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Dr. Hanscom's Blog “The Cup Song”??

Discussion in 'Mindbody Blogs (was Practitioner's Corner)' started by Back In Control Blog, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Back In Control Blog

    Back In Control Blog Well known member

    Could it be that the answer to chronic mental or physical pain is The Cup Song?
    Omega Institute, August, 2013
    Dr. Fred Luskin, author of Forgive for Good, my wife, Babs, and I put on a five-day workshop at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. The course was intended to present the concepts of Back in Control: A Spine Surgeon’s Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain as well as Dr. Luskin’s concepts on forgiveness.
    Pain pathways are permanent
    Most readers of this website already know that pain pathways are permanent and tightly intertwined with anxiety and anger circuits. As you cannot rid yourself of any of these patterns it is necessary to create alternative pathways. This can be done in several ways:
    • Awareness, detachment, and reprogramming
      • Begins with connecting negative thoughts with physical sensations and then substituting appropriate alternatives
    • Calming down the nervous system – meditation techniques
    • Play
    Play pathways are also permanent. People in pain lose their sense of humor. Reconnecting with those enjoyable pathways is a powerful way of shifting out of pain circuits.
    My wife
    My wife is a professional tap dancer. She has also learned Balinese mask dancing. She has expertise in rhythm and movement. I asked her to be one of the faculty, as these types of techniques can quickly reconnect and recreate new neurological connections. She was somewhat apprehensive about her role but agreed to give it a try. She turned out to possibly be the factor that had the most impact.
    She began with just having us “scan” our bodies for tension and letting it go. Next she had us moving around the room with and without masks. Both of these exercises allowed the participants to relax and interact with each other.
    The Cup Song
    Then she pulled out The Cup Song, which I had never heard of. It turns out that is it viral on the Internet and has been around since the 1930’s. It was popularized by the movie, Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick.
    We all sat around the table and struggled at various levels to learn this rhythm with cups. We all began to laugh and the room changed. We kept trying and laughed more.
    The shift
    There are many factors that went into the success of the workshop but within a day of “learning” this rhythm, the participants began to experience a significant decrease in their anxiety. By the end of the week five of eleven went to pain free with the rest experiencing various degrees of relief of both pain and anxiety. We are staying in touch and almost everyone (with ups and downs) is continuing to move forward.
    My vision for the week was to present enough of the structured care concepts so that people could implement them at home. I was hoping that most would engage and experience a shift in pain and mood over three to six months. There was not any part of me that envisioned the entire group experiencing a major shift.
    I will be writing about the Omega week in a fairly detailed manner and will learn more as the group gives each other feedback. There were clearly other factors such as videos of patient’s successes, structured conversations, buddies, education, and active meditation techniques. However the concept of “playful” is what transpired as the most powerful force.
    I have repeatedly pointed out that the concepts of the DOCC project are not a formula. What heals people is connection – to each other and to him or herself. The best part of who you are is when you are at play.
    Could The Cup Song be the key to healing from chronic mental and physical pain?
    The Cup Song – Cal & Ray
  2. quert

    quert Guest

    Great post. Pain can rob us of our ability to play, but without our ability to play, our internal tension just grows and grows and our pain grows as well. It comes down to the rage/soothe ratio that Dr. Sarno explained in Mindbody Prescription. Tension and rage rev us up. They stimulate the stress response, which interferes with the higher functions of our brain and makes us only focus on the negative: our tension and rage. This further stimulates the stress response and the cycle continues as our symptoms end up taking over our life. It is like a snake, wrapped around and around our bodies, squeezing out everything that is good and leading us to focus on nothing but our pain.

    The key is to break out of that cycle. We need to reconnect with our bodies and learn to see just how stressed out we are all the time. Then we need to listen to our own needs and learn to soothe ourselves, putting more weight on the soothe side of the rage/soothe ratio. Slowly, the snake will unwind and our bodies will relax.

    But it isn't something that we can force. Just like you can't force meditation. If you grit your teeth and yell out, I WILL PLAY NOW or I WILL RELAX NOW, it will not work. It's like telling an insomniac to work harder at sleeping or yelling at a baby (inner child?) to stop crying.

    How do you do it? Apparently, if you're surrounded by a good group of people, the cup song can work, like it did in Dr. Hanscomb's seminar:
    For most of us, the key step is learning to recognize our inner tension. We need to see where our tension comes from and listen to our bodies to see when it is rising and falling. We need to get to know our inner tension to some degree and then we need to make a decision to do whatever it takes to let it go.​
    At least, that is what works for me.​
    yb44 likes this.
  3. Eric "Herbie" Watson

    Eric "Herbie" Watson Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is such a great post Dr. Hanscom.
    You have clearly demonstrated what friends and relationship can do if applied with playfulness. Getting back to the basics of relationship was huge for me in my recovery. Id lost me laugh and playfulness. I was just to darn serious all the time, taught to be that way as I grew up of course. You know the old saying ( don't act like a child). I see now that acting like a child in playfulness can really help us get to feeling better in more ways than one.

    I was reading a post today by a friend and she noted how she took the weekend to act like a teenager again and it really helped her a lot and also shes feeling a lot better. Im thinking about getting my old weekend baseball gang back together so we can goof off and enjoy the weather in nature ya know.

    Its exciting to know I've came to a point in my healing that I want to go out and do things just for the fun of it, in the past id pushed all that to the side. Afterall id say ( im grown up now and aint got time be playing around).

    I was reading the other day in Abraham lows book about humor, here is an excerpt from his book -


    Unfortunately, serious people often have an unhealthy tendency to avoid the humor in life. The tense person does not always see the humor in situations and a lack of humor can contribute to tenseness. It is a vicious cycle. Appreciating funny things helps to break this cycle. Humor is relaxing as it is hard to be angry when laughing. Humor also helps you see the big picture and maintain perspective. Scientific studies have proven that humor is good for your physical and mental health.

    A human mind can only hold one thought at a time. If you are angry, you think about who is right and who is wrong. While angry, you cannot simultaneously think about what is ridiculous. The converse is also true. When you are amused, you do not feel anger. You are not as likely to feel hate or insecurity while laughing. Since you can only focus on one thought, you are better off to make that one thought a humorous one.

    The tool is to encourage humor at the expense of temper. Some people enjoy the comic pages of the daily newspaper. Others enjoy the Three Stooges, Little Rascals and the Marx Brothers. There are books and calendars of cartoons. There are great cartoons in magazines such as The New Yorker. A number of feature comedies appear at the movies each year. Television offers situation comedies and cartoons most nights. Large cities have comedy nightclubs. Cable has a comedy channel. There are jokes on the internet.

    Humor should be a basic part of life, not something unusual. Not everybody can be a stand-up comedian in Las Vegas but everyone has an opportunity to use humor. The tool is to embrace humor rather than to avoid or ignore it. This can displace temper and make life more enjoyable.

    This should be all the evidence we need with the cup song and the excerpt above I really think were all on to something very special-
    Thank You Dr. Hanscom.

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