How long would it take you to learn a new language? How would you study? Hourly? Daily? With repetition? How long do you think it would take to be proficient? Do you think an intense immersion into the culture would help? Is it easier to learn with a fun teacher or do you learn better under pressure?

We could ask these same questions in regards to learning a new skill or sport. Take a moment and think about how you would do that. I mean, we go to school to learn five days a week, three-quarters of a year for at least twelve years. If we could learn everything in the first try, this much schooling would not be necessary.

Learning a language or going to school requires two things: frequency and intensity. When treating pain or looking at overall health, frequency and intensity can also be applied. In fact, they are also the most important things for the nervous system to function along with delivering fuel (glucose and oxygen). Motor skills (movement) and cognition (thinking) are both neurological and also function together. Considering how much all of these different factors need to work together, it is easy to see where frequency and intensity can help for specific types of therapy.

Pain is a neurological perception. Pain is typically perceived when stimulating a pain receptor. Many of these receptors exist throughout the body and they are there to protect us from danger. You can also imagine that pain over a period of time can be taught. This is not something that we want our bodies to learn and would be considered chronic pain. Chronic pain would suggest that the actual area with the pain receptor is healed, but your body still perceives it has pain. Therefore, it is necessary to address your problem sooner than later.

People have a misconception that if you go to the doctor once, the pain will be resolved.  When it comes to therapy of any kind, it takes intensity and frequency to make changes just like learning. The same approach is applied when taking a medication or choosing a diet.  Some people are healthy enough to take an aggressive therapy and might respond quicker. However, another person might need a less intense and slower approach.

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