Are you getting the right treatment for chronic headaches, back pain, and digestive issues? It’s time to RISE above it.

You go to your doctor because you have unrelenting pain in your back, stomach, neck, head or (fill in the blank). Tests don’t show anything abnormal. So maybe you’re given an injection, a prescription for a pain reliever or anti-inflammatory or a referral for physical therapy—or all of the above. But are you getting the right treatment for chronic headaches, back pain, and digestive issues? It’s time to RISE above it and get relief!


Start with the right diagnosis.

Stress is a trigger for many pain disorders, such as chronic headaches, body pain, and digestive issues. Your body has a stress response that manifests in physical symptoms. Hormones are triggered that elevate your heart rate and you switch to a fight-or-flight mode that is nature’s way of protecting you.

When you endure high levels of stress on a steady basis, this protective response becomes harmful to your body. Like an engine that is revved too high for too long. What happens then? That engine breaks down. It’s worn out.

If the stress response is stuck in the “on” position, your body stays revved up. This state increases the risk of developing a variety of chronic pain conditions and a problem called “nerve sensitization.”  Sensitization does not show up on x-rays or even conventional MRIs. The changes have been documented by researchers who study it with functional MRI.

Left untreated (or treated incorrectly), the pain worsens. And getting a steroid injection or anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen does not help pain arising from sensitization. 

If your medical disorder is sensitive to the effects of stress, you need to manage the source and the symptoms. Which leads to the question…


What’s the right treatment for chronic pain?

If your chronic pain stems from nerve sensitization, which has been sparked by extreme stress levels, start with treating your stress. In order to manage your stress, you need to identify its triggers. Awareness is an amazing thing!

I developed the SunRISE Process to build awareness of the connection between stress, sensitization, and the physical symptoms it can cause:

R = Recognize nerve sensitization. Learn the signs.

I = Identify stress and make the stress-body connection. Pay attention to what’s impacting you when the symptoms occur.

S =  Strengthen the connection with mindfulness practice. Relax. Meditate. Separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions, and live in the present moment. 

E = Effective therapies to calm the nervous system. Seek help with therapies, like acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, and medications that specifically target nerves and sensitization pain (NOT opioids or run-of-the-mill pain medications).


Following SunRISE, you build awareness that helps you discover the right treatment for you.


Nerve sensitization is real. I’ve seen growing interest from leading research organizations, including Harvard University Graduate School, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute for Chronic Pain.

If you’re being told your pain has no medical reason, your tests are normal, or, even worse, you’re imagining or exaggerating it all, don’t give up. Explore the reality of nerve sensitization. Look for a healthcare provider who understands the condition. 


My new book, Sunbreak: Healing the pain no one can explain, is coming out in early fall 2023 on Amazon. I’ve shared the information I’ve gathered about understanding your body’s stress response and dealing with the intricacies of nerve sensitization. I want to help people avoid the long-term suffering endured by too many people. Click here for a free excerpt.