Podcast 311: Zero Pain Now
Martin Pytela and Scott Paton talk with Dr. Mike Amendolara about making good changes quickly in your life.
Rapid Life Change Program
This is a stream-lined version of the Zero Pain Now Program. It works very well if you’re motivated, determined and comfortable working on your own. You do have access to Dr Mike for email support, but it’s not daily like the other programs.
Dr. Mike Amendolara of Zero Pain Now has been a licensed Medical Doctor since 1989 and has been a Board Certified Family Physician for more than 20 years. During his career as a medical doctor so far, he has spent many years practicing as an Urgent Care Physician and a General Primary Care Physician. Most recently, for the past 4 years, he specialized in Therapeutic Injections treating arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and many other musculoskeletal problems. He has done more than 40,000 joint injections for osteoarthritis of the knees with amazing success.
He received a Bachelor of Science degree in BioMechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Grade Point Average of 3.97. He was admitted to membership to the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He then attended UMDNJ: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School with a Full Tuition Scholarship. After medical school, he completed his medical internship and Family Medicine Residency at Somerset Medical Center in Somerville, NJ.
Dr. Amendolara is now devoting his time to being a Zero Pain Now Practitioner, using his intensive medical training, personal experience with the Zero Pain Now Program, and extensive training in Zero Pain Now Practice under the direct mentorship of Adam Heller, creator of Zero Pain Now.
Podcast 311: Zero Pain Now
SCOTT: Hello, everybody! This is the Life Enthusiast Podcast, restoring vitality to you and to the planet! I am Scott Paton, your co-host, along with Martin Pytela, health coach at Life Enthusiast! Martin, how are you doing today?
MARTIN: I am doing better than I did yesterday, and that is a good thing.
SCOTT: That is a good thing! So, we are going to bring on a very, very special guest today. He is a licensed medical doctor, he started in 1989, so he has been a board-certified family physician for more than 20 years. During his career as a medical doctor he spent many years practicing as an urgent care physician, a general primary care physician, and most recently, for the past four years, he specialized in therapeutic injections, treating arthritis, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many other muscular-skeletal problems. He has done over 40,000 joint injections for osteoarthritis in the knees and had great success with that. He has a bachelor of science, a degree in biomechanical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania school of engineering, graduating summa cum laude. We love having him because he talks about pain, and a lot of people suffer from chronic pain, whether it is fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, or osteoarthritis, all of those sorts of things. So we want to give a warm welcome to Dr. Mike Amendolara! How are you doing?
MIKE: Thank you, I am doing very well! That was an amazing introduction, I didn’t realize I was that good!
SCOTT: You are amazing!
MIKE: Thank you. It is really good to be here again.
SCOTT: Thank you. I am really happy to have you on with us again! I didn’t realize that you were doing so many injections for pain, so I am a little bit curious. Could you just tell us a little bit more about it? Because I know nothing about it.
MIKE: Well, as far as the injections go, I joined a practice about five years ago, and they specialized in injections for osteoarthritis of the knees, and I realized that I was really good at doing injections. I had had some experience before, but when I joined this practice, I started doing about 75 injections a day, and I realized I was very good at it. So I did that for four years. I really enjoyed it. 80% of patients had very good improvement for about six months to a year, but they had to come back, and have more injections. It wasn’t a cure. I did mostly joint injections, but also other things like carpal tunnel injections, tendon injections, and I found it very satisfying. I eventually left that practice, because the way they were running it, they wanted me to see more and more patients every day, so at first, I was seeing about 70 to 80 patients a day, and they wanted me to do 150 patients a day, and no matter what I said, they didn’t want to cut back. So I finally said, you know, I have done this for four years, I think I have had enough. At the same time that I was finishing, I was getting certified with Zero Pain Now training, and I decided to transition into that area.
SCOTT: Amazing. That is one of the things we want to talk about today, a rapid life change and those breakthrough sessions that you put out. The last time you were here on the show, we were talking more about the physical aspects of pain. Today, we want to get a little bit more into the emotional side of it, some even say the spiritual side of it. In other words, if you are constantly worried and stressed, that has a physical impact on your body.
MIKE: Sure, definitely. And like we talked about last time, with a lot of forms of chronic physical pain, like fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, chronic neck pain, even chronic whiplash, the physical pain starts with the emotions, it starts with more of a psychological condition, where people have a stress, tension, repressed emotions, and that leads to physical pain. So that is half of what I do. I deal with the physical pain using the Zero Pain Now techniques, and I help people get free from years or decades of physical pain very quickly, for most types of pain. But what I also do is what I call Rapid Life Change sessions, and you could say it has to do with emotional pain, I guess it depends on your definition of emotional pain. It is basically a way to make very quick changes in your life that would usually take 10 or 20 years of therapy, but you can accomplish in one five-hour session, things like getting over smoking cigarettes, losing weight once and for all, getting over terrible claustrophobia, all kinds of emotional stuff, making changes in your life that.
SCOTT: We have a large group of people who are suffering from fibromyalgia on Facebook, I think there are over 100,000 people now, and one of the things that we rarely get a chance to talk to them about or mention to them is the idea that stress and the lifestyle they are living is contributing to the pain.
MIKE: Sure, sure, that is true. That is true of anyone with chronic pain, and probably even more so for people with fibromyalgia, because they are not just dealing with the pain, they are also dealing with the fatigue, the fibro fog, you know, the trouble concentrating, and all that. There is a lot going on. This is not true of everyone with fibromyalgia, but a lot of people with fibromyalgia have a history of abuse of some sort. I don’t know what the numbers actually are, but recently, maybe about a week ago, I posted something in one of the fibromyalgia support groups, I forget if it was yours or one of the other ones, and it turned out that something like 50 people responded: “Yes, I also suffered childhood abuse,” or “I suffered early adult emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.” So a lot of people with chronic pain have suffered abuse, and it seems to be even more prevalent amongst people with severe fibromyalgia. I don’t know the exact numbers, but that is just my impression so far.
SCOTT: I remember actually a similar post in the group, maybe it was yours, and yeah, there were a lot of people that just jumped in and said: “Oh yeah, I have had huge huge problems.”
MARTIN: Let’s summarize that. I know that there are all these four major components that usually create the perfect storm called fibromyalgia, which would be the traumatic event of some sort, emotional trauma, or physical trauma, usually some sort of car accident or whatever injury. And then the toxic load that triggers up the immune system. And then, something minor like an argument with a spouse or a minor fender bender car accident can be the last straw, and yet next thing you know, you are beyond-repair-sick. And in the medical world, of course, they are always looking to say things like: “the vaccination that you had at age four is not responsible, because it was not the last straw, so therefore it couldn’t have caused it.” But that is another story. So, the emotional causes! You know the iceberg in the ocean analogy, where you can only see 10% of it above water, and 90% is invisible? That 90% is the causative bundle.
MIKE: Yeah, that is a very good point. With physical pain, and also with other difficulties in life, it is amazing how much of it stems from our unconscious minds. We have our conscious minds, and our unconscious minds, and for people who may not be used to thinking that way, your conscious mind is basically everything you are consciously aware of. It is the stuff you are thinking of now, or you were thinking of five minutes ago that you knew you were thinking about.
But you probably weren’t just consciously aware of your heart beating, or your breathing, because that is usually on automatic pilot. And you may not be consciously aware of emotions that can trigger physical pain or that can cause difficulties in life. So what I tend to do with the Zero Pain Now program, I specifically address pain, but with an emphasis on the emotional causes. With Rapid Life Change, I treat people who either don’t have a lot of problems, but they have one or two big issues or someone who has a lot of problems like someone with fibromyalgia.
For instance, 12 years ago, I was having such severe pain. This was before I discovered Zero Pain Now myself. I was having such severe pain that I ended up starting smoking. I was 40 years old, I had never smoked before, but I was hanging around with some friends that were smokers, and I was just so frustrated with the pain that I was having in my life, I just started smoking! I ended up smoking for 12 years. What I eventually did was I not only studied to be a Zero Pain Now practitioner, but I learned from the same guy, Adam Heller, how to do Rapid Life Change, which is based mostly on Neuro Linguistic Programming. We will come back to that in a minute if you want to define that. Adam basically helped me quit smoking. I had tried every way conceivable, I had tried to quit cold turkey, I had tried medications, nicotine gum, nicotine patches, gradually tapering off cigarettes. Nothing worked. Before I ended up actually quitting, I was still smoking almost two packs a day.
Then I had a one-and-a-half-hour session with Adam, a Rapid Life Change session based on neuro linguistic programming techniques, and I quit smoking that day. I had absolutely no desire to smoke, and I still feel no temptation to smoke. During that one-and-a-half-hour session, I was absolutely convinced I was a smoker because I had been smoking a couple of packs a day for two years. During that session, he used some NLP techniques, and when the session was done, I was absolutely convinced I was an ex-smoker. I was so totally convinced. I no longer smoked. I couldn’t smoke anymore. So for the past eight months, I haven’t had a cigarette, and I have no desire to smoke. That is how powerful the Rapid Life Change sessions are. You could look at it from the point of view of emotional pain, because I was in an emotional turmoil. What I can do to help people is actually helping them make those big changes that make their lives a lot better.
MARTIN: That is amazing, that understanding, having done something in your life that worked for your body, having resolved a situation that was theoretically unresolvable, and now you are on the other side of things.
MARTIN: And that change happens in a heartbeat, right? Before the change, you are this, but right after the change, you are someone else. How do you do that?
MIKE: Each case is a bit different. But like I was saying, it is mostly based on neuro linguistic programming. For people who don’t know what that is, neuro linguistic programming (NLP) is a psychological and mental technique that enables a person to make changes in their lives much faster than they would on their own, and much easier. It is based on the concept that you have your neurology (which is the different senses that we have, our sight, our hearing, our sense of smell), and you are interacting with your world, and your brain processes all these senses and inputs and kind of puts them together into pictures, sounds, and smells in your mind. The linguistic part has to do with communication. I think of it almost like little programs.
I don’t know how many people who are listening have experience doing computer programming, but when you do computer programming, you would have little small programs that are running particular tasks, in a lot of ways that is how our brains work. A good example is habit. Say you get up in the morning, and you go to the bathroom, and you are going to brush your teeth. You don’t have to think: “Okay, now I have to grab the toothbrush, now I have to move my hand towards my mouth, now I have to go up and down.” It is like a small program in your body that happens automatically. You’ve done it so many times that you just brush your teeth automatically without really thinking about it. Our brain works with a lot of these little programs or automatic functions, and using neuro-linguistic programming is a very easy way to make changes in those little programs, you can make very big changes in your habits and in what you are doing.
Let me give you a very simple example. I used to love drinking Pepsi. I never really liked Coke as much. I always preferred Pepsi. About two years ago when I was studying neuro linguistic programming, I decided to try out a technique called “like to dislike.” Basically, you start with something you like, and you change it in your brain, so you don’t like it anymore, so you don’t overindulge in it. And I decided to use Pepsi because it was something I liked a lot. I was probably drinking a large glass of Pepsi every day, it has a lot of sugar, it is not very healthy. I figured: “Okay, I’ll try this technique with Pepsi.” So what I did was I got a picture in my mind of whatever came to my mind when I think of drinking Pepsi. So it was probably like me sitting at a restaurant, holding a glass of Pepsi and drinking it. Then I kind of analyze that picture in terms of: “okay, was the picture a black and white, or a color picture? Was it a big picture or a little picture? Was it straight in front of me or was it kind of off to the side?” There are about 15 different characteristics of a picture. Was it a still picture or was it like a moving picture?
So I got a picture on my mind when I think about drinking Pepsi, and then I thought of something that is similar that I dislike, which for me was Dr. Pepper. I hate Dr. Pepper, I can’t stand it. So I got a picture in my mind of me drinking Dr. Pepper, and that gave me a picture with different characteristics, black and white versus color, or maybe the picture was smaller, I don’t remember exactly. And basically, once I figured out how that second picture looked, in my mind I changed the Pepsi picture, so it would have the characteristics of the Dr. Pepper picture, and I just kind of sealed that in by getting a good picture of that, and then almost like mentally just taking a snapshot of it. What ended up happening when I was done, when I thought of Pepsi, my reaction was as if I were thinking of Dr. Pepper, and it was like: “Ooh, yuck. I hate that.” And now when I think about drinking Pepsi, it is very unappealing. I drink Pepsi now maybe once every six months instead of every day, so I still can drink it. If I drink it, it still tastes good. But in my mind, I have changed that little program that was my “I like Pepsi” program, and I changed it in several ways just to make it a “disliking Pepsi” program, and now I hardly ever drink Pepsi anymore.
That is just one example of how well it can work. This would work really well with people that have deep-seated cravings. There are many different neuro-linguistic processes, some work for cravings, some work very well for nervous habits like nail biting, there is a very quick technique that works really well to stop people from feeling the need to bite their nails. People have these beliefs that can really be limiting, beliefs that don’t help them in life. Some people believe that they are unlovable, or they are not as good as other people. There are techniques that very quickly help you change from a negative belief to a positive belief. And just like that, all of a sudden, you are thinking much more positively about yourself.
SCOTT: Dr. Mike, I have been scrolling through the fibromyalgia support group, and I came across a meme, and I thought I would just read it to you, and you could maybe talk a little bit about some of the things you might tell people that have this belief. So I quote: “I have been sick for so long, some people seem to think I should be used to it, but they don’t understand it doesn’t get easier, it just gets more exhausting,” end quote. I think if I had that belief, I would be on the wrong path. I wouldn’t be spiraling up into health, joy, and love right? I would be spiraling down into more pain and negativity.
MIKE: Yeah, I agree. That is definitely a good example of a belief that would definitely make things much more difficult for you. And you have to remember – beliefs are not necessarily true. A belief is an idea that has been reinforced in your mind over a period of time until you believe it to be true. So if someone with fibromyalgia believes that everything has to be really, really hard, it is going to get worse and worse. It is not a belief that is helpful. Once you can introduce someone to techniques that can help them, like Zero Pain Now, for instance, or another type of mind-body program, you can really help them get better, if they are willing, if they are interested in changing that belief. I can’t really say what you would change that belief to, because it is different for every person, but it could be just a matter of believing that there are always possibilities to make a change to just feel better.
For each person, it would be different. I would sit down with them, do the Rapid Life Change session as a five-hour session because it takes about an hour to hour and a half to just analyze the person, figure out how they are doing, finding the problem, analyze their thinking, or beliefs that keep them stuck in this problem, and then figure out exactly which NLP techniques will help them get free from the problem.
Sometimes it is just one technique and you are done in two hours, other times it could take the whole five hours. So with each person, the solution would be a little bit different, but basically, you could change their belief into a much more positive, forward-thinking belief, as opposed to negative thinking of “I am always going to be stuck.”
MARTIN: Yeah. The positive beliefs would be things like: “change is possible, pain-free life is possible for me, dancing with my partner is possible for me,” those kinds of things, right?
MIKE: Yeah. Affirmations are really popular these days. I don’t know how much experience you guys have with this, but people putting positive statements and putting it on their mirror and reading it every time they’re in the bathroom is a wonderful thing. I am not against things like that, but it takes a long time to convince yourself of what you are reading. It can be done, but I think for most people to convince themselves they are lovable when all their life they think they are not lovable, it could take months or years or decades to really believe that. If you have a deep-seeded belief that you are unlovable, you may never be able to take an affirmation and actually fully believe it.
But if you use neuro linguistic programming, it is like magic. I don’t mean spiritual magic, but it is amazing how quickly and how completely it works for your brain. You take a negative belief, and as long as the person is willing to have that belief changed in 10 minutes, you can change it to that positive belief in 10 minutes. It works much better and faster compared to having to reread that affirmation 10 times a day for months or years to really believe that. So that is just the difference. That is how amazingly quick and complete you can change a belief if you are willing to change it.
MARTIN: Yeah. To me, the message on the mirror is like watching an advertisement on television. You know, it is just an ad, you see it flash. Maybe if you see it 10,000 times, it may embed itself, but if it doesn’t have an emotional charge on it, it doesn’t help. Anything that has an emotional charge on it becomes stronger. If the suffering or trauma or whatever happened to you, if the opinion or belief that you are unlovable was embedded, looking at the “I am lovable” note on the mirror won’t help, if it has no emotional charge.
MIKE: True. Yeah, that is true. Rapid Life Change, well, you can tell from the word ‘rapid,’ is making changes as quickly as possible. I did it to quit smoking, I was miserable for almost 12 years. Probably the first year I smoked, I enjoyed it, but after that, it was just something that had control over me and I couldn’t stop. So I was miserable, and I tried all the traditional ways to quit smoking. And then I suddenly got to a point where I could try a Rapid Life Change technique, and it worked literally in an hour and a half. So looking back, if I had known Adam Heller before, I could have quit smoking 10 or12 years ago. But instead, I had to try for quite a long time to do it the hard way, because I didn’t know of a better way until I did discover a better way.
So that is what I like to help people with. You know, I am also overweight, and that is another thing I am working on. We did another Rapid Life Change session for me about a month ago, and now I am so motivated to lose weight, but that is going to take more time, I can’t lose a hundred pounds overnight. I did that session about a month ago with Adam, and my motivation to lose weight is off the chart, and I have been trying to lose weight for 20 years. If I knew about Rapid Life Change, or even just neuro linguistic programming, 20 years ago, I probably wouldn’t have spent the last 20 years trying all different techniques to lose weight. I would have found the one that works a lot faster.
MARTIN: Isn’t that interesting how you need to be ready for the change? You need to have reached a point where you have had enough of whatever it is you have in your life. I am finding that even though I lead a horse to the trough, they sometimes just don’t drink. So I keep thinking: “Oh yeah, this person actually wants to get out of pain, they are ready for it, at least they are saying they don’t want pain.” But are they actually willing to just step over the threshold and just say: “Oh, I am willing now to change things in my life?”
SCOTT: And then actually take the actions and the follow-through that is required to actually do the change, right? Take action towards that change that is not always easy.
MIKE: That is true. And I have to say I am guilty of that also. I had my own struggle with chronic pain for a long time before I discovered Zero Pain Now, and when I ran through the program, my pain got like 98% better within a month. And it was great. Every once in a while, I get a stiff neck. I know it is from diversion pain syndrome. I know how to make it go away. But what happened a few weeks ago, I got a very mild, stiff neck, and I knew what to do. I know the techniques I have to use to make it go away, but it was very mild. I was busy doing all sorts of other things, and I kept saying: “I’ll do this tomorrow. I’ll do this tomorrow.” And after about three weeks, I woke up one day and the stiff neck was significantly worse. I said to myself: “Okay, now I am doing it.” The neck pain is almost gone now, but for a while, I wasn’t quite ready myself. I kind of felt like I needed to put my energy into other things, and it was bothering me, but it wasn’t bothering me that much. It wasn’t until it started to bother me more that I was like: “Okay, let’s take care of this.” We all kind of do that to a certain extent, I guess.
SCOTT: Well, that is true.
MARTIN: I could come up with 20 examples like that from my life. I know better, and yet, I am just doing it the wrong way.
MIKE: True. True. Should I mention a few other types of situations where Rapid Life Change can help?
SCOTT: That would be good.
MIKE: I will just mention a few of the big ones. I already mentioned the negative beliefs about yourself. Changing that to a positive, productive belief. Phobias, claustrophobia, fear of spiders, fear of flying – it works great for that. Compulsions, like nail biting, scratching the skin, things like that, basically any kind of bad habit. It works very well for addictions, alcohol addiction, narcotic addictions. Now, the process is a little more complicated for these, it takes a little more work, because addictions are very complicated and complex, butRapid Life Change can help people get a really, really big boost in terms of overcoming almost any kind of addiction.
MARTIN: We have people who are reacting to foods, for instance, they have some kind of allergic reaction to peanuts. Or tree nuts, whatever it may be. Is that something you suppose could be reached through this method, or is this too physiological to be addressed through the subconscious?
MIKE: I would say yes to both of those. For a lot of people with peanut allergies, that is a real physiological thing, but I am sure there is a spectrum of how people react to everything in terms of allergic reactions or intolerance. One good example is gluten sensitivity. It is very common these days. I am sure there is a certain percentage of people for whom it is more of a belief, and less of a physiological thing. And if they change their belief, their problem would go away. This one would be a little trickier, it would take more evaluation to figure out. Is this something that a person just believes, and that is stopping them from being free in this area of their life? Or is this a real physiological problem?
SCOTT: I want to jump in for a second talking about the impact that the mind has on the body, I will share a story. Because a lot of what we are talking about is about changing your beliefs. We are used to hitting ourselves with a hammer, and then complaining about the pain. About 10 years ago, I did the firewalk about six times over about a two-year period. And one of the ladies there had taught 30 firewalk sessions, so she was very used to it. And she had this process and the affirmation she would have people say, and she did this firewalk. And then the next day a lady called her and said: “I was at the firewalk last night, I am now in the hospital, I have third-degree burns on the bottom of my feet.” And so she starts running into her process to help this lady heal, but she says: “No, wait, I have to finish the story. I didn’t walk! I just watched everybody walk!”
MIKE: I am not surprised! I am really not surprised! It is amazing how much our minds do control our bodies. And there’s probably a lot more to it than we currently understand. Some people have multiple personality disorders, where they have one personality that is in control part of the time and another personality that comes out and takes control of their behavior for another part of the time. I have heard of documented cases where a person with multiple personality disorder, one personality had a urinary tract infection, and when they would switch personalities, all of a sudden the urinary tract infection would be gone. And then when they would switch back to the first personality, the urinary tract infection would be there again. This is a little hard to understand, but it is amazing how much our minds do control our bodies.
MARTIN: I remember this care where personality A was diabetic, but personality B was not.
MIKE: Yeah, that is a good example, I have read about that also.
MARTIN: But anyway! You can change your beliefs. You can change how you get turned on or turned off. You can change your food addictions, you can free yourself from pain. All of this is available, check the link we attached in the description of this video.
MIKE: I would just add that almost any change you want to make in your life, I can help you make. I say ‘almost’ because there are occasionally going to be things that are just beyond my experience, but almost anything you need to change, any change you need to make, I can help you. If you go to my website and go to the page Rapid Life Change, there would be a contact form.
The first thing you would do is contact me, and we would talk about it. We would talk about what change you want to make, and I would tell you if that is something I can help you with. And then, if we decide to go ahead, the format would be usually two weeks of keeping a diary of some sort to prepare for the session, for example, if you are trying to lose weight, you would keep a food journal to track what you are eating and how you are feeling as you are eating it, just to get you more in tune with your emotions, your mind, and your body as it relates to the problem. Then we would do a five-hour session, sometimes shorter, but up to five hours, most likely by Skype, unless you happen to live in New Jersey where I am. Then by the end of the five-hour session, your problem would be solved. I’d probably give you a little homework to do for a week, just to keep you focused, making sure you are heading in the right direction, but that is the basic way that it would go. And so if you are interested, just go to my website, contact me, and we could go from there.
SCOTT: The website is www.FreedomNowMD.com. Well, Dr. Mike, thank you very much for taking time and joining us again, we really appreciate having you. Before we go, do you have one little tip that you give everybody?
MIKE: The one that comes to my mind right now is: Don’t run away from your emotions. Some people try to avoid emotions, but a lot of problems, emotional and physical, stem from trying to avoid emotions. So I’d say don’t be afraid of your emotions. If you get the feeling that there’s an emotion there that you don’t want to deal with, take some time like meditate or relax, and purposely try and focus on it and see what it is trying to tell you.
SCOTT: Awesome. Thank you very much. You’ve been watching the Life Enthusiast Podcast, restoring vitality to you and the planet! Thanks for joining us, everybody! See you next time!