Erik Bohlin M.A. / Chronic Pain Solution / Mind Body Coach
You Can Feel Better. I’m Here to Help.
This is my story. I am a professional counselor, coach and a person who use to struggle with chronic pain. I took at 10 hour flight changing planes in Iceland, then hopped on a 3 hour train up to Oban. Was I in pain? No. I was tired. I had been up about 24 hours. I was not in the fear triggered pain that I had been. In the past, I would get pain just thinking of getting on a plane, lugging suitcases, getting through security, sitting on a plane where you could worry about going to the restroom where you can’t get out of your seat at times; getting to the rental car place where the drivers swerves and you hold on to handrails and clutch on to your carry on bags for dear life. You then try to make sure the rental seat is going to be good enough not to hurt you back. Then you worry about the bed, will it be firm enough? Not this time. My experience in Scotland was a trip of lifetime, hiking about and down to get to religious sites of interest. We then took a trip by ferry and very bumpy boat rides to the islands off the east cost of Scotland. This is when I knew I was turning a corner. I did have some normal aches and pains. I even got 2 ticks and did freak out momentarily and thought, “Oh, no, I don’t want Lyme’s Disease.” But today, I know what to do when it comes to the occasional ache or pain. I have a recovery plan and know how to deal with things.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family. Expressing feelings was not demonstrated unless it was anger which was my parents. I didn’t want to express anger and so I didn’t. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was going to cause problems for me later. In my adulthood, I had had chronic back pain. It started with numbness in my instep after a chiropractic appointment. It traveled up my left leg into full blown sciatica and lower back pain. I read a book by Dr. John Sarno in 1997. I related to the book, but had back surgery (laminectomy L5S1). I was very happy and didn’t have pain. But, I was a really good patient. I never twisted or turned so as not to ruin my back. I was told that my back would never be the same and I had to be careful. So, careful I was. Later I developed a shoulder that froze for whatever reason. I was really in pain and couldn’t move it and did exercises that involved rubber hoses and pulleys. 4 weeks into physical therapy, the physical therapist said to me, “Erik, we don’t know what really causes these things…a lot of times, then just go away. ” And away it went. I couldn’t believe it.
My Approach & Philosophy
Everybody’s journey is different but there are stages of how people heal. I first introduce the concepts of how our pain could be generated by repressed emotion. I share the studies and research to support the ideas that not all pain in the body is about structure problems or muscle tissues. The can be generated from emotion that is repressed, that we don’t want to feel it. It is too scary for some of us to feel anxious, angry or sad. So, our brain “helps” us out by generating pain in our bodies to distract us from what is really bothering us. Another way to think about this is that the body doesn’t really separate emotional pain from body pain. The experience is still in the brain and they overlap.
Consider these examples:
How many of us have not really felt like going to work when there is something we don’t really want to face. We can feel tired, sore muscles, lightheaded, …just not well. But when there is something really good at work that we want to experience, our bodies even when we might be fighting a cold, don’t really feel that bad.
We might be upset with someone. Our jaw clenches, we have butterflies in our stomach and we can feel tension in our backs. We have all heard the phrase, “he is a pain in the butt or the next.”
We are mind/body people. There really is no division. The was artificially created by Rene’ Descartes. Once we start to think in terms of the whole body/person we do better. When I have a pain that is lingering, I ask myself, “what could be bothering me?” (I do this first. Then I think whether it could be physical or not).
Master of Arts – Chapman University – graduated summa cum laude 4.0
Bachelor of Arts – Northwest University – graduated magna cum laude
Trainings specific to mind/body medicine, chronic pain and psychophysiogical disorder.
Training with Howard Schubiner, MD and Alan Gordon, MSW – 3 days
“From Pain Management to Recovery: Practical Neuroplasticity and the Emerging Mindbody Revolution in Chronic Pain Treatment” with Howard Schubiner, MD and Hal Greenham, BSc, BA – 24 hours – 8 weeks.
Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) with Pain Reprocessing Center (Alan Gordon, MSW) – 24 hours of training – 4 weeks.
Advanced Certificate – Psychophysiological Disorders Association (PPDA) – Dr. David Clarke
Get In Touch
Address 9623 32nd ST SE, Suite A-110, Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Mon – Fri: 9am – 6pm
Coaching hours: based on time zone