Mystery Pain

By Robert Rudelic BS, NMT, MES

I often get asked how I got on to the topic of coaching women who are going through a break-up or divorce since I’m best known as a sports therapist and peak performance coach who specializes in pain reduction, injury recovery and Invincible Mindset Training. Many of my clients are professional athletes as well as sports competitors on all levels and all ages – from high school to seniors.

Some years ago I began to see a pattern in the women coming to me because of pain – often unexplained, or sometimes referred to as “mystery pain”. There had been no injury or previous reason for the pain yet the pain was very real, and in some cases life altering. While working with them and using the tools I’ve developed, and seeing these women experience amazing results, this specific subject became a part of my work.

For more than 25 years, I’ve been helping people overcome not only physical pain but the pain associated with mental and emotional stress and in some cases trauma – and going through a break-up or divorce can be one of the most difficult events one can ever experience. The list of emotions is really long.

Whether leaving a relationship that’s lasted a short time or for many years, a break-up can cause heartbreak, feeling lost, despondent, physical illness and in pain, evenfibromyalgia, which is most common in women. Ending a relationship has very real effects on the mind and body. Studies show that break-ups can cloud your sense of self causing you to feel that your life has been turned upside down.


  • One in 5 million Americans are suffering from “Mystery Pain” wreaking havoc on their careers and personal lives.
  • People seeking relief from unexplained painful conditions are often dismissed by their doctors as being psychological or imagined. Researchers carried out tests on eight people. Some were hypnotized and told they were in pain. Others were subjected to physical pain. Scans showed that both experienced similar brain activity.
  • Mystery pain is often a result of emotional or physical trauma trapped in the body. The resulting biochemical and physical changes lead to numerous painful conditions some of which are headaches, chronic back pain and fibromyalgia.
  • For fibromyalgia (FM,) medical practitioners most frequently prescribe antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, along with aerobic exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy, which is aimed at modifying negative thoughts and encouraging healthier ways to adapt to illness.

1. Are there common personality traits among people with mystery pain?

Recent studies suggest that high harm avoidance and lower self-directedness may be the most distinguishing personality features of chronic pain sufferers. High harm avoidance refers to a tendency to be fearful, pessimistic, sensitive to criticism, and requiring high levels of re-assurance. Low self-directedness often manifests as difficulty with defining and setting meaningful goals, low motivation, and problems with adaptive coping. Evidence for this personality profile is found across a wide variety of chronic pain conditions including fibromyalgia, headaches, chronic fatigue, muscle tension and the list goes on.

2. How do the present treatment protocols work over the long term?

Not very well! Many of the treatment protocols cause more problems than they solve and often the pain will remain in some form and at some level. Often the treatment leads to many more problems on a broader level. Weight gain, insomnia, decreased sexual desire, cognitive issues, autoimmune diseases and more.

3. What has your experience taught you about working with mystery pain?

First, I make sure the intake interview is broad based. Second, address the initial presenting issue first – often making an attempt to address the underlying cause, (being the emotional issues) can cause resistance and sometimes a loss of the client. Third, build trust – I make sure my recommendations are inclusive, meaning nutrition, supplementation, exercise and lifestyle. And finally, be a good listener and a great questioner.

4. How can you dislodge the trauma without causing even more distress?

This is where the magic happens and where I’ve made my mark as a coach and therapist. It must be done from the “body out”, meaning the result of the therapy needs to be physically felt to be believable by the mind. I’ve studied NLP, visualization, hypnotherapy, physical training and more. I’ve integrated all of these with PowerTapping to create a high impact tool set that makes an immediate impact on someone’s life. Talk therapy is not cheap and it’s also fairly ineffective at addressing the emotional roots of mystery pain – which are held in the body.

5. Do people avoid situations that could bring on their intrusive symptoms?

Yes, consciously and unconsciously. We are programmed to avoid pain and seek pleasure. The reasons go further than that though. One example is when someone finds they get something pleasurable because of their pain, like attention, sympathy, love and more, it can give them a feeling of power which can and often does lead to manipulation. They do not want their behavior exposed, nor do they want to get over it. I’ve developed several strategies that break the behavior down and eliminate the cause of the pain issue, all of which are “body out” approaches.

So, let’s begin to debunk the mystery. First, the cause of such pain is no mystery – it’s stored emotions that are being held in the body and physically manifest as pain. Second, there are answers that will alleviate the pain and restore the body’s proper function quickly and the most powerful, efficient, and cost effective of those answers is PowerTapping.

For more information, visit our PowerTapping page.

Robert Rudelic, B.S., N.M.T., M.E.S.
San Francisco, CA 94107
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