HYDERABAD: It’s all in your mind. When we were young and cried because we hit our knee to the door, grandmoms often told us it was all in the mind. Now, a medical expert, Dr Deepak Ravindran, from the Royal Berkshire Hospital and Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust in Reading, United Kingdom, seems to agree. In fact, he goes on to describe MINDSET as an acronym for medication (M), intervention (I), nervous system (N), diet (D), sleep (S), exercise (E) and therapies (T) in his new book.
Born and brought up in Hyderabad, this HPS and Little Flower Junior College Alumni from Hyderabad, has over 20 years of experience and training in both India and UK (Oxford and London). He did his MBBS and MD in Anaesthesia, Pain Medicine and Critical Care in JIPMER, Pondicherry.
Dr Deepak who has completed a super specialisation in Pain Medicine from UCL London and been a consultant in Reading, UK, for the last 10 years, has been commissioned by Vermillion, an imprint of Penguin, in 2020 to write a book on pain. Titled “Pain Free Mindset” the book is due for release on March 4, 2021, and is available for pre-order now in the UK and on Kindle in India.
“It is the first book in the UK in the last 15 years by a medical physician to present an overview of how the new scientific advances in understanding our nervous system can help us overcome pain – a fundamental complex emotion in itself. I believe that we need to understand the difference between nociception ( the sensation produced by released chemicals when we get injured) and the complete experience that is pain. If we learn that there is a difference between both then we automatically become aware of so many equally powerful methods to overcome pain with fewer side effects and problems than conventional medications or surgeries. We will learn that pain is fundamentally a protective response by Mother Nature rather than being an indicator of damage like we have falsely believed.” The book, he says, takes the general public through this new way of reframing pain using a new acronym ie MINDSET which outlines the important strategies for managing pain.
Has there been a particular case that prompted him to pen this book? “There were many cases that are reflected as stories in the book.When a patient is in pain, we always assume that it must be coming from only one structure and then we spend lots of money hinting for that one structure when actually the issue can be managed from the beginning in a more integrated fashion. By the time, my patients come to see me, it has become more than two years and they have spent thousands of their money or insurance money with no idea of what all they could have done to make it better.
This book is written to address that knowledge gap amongst healthcare professionals and public. Often this happens because most medical professionals and public are going by a 400 year old medical model which is flawed and outdated according to latest neurscience advances. My book addresses that failed model and presents a more hopeful way forward.
When nociception is received by the brain and spinal cord then it processes the signal based on threat and produces the complete overall experience that we know as pain. If we learn that there is a difference between nociception and pain then we automatically become aware of so many equally powerful methods to overcome pain with much less side effects and problems than conventional medications or surgeries. So if just nociception is there which happens after acute pain or injury then Medications and Interventions can help.
But when that is not the case, then understanding how the brain and nervous system works (N), what the right kind of diet (D), sleep hours(S), specific exercises (E) and Mind body therapies(T) which also include traditional Indian modalities like yoga/meditation/ayurveda. We also know that harnessing the power of the brain and using neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain and nervous system to adapt) can be powerful. So changing our mindset to a more growth mindset to harness neuroplasticity is the right way forward.