Pain — The Bully in the Neighborhood 4.93/5 (14)

Pain is a bully

Were you bullied as a kid? I lived in a rural community back in the 70s. Kids roamed the neighborhood freely. We played hide-and-go seek late into the night. We skinned our knees, we stubbed our toes while running around barefoot, AND we had to learn how to protect ourselves from the neighborhood bully. 

I remember running home crying to my dad, telling him what the bully had done. He was an old school military guy. His answer was pretty simple: 

“You have to beat the hell out of the bully and
show him who’s boss—or he’ll never stop picking on you.”

I believed my dad— simply because he was my father. 

I eventually left home to learn about life on my own. Bullies continued to exist through all phases of life. As for the “beat the hell out of the bully philosophy,” I’ve come to realize that 99.9% of the time, there are better ways to hold your ground and still win the war. 

So why this blog post? 

I’m going to teach you how I get great results with chronic pain. Chronic pain is just like the bully in the neighborhood from my childhood. He is aggressive, demanding, intimidating, and mean! He targets the areas of your body where you are weak—attempting to take control. When you are physically and mentally exhausted from the pain the bully is causing, the naturally tendency is to want to beat him up.

But if you do, you won’t get great longterm results. He’ll just come back. 

How do I know? I’ve learned through experience. Once I learned the secret for resolving chronic pain, everything changed. Chronic pain is my favorite thing to treat—because I’m good at it!

Follow along and I’ll teach you how to get REALLY GREAT results too.

Chronic Pain = The Bully

When you were a kid, you thought that you had no control over the bully in the neighborhood. 

However, now that you are an adult, you have so much wisdom. Now, you understand that that the bully has a lot of underlying issues with stress, trauma, family dysfunction, relationships, and poor self-esteem. It’s no wonder beating him up never worked.

Here’s the secret… You don’t have to beat the bully up to get him to leave–but you do have to outsmart him!

Lessons on the Massage Table

pain is a bully

As a young massage therapist, I thought my job was to “beat the hell out of the bully” with deep tissue work. Patients were desperate. I thought that if I focused the entire hour on their PAIN, I was doing a great job. Patients loved me. They came back over and over again. 

Over and over again is key. Even with deep tissue work, the pain (aka the BULLY) always came back. I was working really hard, damaging my body in the process, yet I wasn’t getting longterm results. 

It took me a few years, but eventually I figured it out what I was doing wrong. 

Lessons as an Acupuncture Student

Learning acupuncture points and pathways changed everything for me. I remember doing a massage while I was still an acupuncture student. I was working on typical shoulder tension: knotted, ropey, tight, stubborn. 

A light bulb went on: “Use acupressure to treat the points on the pathway first!”

The results were magical. I did body work on the pathway and then I went back to work on the shoulder. Magic happened that day! The BULLY melted away like butter. I literally felt the shoulder tension resolve right under my fingertips—easily! 

When I realized that I didn’t need to beat up the bully to resolve the pain, everything changed. 

Through years of working on chronic pain and continued study of the dynamics of acupuncture, I have developed a theory that matches my approach to acupuncture treatment. 

An Analogy: The Bully in the Neighborhood

If you have a bully in the neighborhood, you have to be smarter than the bully. I’m going to share two scenarios. The first scenario is how I approached treatment in my earlier years. The second scenario is how I approach treatment now. 

Scenario #1: 

You have a bully in your neighborhood that hangs out in the cul-de-sac. He likes it there. He’s been there for a LONG time. You decide that today is the day that you are fed-up with the bully, so you go in and take action. You beat the bully up, and you win. The bully leaves.

Well kind of…

The bully doesn’t really know how to get out of the neighborhood. 

  • You beat him up and chase him around the corner. 
  • He finds a road block, so he goes around another corner. 
  • There’s another road block. 
  • The bully is kind of stuck now. He doesn’t know where to go, so he finds a hiding place, where he hangs out nursing his bloody nose until you are gone. 
  • Then he sneaks back into the cul-de-sac and reclaims his territory. 

This is what happens when you treat chronic pain without first clearing the road blocks in the neighborhood. You may be able to push the bully away, but the bully returns, unless you know how to think like an acupuncturist! Acupuncturists who know and understand the acupuncture pathways can outthink the bully. 

Let me teach you.

Scenario #2: 

Just like scenario number one, you have a problem in your neighborhood. A bully who doesn’t want to leave. You are smart. You have learned through wisdom that beating up the bully doesn’t work, so you come up with a BETTER plan. 

  • Before you even make contact with the bully, you go through the neighborhood to make sure all the pathways are open. 
  • Then you go and visit the bully. You coax him to move along. You might have to push him a little but it doesn’t take much. 
  • As he works through your neighborhood, he finds that there are helpers along the way to push him along, so he can’t turn around and go back to the cul-de-sac. 
  • By the time moves through the entire neighborhood, he realizes that there are good people in the neighborhood. 
  • Because the people are so good, he has a change of heart and decides that he no longer wants to be mean and controlling. 
  • He learns to be nice. 

This is how I imagine the energy cycle. It takes 24-48 hours for energy to run through the circadian clock. If you make sure there aren’t any blockages in the acupuncture pathways, energy flows freely and stagnation at the place of pain can easily move along. 

AcuGraph and the Bully

AcuGraph is such an amazing resource. Once you graph the patient, you will know where the “road blocks” are occurring in your patient’s body. If you treat the blockages FIRST, before you give the bully any attention, it’ll be much easier to chase the bully out of the neighborhood. 

Do you want to learn more about how to see the “Bully in the Neighborhood” through the graphs in AcuGraph?

AcuGraph Hangout: Acupuncture for Chronic Pain 

On Friday, October 15th, we hosted a free, live class about treating chronic pain with acupuncture. Head on over and watch the recording from the AcuGraph Hangout, where I’ll teach you more about my philosophies on treating chronic pain. 

By request, we’ve made the recording available to all on our public Youtube channel! The recording is about an hour long. It’s worth it. You’ll learn great strategies for treating anxiety. You can watch the recording here:

While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to the Miridia Technology YouTube Channel so you don’t miss out on all the great training videos we post! Click the graphic below to subscribe.

Oh, and don’t forget to send your patients this FREE patient education video that will teach them how what YOU DO can help with THEIR PAIN! We’ve enjoyed creating these free resources for you that help you get the word out about the power of acupuncture. We hope they benefit your practice and bless your patients!

FREE  Patient Education Video: 
Acupuncture WORKS for Chronic Pain!

NOTE: This is the THIRD video in a series of patient education videos we’ll be releasing over the next few months. 


You are Essential!

Patients need you right now. It’s a scary time for everyone. The work you’re doing truly makes a difference. We commend your courage and perseverance as you push through these challenging times, adapt your treatment techniques, and continue to provide life changing services to your patients in need.

Okay, I’ll talk to you again soon. In the meantime…

  • Keep being awesome.
  • Educate your patients.
  • Change the world!

Your patients need you, perhaps more than ever. You are essential.

-Dr. Kimberly 

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

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