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Ken Malloy: Eliminate Stress & Pain

Ken talks about his journey with back pain and how Dr. John Sarno, who cured him. He will teach you how to eliminate stress and pain.
 
Ken Malloy
Esmie Lawrence interviews Ken Malloy
Mindbody Chronic Pain Coach, Ken Malloy has gained the trust of clients from around the world with his highly-effective approach to eliminating stress, pain and other symptoms. After ending his own years of stress and pain, Ken now help others to become stress and symptom- free quickly and easily.
 
“Mind-body medicine is really about peeling the layers off of this psyche, seeing what’s going on underneath, telling the truth, feeling those feelings, and the symptoms go away. “- Ken Malloy
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Show notes:
Esmie Lawrence:
My name is Esmie Lawrence, and welcome to Sprinting To Success Podcast. My guest today is a mind-body chronic pain coach. He has gained the trust of clients from around the world with his high-effective approach to eliminating stress, pain, and other symptoms. After ending his own years of stress and pain, he now help others to become stress and symptom-free quickly and easily. Welcome to Sprinting To Success, Ken Malloy.

Ken Malloy:
Thank you.

Esmie Lawrence:
I’m excited to have you on the show.

Ken Malloy:
Glad to be here. Thank you.

Esmie Lawrence:
Let’s go back to your past, your journey. What happened that caused you pain?

Ken Malloy:
Well, I had an onset of back pain that happened many, many years ago when I was lifting a box, helping to set up for a seminar, and that put me in bed for 10 days, and it was horrible, horrible pain. I was actually, struggled for an entire year where I was pretty much incapacitated. Tried many, many, many different things, and then found my way to mind-body medicine pioneer, Dr. John Sarno, who cured me with his program.

Esmie Lawrence:
Okay. Tell us about Dr. John Sarno.

Ken Malloy:
Well, Dr. John Sarno has a revolutionary theory, diagnosis and treatment strategy for common persistent muscle pain. The basis of his theory is that the root cause of pain, persistent pain when there is no structural diagnosis is emotions, is seated in the unconscious, so he has a way of curing the pain by education and by learning to access these deeper feelings. I became his patient. I was a good patient, a good student, I followed his work, and in six weeks, I was pain-free. That so was such a powerful experience for me, that I went from being a video producer, a full-time production company owner to basically doing his work with him, producing a DVD of his work.

Ken Malloy:
Then, he asked me to lecture to his patients and tutor his patients, and over the course of years, I transitioned into being a full-time mind-body coach, having been trained by him, so I got trained by the best, and he’s passed away. It’s been two years now, and I’m one of a number of people who are carrying on his work.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right. What are some of his work? What are some of his research that you can tell us about regarding mind-body?

Ken Malloy:
Well, you can take random samplings of people who have no back pain. It’s found that 40 to 50% of them have disc abnormalities that are normally blamed for the pain, so people have back pain go to doctors, they’re told it’s a disc abnormality, but there are many people with this abnormalities who don’t have pain, so this direct causal relationship between structural problems and pain doesn’t match, so it leaves us to consider, “Well then, what else might be causing the pain?” What people have found is when they do this work when they access deep, unconscious feelings, when they’re able to find and feel rage, and shame, and sadness that they might not normally look for, such as going through intense psychotherapy, the pain goes away.

Esmie Lawrence:
If they go back and they deal with rage, shame, stuff like that, anxiety, then that will decrease the chronic pain?

Ken Malloy:
Absolutely, when you understand his diagnosis. Dr. Sarno’s work is central to the work I do as a mind-body coach, but it’s not everything. There are other thought leaders I’ve studied with. There are other masters that I’ve sat at the feet of, so to speak, but he’s probably the most important one.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right. Okay. If someone that is listening right now is suffering from chronic pain, such as headache, arthritis, lower back pain, what is the first thing they should do towards eliminating chronic pain?

Ken Malloy:
Well, the first thing, Esmie is to get thoroughly checked out by a Western doctor to make sure the cause is not something serious. Arthritis, for example is not necessarily a symptom, it is a diagnosis, but in the case of any pain, you want to be checked out thoroughly by a Western doctor to rule out serious disease.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
After that, when one wants to consider that the cause of the pain is psychological, there’s nothing to treat, and this usually happens sometimes after years of trying many things. If you’ve ever  and probably you have, know people who are dealing with pain, it’s often months, sometimes years, and they’ve tried everything, and there’s a lot of frustration, but to answer your question directly, probably the best bet is to get ahold of Dr. Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain, because that’s like, that’s really the bible.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
That’s really the basis of it, to understand his theory.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
I mean, it’s something I do as a coach. I teach people that, and that’s one way to do it. If you want to learn it from a book, get his book.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
If you want to have someone teach you, call a mind-body coach.

Esmie Lawrence:
Okay. How are your solutions to chronic pain different from traditional Western medicine diagnosis and treatment?

Ken Malloy:
Well, Western medicine, Western traditional, allopathic medicine considers that the cause of pain is structural. The way that Western medicine thinks is if it doesn’t show up on a lab test, it doesn’t exist.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
Not so with mind-body medicine. Traditional Western medicine tells us we need to find something structural that’s at the root cause, not so with mind-body medicine. Mind-body medicine’s telling us that there’s emotions deep within us that are starting to come to the surface, and the pain … Remember, this is all psychologically based.

Esmie Lawrence:
Okay.

Ken Malloy:
The pain is serving the purpose to distract the conscious mind away from these feelings that start to come to the surface, so the pain manifests in the service of distracting our conscious mind away from unconscious emotions.

Esmie Lawrence:
Okay.

Ken Malloy:
The woman who has back pain for years goes away the day she divorces her husband. It served as a distraction, or I had a client who was, graduated from law school, and the next morning, woke up and he couldn’t walk. On an unconscious basis, he was furious. He actually didn’t ever wanted to become an attorney, his father, his brothers, his uncle, but he wasn’t facing what was true for him, but his unconscious mind caught up.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
In mind-body medicine, we’re always looking for what’s going on psychologically. That’s the difference.

Esmie Lawrence:
Let’s go back to your case, what was causing your chronic pain, chronic back pain?

Ken Malloy:
Well, initially, when the back pain went away, I didn’t have to do the deeper work just by understanding that it was a ruse, that the pain was there as a distraction was enough. The second time that I got rid of chronic pain was neck pain, and that related to some conflicts from childhood. Dr. Sarno says there are three sources of these emotions. One is childhood, what he refers to as leftover emotions from childhood, which is an extremely polite way of saying trauma, likely from abuse, okay?

Esmie Lawrence:
Right. Right.

Ken Malloy:
About 90% of my clients have endured that. Then, there’s life pressures, which we all deal with every day, and personality traits.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
I’ll give you a quick example and I’ll give you kind of a piece of the psychological orientation, okay?

Esmie Lawrence:
Okay.

Ken Malloy:
Let’s say you’re a perfectionist, okay? You want everything to be perfect. What’s the problem? Things are never perfect. Things are never quite perfect, and if they are, they’re just for a moment.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
How infuriating could that be? Another great example is in terms of personality traits, is somebody who was a people-pleaser, okay? Now, why would being a people-pleaser cause someone to feel unconscious rage? Well, what tends to happen with people who try to please everyone is they expect it in return, but that’s not the way …

Esmie Lawrence:
That’s right.

Ken Malloy:
Most people are not that thoughtful, and so it’s like the people-pleaser unconsciously …

Esmie Lawrence:
No, they’re not.

Ken Malloy:
Remember, we’re looking at the dark side of the psyche, and it’s not always pretty, but it’s reality.

Esmie Lawrence:
Yes.

Ken Malloy:
The people-pleaser will say, “I’m nice to everybody. How come they’re not nice to me?”, and so that’s the source of this rage.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
Mind-body medicine is really about peeling the layers off of this psyche, seeing what’s going on underneath, telling the truth, feeling those feelings, and the symptoms go away.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right, so a people-pleaser, when they have all that rage because they’re, others are not returning their kindness, they end up might have a pain in the neck.

Ken Malloy:
Various, various types of symptoms. That’s correct.

Esmie Lawrence:
Or lower back pain, or any type of pain, chronic pain, and once they go back and dig deeper, maybe with your coaching, then they’ll discover the reason why and that their chronic pain will not go away.

Ken Malloy:
It’s understanding that there are parts of us, I like to call it becoming or acknowledging not you.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
I would never be a person who would be jealous of that, or I would never be the person to be that, but you know what? We all are. We all have a dark side to our psyche, and it’s not easy sometimes to face that, but Jung, the Swiss psychologist who’s Freud’s protege, referred to it as the shadow.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
We all have a shadow side, and we have to meet that part of our psyche with patience and kindness and love, and know that within us lives. Even though we don’t feel it, that’s the nature of the unconscious. Maybe some profound sadness, maybe some shame, maybe some rage, and learning to hold that.

Esmie Lawrence:
Oh, yes. Right, because we all have a dark side.

Ken Malloy:
To live that.

Esmie Lawrence:
We do, right?

Ken Malloy:
Right. Right, and you know the saying goes, “What you don’t own, owns you,” so if you’re not acknowledging the existence of this, in some way, it’s going to be running you.

Esmie Lawrence:
That’s right. Right.

Ken Malloy:
That actually takes us to one thing I want to not forget to mention, is pain in a way, if it helps us to learn and grow by going into deeper parts of ourselves actually can be a gift, because it forces the learning and the growing, and maybe that’s what it’s all about.

Esmie Lawrence:
Oh, definitely. I wrote a book that I actually, How To Embrace Challenges: Step Into Your Power, and writing that book can really … I have to go deep and kind of discover something, my pain, my shame, and when I brought that to the surface, I felt better, so going to the dark side, it made me a better person. We all have to face it, and if we face it, we can actually deal with it.

Ken Malloy:
That’s right. That’s right.

Esmie Lawrence:
Now, let’s talk about stress. There are a lot of people who work in high stress jobs, so what are some of the physical and emotional symptoms of stress?

Ken Malloy:
Well, stress can cause so many different symptoms. I think it’s important to understand that when we are in a state of hyperarousal, when we’re dealing with every, a demand, it’s important to acknowledge that modern life is not always our friend.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
In like, say in the caveman era, stressful situations were short-lived. We had lots of time to recover.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
You might’ve been potential prey of a wild animal, and you ran, and you hid, and then you’ve had a chance to recover. Modern life … I mean, imagine what it was like 1,000 years ago or 300 years ago. No electric light.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
No electricity. You were born, lived and died within 100 miles of, your whole life happened within 100 miles, and people got up with the sun and went to bed with the sun. Now, with all the electronic stigmas-

Esmie Lawrence:
Gadgets.

Ken Malloy:
Gadgets, we’re under constant bombardment. You can work 24 hours a day now, and some people do work all hours.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
We’re not giving our psychology or our physiology or our biology a chance to recover, and psychology, worrying or focusing too much, that drives the physiology, which keeps us in a state of hyperarousal, and that ultimately affects our biology, causing disorder and disease. Skin conditions, to answer your question, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, all of this is from focusing too hard. There actually is a very … There are very easy ways to reduce stress. When we understand that the problem with being constantly stressed out is not …

Ken Malloy:
I’ll give you one very important, two maybe, frameworks that I use. First of all, the stress itself or being stressed out, being in a stressful situation that perpetuates, that’s a problem. Like pain is a problem, but it’s not the problem, it’s a problem.

Esmie Lawrence:
Right.

Ken Malloy:
It may be a big problem, but the problem is not knowing what to do with it. It’s not knowing how to process it. The challenge then becomes not so much what is the content of our experience. Like right now, you’re hearing me. People that consume your work are listening to me and you talk [inaudible 00:16:33] this is just information, vibration, words, images that you’re taking in.

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