Reducing Stress, Chronic Pain, & Talking to Doctors

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Kevin Cuccaro of I met him a few months ago at a conference and was impressed with his research on stress and dealing with chronic pain.

Many people struggle with chronic pain and Kevin has some valuable strategies for helping recover from it. Kevin is a doctor who left his private practice to pursue patient education and to help address some of the (major) problems in the health care system.

As a doctor, he also provides some valuable insight in how to understand and talk to your doctor so that you can get real answers.

In This Episode, We Discus

3:20 – Why as a doctor, he doesn’t want to see his patients all the time
4:30 – The frustration that doctors face
5:20 – Why stress can be good and why we need it
5:45 – The physiological effects of too much stress
6:30 – How stress impacts fertility and memory
6:55 – The continued effects of stress on the body
7:50 – How to become more resilient to stress and how stress is like a light switch
8:28 – How to turn stress on and off
9:02 – Tips to Practically reduce stress (Book: The Relaxation Revolution)
9:45 – What is the relaxation response
10:20 – How to activate your relaxation response to deal with stress
12:45 – What happens when your body doesn’t recognize stress
16:15 – What causes chronic pain
17:10 – Pain is all in the brain
17:45 – The biology of pain vs. the mental side of pain
20:00 – The core four for reducing stress and pain: Movement, Eating Right, Mindset, Avoiding Problems
24:00 – Understanding the mindset of doctors
28:00 – The frustration of the current medical system
32:00 – The shocking statistic on how a small percentage of the population is using 95% of healthcare resources
35:00 – The seven questions you should know the answers to before you see your doctor
38:00 – Health advice Kevin wishes he had gotten earlier in life
41:15 – Kevin’s recommended books and resources (and see below)

Resources We Mention

  • Book: Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Book: The Relaxation Revolution
  • Book: Unlearning Pain
  • Book: Back in Control by David Hanscom
  • Kevin’s online videos and lectures about dealing with chronic pain
  • Straight Shot Health Podcast
  • Podcast: Seven Questions to Ask Before Seeing Your Doctor
  • Podcast: Understanding Pain
  • Tips to Reduce Stress (Wellness Mama)
  • Importance of Balancing Stress Hormones (Wellness Mama)
  • Stress and Sleep (Wellness Mama)

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