Matt endured nearly a decade of excruciating chronic pain due to a deteriorating and herniated back, a pinched nerve in his shoulder, and eventually, a numbing sensation in his left leg. His condition left him struggling to walk and support his family, despite trying countless remedies. However, after undergoing weekly bioregulation therapy sessions at the Center for Brain Training, Matt’s pain was significantly alleviated, offering him renewed hope and a better quality of life.
“You have got to find some other way to help me find relief from this excruciating pain, today,” Matt* tearfully pleaded to his wife on the other end of the phone as he drove toward his office on his way back to work from his lunch break. “I cannot stand this anymore.”
For nine years Matt, 42, had endured progressively worsening agony, as seven discs slowly degenerated and herniated in his lower back, resulting in spinal stenosis. He also suffered from unrelenting neck pain and excruciating shoulder pain from a pinched nerve that was especially debilitating when he drove.
Over the course of a half dozen years Matt had transformed from a high-energy plumber with a can-do attitude to an exploding ball of torment who could barely get out of bed in the morning or replace a burned out light bulb in his house.
Still, he had bills to pay, so he kept powering through the numerous, literal back-breaking demands of his job: Carrying 600-pound boilers down basement steps in Long Island where he lived at the time; spending hours on his knees doing piping; and contorting himself into awkward positions to squeeze through minuscule spaces.
Matt was crabby with his wife. He yelled unnecessarily at his children. He worried that this wasn’t going to end well and that his family’s financial future was at risk. At his wife’s insistence he’d tried reiki, therapeutic massages too painful to endure (or repeat), myofascial sessions, and a visit to an osteopath who said he needed to become a vegetarian. (That wasn’t going to happen, he quipped). He took Advil but never resorted to pain pills.
A sudden—and frightening—event in his leg
One night after six or seven years of escalating pain, his leg went numb without any warning, and the sensation never came back. “I couldn’t feel anything on that side from my waist to the bottom of my leg,” he recalled. But he kept on working—and ignoring—it.
A couple of years passed. It was Memorial Day weekend, and Matt was busy waxing his boat for a weekend outing.
A sudden feeling of energy draining out of his body
“All of a sudden I lost every bit of my energy,” he recalled, “I couldn’t keep working and had to lie down. A couple of days later I was so off-balance that I could no longer walk straight. I think that must have been the day when all the fluid left my spinal cord and neck.”
Despite being nearly incapacitated, Matt kept on working. Humiliated. Staggering and sometimes falling over.
Now add embarrassment to his physical pain. “I had to tell customers that I wasn’t drunk, that I had a spinal injury,” he said.
Mornings now were tortuous. Instead of bounding out of bed as he had before, he would sit on the edge of his mattress with his head in his hands trying to muster the courage to endure the pain he knew was lurking when he stood up.
“I said over and over to myself, you shouldn’t have done this to yourself by continuing to do all that physical work,” he admitted.
Back surgery—his “only” option
When Matt finally went to see a doctor, the news wasn’t good. He had spinal stenosis caused by having lost the protective barrier around his spine. He said Matt had probably waited too long and was likely to have severe pain for the rest of his life.
He suggested fusing all of Matt’s discs together, but Matt wasn’t having any of that.
“I was told there was a 50-50 shot that the surgery would work, and if it didn’t, I could be in worse pain than before,” Matt said. “It was like playing craps.”
Despite the pain continuing to relentlessly escalate, he kept working. It was especially bad in the evenings when he got home and moved less, to the point that he started waking up at night with pain and panic attacks. Then he found himself with yet another unwanted guest—severe lower back pain,
“Chronic pain was the bane of my existence,” he said, “something I thought I’d never get rid of.”
An intervention that actually worked
Then came that day in his truck when Matt literally begged his wife to come up with something else to try.
She had a brainstorm.
Their son was going to the Center for Brain Training for dyslexia and ADHD, so they asked Director Mike Cohen if he had any suggestions.
He told them about bioregulation therapy (also called BRT, bioreg, and body biofeedback) offered in the office, often used for chronic pain, and Matt said, “Sign me up.”
He couldn’t believe how he felt the following morning after his first session.
“I got right up out of bed and felt more energetic than I had in five years, and years younger,” he said. “It blew my mind. I told my wife, ‘I’ve got to do this again.’”
His back pain went away
After several sessions Matt’s back pain wasn’t better. It was gone.
He’s still working on the arm, shoulder and neck pain by doing once weekly bioreg sessions.
He said he’s feeling so much better that he’s working as hard as he did ten years ago. One day recently on a job he handled a jackhammer, dug under a house, and scrunched himself into a crawl space.
“At the end of that day I was exhausted,” he said, “but I never went back into any pain like I normally would have.”
Matt’s not going to keep tempting fate, however, and is waiting for his company to find a replacement plumber so he can do office work going forward.
He plans to continue doing sessions weekly until he feels ready to stop. “I might already be ‘fixed,’” he said, “but I went through so much and I’m doing so well that I am not ready to stop just so I can find out.
Bioreg changed his life “100 percent”
“Doing bioreg has changed my life 100 percent,” he continued.
“My wife had sent me to try some crazy stuff over the years, but bioreg trumped them all. I tell everyone I know who has pain to go see this guy (Mike Cohen). This place is great.”
*Name changed to protect confidentiality.