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Pain Reprocessing Therapy

Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) is a form of talk therapy which has evolved from the pioneering work of Dr. John Sarno and refined by, among others Dr. Howard Schubiner, MD and Alan Gordon, LCSW of the Pain Psychology Center in Los Angeles. This technique empowers patients to control pain signals coming from the brain and change their lives.

PRT: The basics


Step 1 is assessing where your pain is coming from and establishing whether there are legitimate structural causes. (hint: nearly everyone has bulging or even herniated discs, but not everyone has pain from them)


Our brain has a highly evolved system of alarms, designed to protect us from danger. Symptoms like pain, anxiety, certain digestive issues, insomnia etc. are a few of those alarms, but they can be sounded in error, causing problems unnecessarily.


Such symptoms are referred to as neuroplastic - the capacity of neurons and neural networks in the brain to change their connections and behaviour in response to new information, sensory stimulation, development, damage, or dysfunction.

How we use it in my office

I find that using the language of PRT is a fantastic adjunct to acupuncture.  It makes for a rue partnership between us where I give you tools to work on your symptoms from within while I help work on the problem from without.

I interact with your brain and nervous system via needles and you re-write the pathways with some thought exercises that I will share with you.  You can read more on how I use this in my blog post on the topic here

You can also learn more about Pain Reprocessing Therapy by reading Alan Gordon's book, The Way Out


Read the Boulder Back Pain study results in JAMA here

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