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An Interview with Dr. Raymond J. Petras, B.E., M.A., Ph.D.and His Take on Pain Management
- Updated: October 29, 2011
1. What differentiates what you do as compared to a traditional Physical Therapist?
PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, education, manipulation and other interventions (internet definition).
My expertise and present concentration is in the areas of sports performance and non-invasive injury/pain management. There is no touch, surgery, manipulation or drugs involved. Also, I have worked with many other conditions such as weight loss, smoking cessation, ADHD, etc.
PsychoNeuro Pain Response™ (PNPR™) also called Talking Away Pain™ (TAP™) is a combination of well-known techniques found in literature that allow the body act as its own biofeedback device. TAP™ offers hope for health by engaging the conscious mind in interesting, focused, neutral and positive self-talk while the mind-body automatically improves in the quickest, most efficient and healthful way possible. Four steps are involved. The first is to define pain. The second is to show the individual how to control pain. The third is to determine if it is okay for the pain to be eliminated or reduced. The final step is to deal with any stress of fear the individual may be experiencing due to the pain, injury or otherwise.
Basically TAP™ makes use of the mind, verbal questioning and emotions to eliminate pain, improve functionality and enhance performance. TAP™ is basically an educational technique. I teach and/or guide the athlete or non-athlete to allow their bodies to heal in the safest, fastest and most efficient manner.
Non-invasive Injury/Pain Management
What I do, very effectively, is assist trainers, physical therapists, medical staff, athletes and coaches who have exhausted conventional, standard channels to enhance performance, safely speed healing and reduce pain from injuries [AZFoxTV10—Phoenix Suns use Alternative Therapies & can be seen below]. I work in conjunction with the medical team whether it be with an athlete or non-athlete.
My performance enhancement techniques have helped teams win championships and athletes advance on a world-class level. When all other avenues have failed, I have been able to effectively assist athletes with mental blocks inhibiting appropriate performance. Also, having an athlete mentally ready to return from an injury is misunderstood and often neglected. Why? Most medical staff members do not know how to answer the athlete’s question, “Will the ‘healed’ injury perform under game conditions?”
2. What type of work have you done with baseball players (after all, this is a baseball site)?
I have worked with baseball players to enhance performance, break out of slumps, safely eliminate pain, speed healing and improve functionality over the phone and in person. Skype is now available to clients. Following are three examples:
Case 1-MLB Pitcher, Shoulder
During Cactus league spring training, a pitcher was referred to me by the team chiropractor. He had been in therapy for a shoulder injury, for approximately six months. He still had limited range of motion and was in a lot of pain. Using only mental techniques, in approximately 20 minutes, he was pain-free with complete range of motion.
Case 2- Runner Injures First Baseman-Rapid Return
On Wednesday, June 23, 2010, a first baseman was knocked unconscious. He received a broken wrist, a concussion with amnesia and a cut in his eyelid and brow requiring stitches. While he was fielding a throw from the third baseman, the batter ran into him. Two days after his accident, June 25, I taught the first baseman visualization techniques to eliminate his pain and speed his healing. His pain immediately decreased. On June 29, the day before his appointment with an orthopedic physician, he had another session with me. During this session, he practiced visualization techniques to further speed his recovery.
The next day, June 30, exactly one week after his injuries, the athlete saw an orthopedic surgeon. His mother said that when the surgeon saw the X-ray, he asked if the injury was a year to one and a half years old. When told it was one week old, he could not believe it. The following week, two weeks after the wrist was broken, the orthopedic surgeon removed the player’s cast. He indicated that he had never removed a cast earlier than six weeks before. “It was amazing,” he said.
Case 3- Pitcher and Outfielder: Wrist & Shoulder
On Saturday (2/26/11), I worked with two college softball players, a pitcher and an outfielder, to prepare for their spring tour. Their AD/Coach asked if I could help with the players’ injuries. Both, under the care of the team trainer, had shoulder injuries with a lot of accompanying pain. The pitcher also had a painful wrist injury. After the initial session, which lasted approximately one hour each, neither experienced any pain. The trainer was amazed and pleased. Upon follow-up (four days later), neither felt any pain since the initial session. On Monday (2/28/11), the pitcher was strong, confident and able to pitch and do push-ups without any pain. By the way, the sessions were over the phone.
3. I read somewhere that you can treat an athlete over the phone. Please explain to our readers how you can accomplish this?
Working over the phone is pretty much the same as working in person. It is a little more difficult because you cannot see the client (unless you use Skype). This could cause one to miss some of the physical clues that the client may be giving (i.e., do they understand what you want or are they doing what you wish in the proper way). The client history and other information is still required. Usually the coach, parent, team physician or trainer has already supplied the diagnosis, prognosis and status. I always work with the medical team working with the athlete. All the authorization forms and questions need to be answered prior to the intervention.
I would like to point out that since the introduction of the TAP™ technique in 1989, there has never been a problem observed or reported.
4. Have you worked with professional baseball players? Can you mention any names of players you have worked with?
Yes, I have worked with MLB players. No, I do not have permission to mention any of their names at this time.
5. What makes your work better, faster or more efficient than that of traditional work done in your field?
Our personal system, mind-body-spirit, if allowed to, will heal in the fastest most efficient way. Most of the time, the process of healing is slowed by fear and anxiety. When an injury occurs, a great deal is done to fix or repair the physical injury. The mental side of the injury is almost always neglected because most clinicians do not feel that the mind and emotions are that critical, but they are.
I deal with the side that is usually neglected. I teach the client to, to utilize all their resources. This has led to faster, better healing than with just conventional standard medicine (CSM) and training methods.
6. What types of injuries can you treat with this method (are there any limitations) & which ones cannot be treated this way?
Here is a partial list of conditions that I have worked with:
Ankle, 2°inversion sprain, continued pain
Ankle, previous Fibula fracture-post cast treatment
Breast Cancer-biopsy pain
Breast Pain-unknown origin
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Chronic Ankle Sprain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Contusion-forearm Crossed eyes
Disc-herniated and degenerated
First-degree inversion ankle sprain
Grade 2 ankle sprain
High Blood Pressure
Jaw and neck pain
Knee; Medial Rentinaculum Irritation
Knee; Reiter’s Syndrome
Low abdominal strain
Neck, shoulder w/headache
Neck-tenderness, paravertebral spasm, Severe restriction
Pain due to Surgery for Breast Cancer (teletherapy – over phone)
Quadriplegic – groin and pelvic pain
Repetitive injury management
Rotator Cuff injury
Silicone Implants-fatigue, pain
Surgery – pre- and post- operative Injury management
Thumb dislocation, decrease in ROM, muscle weakness
Tibialis Posterior Tendonitis-shin splints
There are no limitations because, theoretically, the body can be healed of any condition. See Larry Dossey’s, M.D.,“Canceled funerals: A Look at Miracle Cures” (Alternative Therapies 4, no. 2 (1998): 10-18, 116-20). Clinical trials and two research studies seem to indicate that the TAP™ technique can work for everyone and is cost effective.
There is little to no risk with the TAP™ technique. The individual is generally referred by their physician, physical therapist, trainer or other medical professional. During the sessions, the referring healthcare professional is kept appraised of the condition of his or her patient. At the completion of the sessions, the individual returns to the referring healthcare professional, in order for him or her to determine the appropriate activity levels or other treatments.
I want to mention that I am not licensed to practice medicine and I do not practice medicine. I teach techniques that allow clients to safely and quickly heal. Healing is a spiritual thing…True healing requires balancing the mind and body, guided by Spirit.
7. Is your practice more of a reaction to or in prevention of injuries (or both)?
I am proactive in teaching athletes to make good choices in practice, sporting events and life. This reduces the likelihood of injuries. Obviously, when an injured athlete is referred to me, I am react to the situation.
8. How did you come about using (or developing) this method? Is it trusted or are you seeing athletes coming to you as a last resort?
I stumbled upon it. The process started years ago when I was asked by an oncologist to teach mental techniques to individuals with terminal cancer. The purpose was to see if mental techniques could help relieve pain and thus reduce the amount of medication being used. This was successful. The reduction in medication dosage improved the patient’s quality of life and enabled them to communicate with their families.
I developed the present TAP™ technique in 1989, while working with the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, football team, to enhance performance. One day, after praising the results of my performance enhancement techniques, Head Football Coach Vic Wallace asked if there was anything that I could do for pain and injury? He had two fullbacks and a middle linebacker hurt. One fullback had a partial shoulder separation and meniscus damage; the other fullback had a partial shoulder separation, and the middle linebacker a grade II ankle sprain. I saw them for approximately 20 minutes each, in succession. At the end of the sessions, all three were pain free, had full range of motion (ROM) and full strength. All three athletes, who were not scheduled to dress for the game, played the next day. The athletes were observed, one for two years, to see if there was any reoccurrence of the injuries. None of the three athletes ever experienced any further problems due to their injuries.
Thinking back, I realized that what I had done was similar to what W.B. Fahnesstock, in his 1869 book called Artificial Somnambulism, suggested. He wrote, “if the mind is directed away from pain-injury for a length of time, with suggestions for health, the person would get better.”
My technique continues to be refined.
9. Is it trusted or are you seeing athletes coming to you as a last resort?
Those physicians, trainers, coaches and others who know me, consult with me in ASAP. Many others find me through referrals, my website <www.reliefforyou.com>, my blog.reliefforyou.com, articles and other resources. Some come as a last resort, because nothing else has helped.
10. Is your practice more affordable to patients due to your methods in comparison to a more traditional methods? Why?
Yes, very affordable. Many clients have spent tens of thousands of dollars on failed surgeries, physical therapy, manipulations and drugs with little relief. My work is non-invasive, without surgery, drugs or manipulation. Do not get me wrong. There are times when surgery, drugs and/or manipulation are needed. The individual should avail themselves to all available treatments and listen to their physicians.
11. Do you treat non-athletes as well as athletes?
A great deal of my work is with non-athletes for a variety of conditions, many considered “incurable.” There is a great need for affordable, safe, effective and lasting positive techniques in our health care system today.
12. One last question do you happen to have any video (from YouTube or otherwise) concerning you & your practice/method that you can send me the link to compliment this interview?
1. Phoenix Suns Use Alternative Therapies-AZ Fox TV-10
2. Wipe Away Any Pain With The Power of The Mind-MN, KSTP-TV5 Report
3. This video goes into a brief step by step process of my work: Football Player eliminates shoulder, ankle and shin pain.
Thank you for your time Dr. Petras!