pain pain
Pain - Mild to Moderate


Dennis Gersten, M.D.

Over the course of many years I developed a protocol that proved to be most useful in treating pain. The imagery technique had seventeen steps by the time I had it all worked out (See Atlantis, Oct. '89: Gersten). The technique worked very well with all kinds of pain.

But I radically streamlined the technique in January 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. I put together a POW Survival Guide that was distributed to some of the Allied Troops to help them cope in the event of being captured. As part of the Survival Guide I wanted to teach our troops a very simple pain technique that they could easily learn and be able to utilize in the event that they were captured. And that meant that the seventeen step pain protocol I had put together just wouldn't do. So I threw out fourteen of the seventeen steps and came up with a technique that has proven to be more effective than the long protocol. Here's the short form, the three step technique:

1. Focus your attention on your pain, discomfort or nausea. Imagine your pain has a certain size, shape and color. What does it feel like? Is it rough or smooth? Does it stay in one place or move around?

2. Allow the pain to turn to liquid. It has the same size, shape and color as before, but now it's liquid.

3. Roll that liquid down to the nearest arm or leg and let it flow out of your fingertips or toes. Watch it as it flows out of the room, out of the house (or hospital), down the street. Just watch it and see where it goes. Maybe it flows all the way down to the ocean.

If your pain was 100% before we started this exercise, what percent is it now?

Continue on to the next page

Return to Imagery Techniques