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**Science chat, not junk food chat. Sorry**

Have you heard us talk about DIMS and SIMS?
We're not suggesting that a quick trip to the chip shop will fix your pain (Although, after reading the next bit then maybe it could be argued that a yummy mystery-meat snack may contribute to some pain reduction..)

DIM stands for Danger In Me whereas SIM stands for Safety In Me.

Our experience of pain is able to be dialed up, or dialed down, depending on the way our nerves talk to our brain and vice versa. Can you think of a time where you were distracted and didn't feel very much pain until a while after you injured yourself?

When we experience pain, particularly long standing, chronic or persistent pain, our brains are always trying to consider how aware it would like us to be of a potential threat. The higher the perceived danger, the higher the pain.

DIMs are all the little things that cumulatively create an increase in our brain's perception of danger. For instance - a nasty email from your boss, a fight with your sister, someone parked across your driveway, being made redundant, being unable to participate in your netball game due to your injury - are all DIMs. DIMs can be huge - like the loss of a loved one - or they can be tiny - like being annoyed at receiving the wrong coffee order. DIMs do not need to be related to the injury itself, they just have an overall cumulative effect upon the brain's perceived level of threat or danger to you - the individual.

SIMs, on the other hand, are the opposite side of the see-saw. They're all the things that placate our brains, that remind us to be calm and happy, that bring us joy or satisfaction. A nice walk in the sunshine, a good chat to a friend, a cathartic cry whist watching The Notebook, nailing the exercise that your Osteo gave you as homework.

Yes, our job is to help you out of pain, and to explain the physical attributes contributing to it. However, we cannot separate the body from the brain, and being aware of our own DIMs and SIMs is a great way to ensure that we remember to keep the scale tipped in favour of our SIMs in order to promote healing, recovery and pain reduction.
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