Healing Yourself with the Direct Your Own Care Process
Episode 585

David Hanscom, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Healing Yourself with the Direct Your Own Care Process

This is the second part of the Chronic Pain Series with Dr. Hanscom. In our previous episode, Dr. Hanscom talked about the problems of over care, different over operations, and waste in healthcare. In this episode, Dr. Hanscom discusses the solution and how his DOC roadmap can help address chronic pain. He also talks about the app that he is launching. As always, interviews with Dr. Hanscom are interesting and you’ll find pearls you can apply in other aspects of your life. Tune in for a great podcast with Dr. Hanscom.

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Healing Yourself with the Direct Your Own Care Process

Episode 585

About Dr. David Hanscom

Dr. Hanscom is an orthopedic complex spinal deformity surgeon who was based in Seattle, WA. He quit his surgical practice in 2018 of over 32 years to focus on teaching people how to break the grip of chronic mental and physical pain. His mission is to re-introduce true healing into medicine. He feels that doctors should be given the time to listen and understand their patients. Difficult life situations surrounding their medical problems have a tremendous impact on care and outcomes.

Dr. Hanscom is the author of the books “Back in Control: A Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain”, and “Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control With a Surgeon’s Advice”.

Healing Yourself with the Direct Your Own Care Process with David Hanscom, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Healing Yourself with the Direct Your Own Care Process with David Hanscom, Orthopedic Spine Surgeon was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez is here and I have the privilege of hosting Dr. David Hanscom for the second time in this two part series on chronic pain. He’s an orthopedic spine surgeon whose practice focused on patients with failed back surgeries. He quit his practice in Seattle, Washington, to present his insights into solving chronic pain, which evolved from what really with his own battle with chronic pain. The second edition of his book is Back and Control a Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain. His website is www.backincontrol.com, where he presents an action plan and how you can deal with chronic pain. His new book, Do You Really Need Spine Surgery? Take Control With the Surgeon’s Advice, was released this fall. 2019. It is intended for health care providers and patients alike to make a good decision about undergoing spine surgery. If you haven’t listened to the previous episode with Dr. Hanscom, I highly urge you that you go back. He shares a story about his struggle with chronic pain and how he recovered and now his mission to help others recover here in the US and beyond. Such a privilege to have you back here. Dr. Hanscom, thank you so much for for joining us again.

Dr. Hanscom:
Thank you. Happy to be back.

Saul Marquez:
Yes, and so during our initial podcast with you, you you took us through, you know, the problem of overcare in the US and just a lot of the different over operations and the waste, 20 billion dollars a year on and handling chronic pain in a way that’s not effective. Today we’re going to be focused on the solution and how you’re addressing it with your resources and your website and now the app that you guys are launching. So why don’t you kick us off with what that solution looks like in your eyes?

Dr. Hanscom:
What is happening in medicine, particularly the last 20 years, as it were, focused on structure. In other words, if you have a symptom, there must be some structural problem causing it. The reality is probably 90 percent of all secrets in the body and any body reach is from the physiology, how the body functions. So in other words, what your levels of stress chemicals, which are levels of information so the body is not just a collection of parts, is a harsh way more complex than kavaja runs of work and precision, the body’s way more precise that the car has to work and function. Medicine is really looking at just symptoms and not the actual function of the machine.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, and so we take a look at those symptoms and not the actual machine, and that’s where the problem starts. And we had a great opportunity to connect before this podcast again. And you mentioned something. You said Western medicine’s lost. And and I think there’s something to that, the idea that we’re doing it wrong. So talk to us about the way that we should be looking at this. You’ve mentioned oxytocin as that potential way to get there, cytokines. Tell us a little bit more about the science and how you guys are approaching it very simply.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, my mission has been my entire career is we have all these incredible research projects and findings, but nothing ever changes. In other words, they don’t they find so which we look for 10 years after a body is inflamed under threat. And what you can do is you teach people how to create safety. A body heals itself. So the essence of healing is connecting with the body’s capacity to heal, which you find yourself the bodies doing. So if you just look at the symptoms, just like having the rental car used to describe the correct diagnosis. So would you want to do is what is the problem causing the symptoms, not just treat symptom? So what we’re trying to do is not try doing it. This is a medical school. We sort of got it as we went into this in order to create the symptoms, but the body is so delicate and intricate, does you allow the body to heal itself? It’s almost what is miraculous, what it can do. So by his self directed process, the three parts of healing respond to the problem. So not only loss is actually hurting people. So it was happening. We learn about the body, but we drop it. We get in clinical practice. So become aware of what the body’s doing based on the symptoms which were the first to treat anything anyway. So the first step is becoming aware. The second step is to treat every aspect of it. So chronic pain is complicated. There’s many parts to it. We’re throwing random, simplistic solutions at a complex problem. It can’t work and it doesn’t work. The final step is the patient has to take control because it’s complex and complex. The only person that can actually solve the problem logically is the patient. So I’m excited about it. His massive public health implications, because it’s so self directed.

Saul Marquez:
There’s that point of you’ve got to take control. And so talk to us a little bit about your thoughts on the mental health piece associated to the physical health piece, Right.. Those are intricately connected. And I think maybe the better question is mental health versus pain.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, first of all, physical health and mental health are exactly the same thing. Will we find out that anxiety, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia or inflammatory disorders is what, Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, adult onset diabetes and multiple other conditions are also inflammatory disorders is the same thing in the mind and body are different and disconnected from your body will not exist or bring brain body so intertwined systems. So you have to look at the whole thing as a little. Humans have a problem. Living creatures that can function just fine. She survives. She has she has some level of awareness which doesn’t have consciousness like humans. And so what happens is that we have language and words and concepts that my cat doesn’t have. Those thoughts and concepts become embedded in your brain the same way as a. That’s what the neuroscience shows. So we have these kinds of thoughts that we can’t escape. So negative thoughts, repressed emotions are also a threat to creates a survival reaction, which includes the immune system, which includes inflammation. So what happens? People that are under such anxiety, that sensation created by this threat. So anxiety is not the problem is the result of the threat. So anxiety is a sensation generated by all the stress chemicals like adrenaline, cortisol, for example, which also increased metabolism, is also I’m very conscious. So I started just the sensation generated by the body’s response to a threat. Usually that is so critical to understand that the answer to inside is control. We lose control. You become angry, which means you put more stress chemicals. So there is anger and exactly the same thing. So by treating anxiety psychologically, which it is not because a response to psychological input, people don’t know what to do with it. And anxiety is intended to be very severe, unpleasant feeling because it causes you to support. So by this diagnosis and this treating anxiety as a psychological issue, we’re actually creating damage both personally but also at the societal level.

Saul Marquez:
And you’re saying that anxiety is a physiological problem.

Dr. Hanscom:
It’s a response Right.

Saul Marquez:
A physiological response,

Dr. Hanscom:
Physiological? Is that your car is a structure. We turn the engine on cars running. That would be the physiology of the car, right?

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, no, that makes sense. And so it’s creating issues for us personally. It’s creating issues for us societally. And the last podcast we recorded. David, you called out you’ve had nine colleagues that have passed because of suicide.

Dr. Hanscom:
It’s actually 19,

Saul Marquez:
19? My lord.

Dr. Hanscom:
I was almost over 20 before in what drove me down the hole was anxiety. And I was sick 13 years or so anxiety. But I feel a certain anxiety about five minutes. And it turned out that it was basically dysregulated versus those basically cytokine storm. Is brutal and the anxiety more you talk about, the worse it gets because it’s all based on neuroplasticity. So the point that’s really critical here is that the unconscious brain keeps us alive. Is processing about 20 million bits of information per second. Twenty million conscious brain processes, 40. So a journey to anxiety is what keeps you alive, because if you did that, you wouldn’t survive for a few minutes. So anxiety is what you have, but it’s not who you are. So the message of the world is, look, you can deal with it, but you can’t get rid of it. You don’t want to get rid of it. So the first step is to separate from the issue. Is this relentless? Being subjected to unpleasant thoughts and emotions because your body be under threat on a constant basis and you call it mental health if you want to stress. Your stress reaction is a total response to stress with stress is a psychological issue, it’s not a whole body’s response to a threat. So the term like uses threat versus safety or threat causes disease because it changes the body’s physiology to a very adverse environment, the safety of our culture and our Tonin and drugs that allow you to heal and regenerate. So the key is learning the tools that switches your body responsibly, threat to see if you respond.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, it’s really interesting. And so you have a roadmap, the roadmap.

Saul Marquez:
Correct. Tell us a little bit about that. That’s the solution that we’re talking about here. And you guys are envelope being a suite of apps and things to help folks. But there’s a lot there now. And so talk to us about the doc roadmap. What is DOC stand for and tell us about the foundation.

Dr. Hanscom:
Which would direct your own care, because, again, the only person to control the situation to let me pretend that you’re my patient, you’re in my office and yours, by the way, the people that kill me watch thousands of patients go to pain free. The people that have healed have been the worst of the worst. We’ve had five to 15, 20 operations give people 40, 50 years and they can go to pain free. And what happens? The first step is to understand the problem. So when you go home, I just want you to just drop everything, try to fix yourself. You just do some homework. So I look at my book pretty. I put them on the website. Now I see like before you start the book too much, let’s start the healing process. Today, I have to salvage whatever it is called, expressive writing. Simply write down your thoughts, turn up and you’re not getting rid of the thoughts. You can’t escape your thoughts. You simply separated from tehem. So on the table. You’re here. There’s a space that is connected with vision and feel, which is part of your conscious brain. In your term, operate with freedom, positive or negative, but also not analyze, because the solution is called neuroplasticity, where you can literally develop a new nervous system within your own nervous system.

Dr. Hanscom:
The new nervous system doesn’t have pain and with no plasticity, brain changes every second. I did not know this medical school, but they did know that the new neurons connection to brain tumors every second. So what you’re doing, you’re really scoping your brain to go whichever direction. Once the brain does it, where is operation will move in? The third step of neuroplasticity is plasticity is reprogrammed. You’re redirecting to the typical active meditation where just put your brain on the sensation for a few seconds, five to 10 seconds, taste, touch, whatever it is, we actually do this during surgery. We feel we’ve had a dramatic decrease of complications is connected to the loop. So just for a drop your shoulders that you’d almost relax. That’s it. Just drop it down to a different sensation. Gon’s So that’s been very effective. So the first step is sleep and the whole trappings will and sleep without sleep. The entire process doesn’t work, but it usually two to six weeks is a combination of bedtime treatments, sometimes medications. We get people to sleep. The final step which is interesting, remember this is all based on neuroplasticity.

Dr. Hanscom:
Is that if you’re an analyst, you thought your brain tumor thought a lot of people in pain complain about the pain a lot or the obsessive way, pursue a solution. And I understand I did this for 15 years or so. The problem is your attention on the pain associated with walking away off the store. You never discuss you ever again with anybody, especially, by the way, complaining of gossiping, giving an unfair advantage of criticism. But you put your brain where you want to go and your. Cooking on people’s fault or your fault or whatever it is that bring to develop a positive thinking, which is always of thinking that’s a disaster, but it’s a positive vision or positive substitution, is that what you want your life to look like, which you bring in that direction? Keep going. So that’s the starting point of the whole process and evolved from my 15 years in paying, trying everything imaginable. But you’re just starting to lay the foundation of your brain to switch gears and create a nervous system is incredibly consistent and ineffective.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, and so the simplicity is of laying the foundations great, by the way. And David, I also love the like the the visuals that you have on your site. Folks, if you go to backin control.com on the top left, there’s the link that says DOC Road Map. And you’ll see what Dr. Hanscom is talking about here. Right. I mean, he he lays it out so, so well for us. And so we’ve laid the foundation. David, what’s next?

Dr. Hanscom:
People really don’t feel in their anger. And we trust your angry and justifiably so. The researchers and people that have not let go of the person or situation that injured the person, they really have not forgiven, by the way, is themselves. So what happens? You can’t really move forward and to let go, every person that is healed to the person has had to undergo a process of forgiveness. And so it’s hard to say. They say, I’m taking my life back to learn a skill. And so forgiveness is awareness and separation. Why would you allow yourself to feel angry? You feel it, then you let go, which is the forgiveness. And the I to talk about is public display is very powerful. Those circuits are your brain’s way. How we people play gives you a wonderful body to shriek or anger gives you your very unpleasant body chemistry. So forgiveness versus play is the essence. Or I call the continental divide of chronic pain. It is the tipping point.

Saul Marquez:
That’s really interesting, and so you go through you you get to make those those decisions you play and obviously there’s different ways to play. And folks, you’ll you’ll have an opportunity to to learn more. This is kind of more of a high level. But I’m I’m very intrigued by this, you know, and I and I love and I told you this before, Dr. Hanscom, just the the simplicity of this. It’s simple, but it’s not, right. Because when you’re in chronic pain, it’s a challenge. But the way that you lay it out, it’s really just you don’t have to operate on anyone necessarily unnecessarily, and you don’t have to take a bunch of drugs. So this is really neat. And so the next step is, is moving forward. Talk to us about that.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, I’m just wanting to read the book and to understand conceptually. But remember this neuroplasticity, it takes repetition. So the next stage, which is to organize and operationalize it. So, I mean, you manage your daily practice, which can be like 30 minutes, doesn’t have to be long as a repetition through a key and then awareness. Would you be trigger going into the whole really critical issues or big deal? If not, the family is the biggest trigger. That’s an entirely separate test. We find out with family issues that we do all these different steps of relaxation, forgiveness. The families trigger each one hundred percent. We are used to pretend you know this. So we find out that by deal, the issues, the healing was probably tripled as far as the timing of it. It was good luck process. So we’re basically facilitating organized creating a family plan creating a personal plan. But the key here is really sort of a lifetime of commitment.

Saul Marquez:
And so, yeah, I mean, I think about just and it’s so easy Right. like you’re with your family. You know each other so well. There’s there’s some quick ways to trigger each other.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, that’s what the paradox is, that social connections are a big deal. It’s a desperate need for every human being, again, because that’s how we evolve. But the deeper the relationships, the deeper the triggers, maybe the one of the worst paradoxes of the human existence. But conversely, once we teach the family, the neurological trickery of these triggers is wonderful. It’s been really rewarding.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. So you create your vision and then the next step here is expanding your consciousness. Tell us about that.

Dr. Hanscom:
Right. So remember You’re fighting for your survival. These are primitive reactions, their survival reactions. They’re not going to be crushed by but want you to energize those circuits we created. So the three things I love about experience and consciousness is playing. Giving back then I call a spiritual journey, which is not a religious term to me, it’s just getting your perspective back. Good food, good wine, good friends, religious experience, if you want whatever you want to do. Would you bring those outwards? It’s a long ways from being stuck in pain.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, this is this is awesome. You know, there’s just so many great pearls here, David. And so you’re listening to this and maybe. Oh, actually, one of the things you don’t have to be in pain like I was I had this great talk with David before this. OK, I start thinking about friends that I know with chronic pain and know Dr. Hanscom says to me, you know, you’re better off if you actually start this now. So you avoid the cascade of what could be. So don’t worry if you don’t have chronic pain. This is actually a really great practice to focus on. But let’s just say you do and maybe you’re a chief medical officer. You’re working with a group of physicians that, you know, are stressed. You’re trying to to help. I mean, take it from a guy that’s been there, spent the time. This is it. It’s back in control. And it’s it’s it’s some really great stuff. And so tell us a little bit about what’s to come here. David, you guys are working on an app to make this available to all of us.

Dr. Hanscom:
I should emphasize one point, because it’s the hardest part for people to get to. Everybody is exactly right. Once you quit fighting anxiety and we might enjoy that was probably triple was I’m not putting this enormous chemical assault. And so from a leadership standpoint, it’s wonderful because creativity comes back, you could connect with your show, you connect with yourself. You get to connect with your staff. You get to inspire people. And it’s a wonderfully magical process to put the switch and actually go into this proactive mode. So the creativity is just a wonderful thing. Leadership is both personally and with the staff that you work with. So this is very much a self-correcting process. People are the system is really remarkably simple and so self directed resources. I would say if you come out of the medical care system for between five hundred two thousand dollars, maybe two thousand dollars, the most occasionally more and more software, and you can just do it on your own. I always encourage people to extra help, but we put it in an app based on our workshops, is designed to create an experience. In other words, this is not a picture type approach. We want you to experience safety as opposed to just worrying about safety. So the key to healing is actually learning, but also practicing implementing the tools because you actually feel sick, you get connected and feel safe. Biochemistry changes. And so what the app does. My wife is very instrumental in creating this. It’s very creative and enjoyable, is stimulating didactic exercises like juggling scarves, original music. So is designed to take down sequence, talked about with understanding pain to experiencing freedom. We’re excited about it.

Saul Marquez:
So great. Now there’s an opportunity. You’re listening to this podcast. It’s literally launching, if not today, very soon. And if you go to the website back in control dotcom davits offering the first fifteen hundred trailblazers to sign up to some some some great perks to do it. So if this sounds interesting, it’s probably better that you jump on it sooner than later before all those slots get filled up. So make sure you check them out backincontrol.com and there’s tons of resources there now. So just check out what they have to offer. I love sharing the things that I feel are going to make a difference for people. And this is certainly one of those things. Dr. Hanscom, any any closing thoughts, anything you want to leave our our listeners with before we part ways here?

Dr. Hanscom:
Well, I think the thought I like to give people is that we’re not on this planet just to survive. We’re here to thrive. Everybody wants to thrive. And that’s been the most durable part of this country, because not only do people break their police or mental pain or anxiety, they just try to exist. So for me personally, usually it’s even possible. And that’s the most durable of project to actually completely change the trajectory of your life.

Saul Marquez:
Well, that’s something that I would sign up for. And and one thing that David, a friend of mine, challenged me with is, hey, what do you what are you going to do during COVID? You know, how are you going to come out on the other side of COVID? And, you know, what decisions are you going to make? Who are you going to become? And I think about the the the work you’ve done here and and the opportunity that all the listeners have to get on the other side of COVID maybe even better than than they than they walked into COVID. And and so I’m grateful for you, David, and the work that you’re doing and certainly excited to stay in touch with you as you guys continue evolving the the solution that you’ve developed.

Dr. Hanscom:
Well,Saul thank you for having me on your program. I’m excited to share it with you, I’m sure about your. Yes. I would support your work also because we’re dancing different parts, the same mission. We’re trying to make the world a bit of a better place. And I really appreciate working with you.

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Things You’ll Learn

  • 90 percent of all symptoms in the body and any body region is from the physiology, how the body functions.
  • How to help your body heal itself.
  • The mind and body should not be treated separately.
  • How negative thoughts and repressed emotions are threats to survival reaction, and that anger releases more stress chemicals.

Reference:

https://backincontrol.com/