Chronic Pain & Illness

In 1998, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente released the ACE study, which explored “adverse childhood experiences.” Specifically, the study surveyed 17,000 middle-income adults who had health data stretching back to their early childhoods. The ACE research indicated that the more adversities an individual experienced as a child — whether poverty, parental death or incarceration, neighborhood violence, or abuse — the more likely that person would suffer from serious physiological disorders as an adult.


I have suffered from migraines myself since I was 19-years-old, so I know first hand how chronic pain affects your health, life and relationships. I am very passionate and helping clients who experience chronic pain and hope I can help as many as I can live a more healthy and happy life.

Headache disorders are among the most common disorders of the nervous system. Headache is a painful and disabling feature of a small number of primary headache disorders namely migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. Headache can also be caused by or occur secondarily to a long list of other conditions, for example medication overuse headache.

Other common conditions associated with Chronic Pain include:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Back Pain
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Foot & Leg Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Knee Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Migraines & Headaches
  • Nerve Pain
  • Phantom Limb Pain
  • Physical Pain from Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder Pain


Upwards of 90% of women with fibromyalgia syndrome report trauma in either their childhood or adulthood and 60% of those with arthritis report such a trauma history.2 With or without back surgery, upwards of 76% of patients with chronic low back pain report having had at least one trauma in their past.3 Sixty-six percent of women with chronic headache report a past history of physical or sexual abuse.4 Among men and women, fifty-eight percent of those with migraines report histories of childhood physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.5Women with chronic pelvic pain also report high rates of sexual abuse in their past, upwards of 56%.6

As a point of comparison, rates in the general population for physical abuse in childhood are 22% for males and 19% for females; rates in the general population for self-reported childhood sexual abuse are 14% for males and 32% for females.7 Rates of adult sexual assault in the general population are 22% for women and about 4% for men.8 Domestic violence is upwards of 21% in the general population.9

This doesn’t prove that trauma causes chronic pain, but those with trauma may be predisposed to developing chronic pain.


Research has shown us and continues to show us that we must not overlook the biological impacts of trauma on the body. There are many brain-based trauma therapies like EMDR and Brainspotting that allow for the “stuck” trauma and nervous system to become unstuck and greatly reduces the symptoms adverse experiences were having on the body. For many, they see greatly reduced or complete symptom relief. Treating someone’s trauma is not guaranteed to heal the pain, but it can prepare their body and nervous system for the healing process. If treated early enough, one can wonder if we can prevent acute illnesses from becoming chronic ones?

Brain-Based therapies can be used with other issues related to Chronic Illness such as:

  • Hyperimmune Disorders
  • Chronic Pain as it Relates to Cancer Diagnosis
  • Gut related Issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pain Control
  • End of Life Care


Yes! Integrated EMDR for headaches has been shown to treat migraine and other types of headaches in under 30 minutes safely and without the use of medications.  In a recent study using Intregrated EMDR Protocol for Headaches, it was found that at 28 minutes 61% of severe migraine patients reported a Subjective Pain Level (SPL) = 0 and at 60 minutes 81% of severe migraine patients reported a Subjective Pain Level = 0 (Marcus, S.V. 2008 Phase 1 of Integrated EMDR. An Abortive Treatment for Migraine Headaches. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, vol. 2 number 1 pp. 15-25).  Journal of EMDR Practice and Research.

I have been trained by Dr. Stephen Marcus himself, the leading expert and developer of Integrated EMDR with Headaches, which use diaphragmatic breathing, cranial compressions and EMDR to eliminate Migraine Headaches . I am  currently accepting patients who suffer from migraine and headaches.

(Source: Migraine Research Foundation)

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