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Pain Chain and Releasing the Brain


Since I started a blue-collar job (my first one since college), I’ve been experiencing pain. To be clear, I have chronic pain from three bulging discs in my neck. But this is different. Due to the nature of physical labor and long hours of driving, I’m feeling more discomfort than I can ever remember.

There are many ways to deal with pain. None of them are 100% effective in my case, but finding what works best is essential.


No pain. No gain.Though each person is different, I suspect everyone will find that there is a chain of connection from the source problems to any physical or emotional pain one feels. For example, when I drive I have a tendency to lean forward which causes an ache in my upper spine. Of course, that’s the part of me that’s curved towards the windshield in an unhealthy way.

Once one knows the chain of events that lead to pain, we can alter the trajectory so that the pain is reduced, less likely, or completely removed. If I go back to my example, I can shift the ergonomics of my driver’s seat and my consciousness around my posture while driving so that there is a change (for the better) in my driving style.


So, that’s what I did. I adjusted my driving style. I implemented improved ergonomics in my driver’s seat. The result is that on 4/5 (four out of five) days I’m feeling fine and not taking any NSAIDs or pain killers. Though I’m still puzzled by the 1/5 (one out of five) days, I’m accepting that I need those anti-inflammatory medicines on those days.

As you can imagine if you follow my blog, I’m about to translate this into creative process. When the creative journey is bringing pain, we can shift to improve that situation. Obviously, to make this translation, I need a new example.

Creative Release

No pain. No gain.

When one finds creative angst, it may not be obvious that there’s a way through. And there is. I am finding my way through using the same sort of techniques I used with my driving posture. When discomfort appears, I shift.

In creative process, we shift by looking at the journey through a different lens. If the song is not emerging because it’s in a standard time signature, try something out of the ordinary (maybe an odd . If the painting is not appearing in a helpful fashion, what if you change the palette?

And now for something completely different

There are also times when we need to make a complete shift. Maybe we’re stuck in a rut and don’t even realize it. When this happens, try laughter.

What works to bring you out of pain? Please respond in the comments!