Getting Rid of Chronic Pain

Hi, I'm Dr. Marie Starling.

At The Healing Center, we help people like you reach their full potential.

I specialize in adjunctive care for internal disorders, autoimmune conditions, IBS, thyroid symptoms, diabetes, and other complex health issues.


Here at The Healing Center, our mission is to identify the underlying causes of your symptoms and address them individually, using a variety of tools available to us. There are 8 common triggers for chronic pain that most people don’t realize.


“Abnormal spinal movement can be caused by physical trauma (repetitive motion, car accidents, slips, falls, improper lifting, poor sleeping habits), emotional stress (worry, negative thoughts, fear), or chemical imbalances (alcohol, drugs, toxins, pollution.)… Whenever the nervous system is interfered with, the connection between the brain and body is impaired, and there may be malfunction of any cell, tissue, or organ of the body…” The brain itself can also become imbalanced causing dysfunction from right to left or front to back. These imbalances can cause3 tight hamstrings or even forward head position causing neck and back pain.


  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Pins and needles
  • Hypertension
  • Indigestion
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms/atrophy
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Swelling

“Ligaments, tendons and spinal discs have a poor blood supply and heal slowly. This is why proper nutrition, rest and… spinal adjustments are needed to completely eliminate the cause of your pain. If your spinal joints are not moving properly, degeneration of your spine and health will be the result.”


“Do you have chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or other mysterious symptoms that make you miserable? But does your doctor say your lab tests are fine and you’re perfectly healthy? It could be you have an autoimmune reaction and don’t know it. People can develop an autoimmune reaction to virtually any tissue, enzyme, or protein in their body. Autoimmunity means the immune system has failed to distinguish between foreign invaders, which it was designed to attack, and body tissue, which it was designed to protect. As a result, the immune system attacks and destroys specific parts of the body.


  • Mystery illness
  • Irresolvable symptoms
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Digestive problems
  • Brain fog
  • Poor neurological function
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Poor mood
  • Skin problems

We have autoimmunity testing today that can screen for antibodies against multiple tissues to determine whether an autoimmune reaction is causing chronic pain, chronic fatigue, or other symptoms. Antibodies are proteins that tag a foreign compound for the immune system to destroy and remove. When you produce higher than normal levels of antibodies to certain parts of the body (it’s normal for old and dying cells to be tagged for removal), this means you are having an autoimmune reaction against that tissue or enzyme… If so, we then know we can work on balancing an overzealous and improperly functioning immune system. Also, if your test shows an autoimmune reaction but you have no symptoms, you now know that proper diet and lifestyle choices will help prevent the progression of autoimmunity. Today we have many scientifically proven strategies to tame autoimmunity, improve function, and increase your well being. These include an autoimmune diet and nutritional compounds to balance the immune system and quench inflammation.”


Eliminating chronic pain can be as simple as eliminating certain foods, but unfortunately most people don’t get comprehensive food sensitivity testing. What’s even worse is that these sensitivity reactions may not be obvious, such as those that cause delayed reactions.

Common Allergens:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Nightshades (peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, etc)
  • Eggs
  • Grains
  • Shellfish
  • Beans and legumes
  • Any food eaten most often

A person can become sensitive to any food, especially when leaky gut is present. “Food allergies really are an immune system sensitivity that can trigger pain. But how? Aside from the immediate inflammatory response caused by an allergy, the immune system is also linked to the nervous system in several ways that are still being discovered. One link is through the hormonal system. Hormones allow the nervous system to talk to the immune system and visa versa. Scientists have also discovered a fine network of nerves that connect to the lymph glands. All in all, the entire system is connected, so it should not be a surprise the food allergies really can cause pain.” At the Healing Center, we use comprehensive food allergy and sensitivity testing and implement a variety of dietary protocols for healing leaky gut and inflammation such as elimination diets, rotation diets, NAET Allergy Clearings, and others.


“Seventy percent of your immune system is located in your gut, which is filled with nerves as well as tiny hairs in the walls known as villi that prevent your body from absorbing too many toxins. Taking too many painkillers, or even having food sensitivities like gluten sensitivity, can damage both the nerve endings and those villi, leading to a condition known as “leaky gut.” When your gut “leaks,” undigested food (with sometimes problematic proteins like gluten), bacteria, and other environmental chemicals that can cause those microglia to get stimulated and lead to chronic pain.”

At the Healing Center we identify and address or rule out leaky gut, to stop this mechanism from feeding into the vicious cycles of chronic pain and inflammation.


“Specialists who deal with back pain have long known that infections are sometimes to blame, but these cases were thought to be exceptional. That thinking has been overturned by scientists at the University of Southern Denmark who found that 20% to 40% of chronic lower back pain was caused by bacterial infections….

The Danish team describe their work in two papers published in the European Spine Journal. In the first report, they explain how bacterial infections inside slipped discs can cause painful inflammation and tiny fractures in the surrounding vertebrae… They lurk around hair roots and in the crevices in our teeth, but can get into the bloodstream during tooth brushing. Normally they cause no harm, but the situation may change when a person suffers a slipped disc. To heal the damage, the body grows small blood vessels into the disc. Rather than helping, though, they ferry bacteria inside, where they grow and cause serious inflammation and damage to neighboring vertebrae that shows up on an MRI scan….

In the second paper, the scientists proved they could cure chronic back pain with a 100-day course of antibiotics. In a randomized trial, the drugs reduced pain in 80% of patients who had suffered for more than six months and had signs of damaged vertebra under MRI scans.”

At The Healing Center, we seek to identify and support the elimination of clinical and subclinical infections, including bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, mold, and candida/yeast, which all can contribute to the inflammation that contributes to chronic pain.


Although it may not be conventional to thing of emotional trauma as a source cause of chronic illness and pain, doctors and researchers are realizing that deep-seated emotional pain from trauma or abuse can cause chronic pain. There are many reasons that this may be so. The most common, is that thoughts and emotions are actual molecules in the body. Though there are many classes of these molecules, the most common are peptides that are called information carriers, which work much like hormones, carrying their instructions to every cell in the body. This is how fear can stimulate a full force fight or flight response in seconds.

These molecules must be metabolized just like food, water, air, toxins and our own metabolism byproducts, and just as the body stores toxins or fat, these molecules often become stored as well. If someone was in a low state of resistance at the time of a stressfully charged event, anything that consciously or unconsciously triggers that time will cause the body will return to that same physical state. Dr. Kaplan states that “emotional trauma, physical injury, or environmental toxins appear to stimulate microglia, molecules that live in the central nervous system that spew out a continuous supply of inflammatory chemicals whenever they’re stressed. Your body’s response to this constant inflammation manifests itself in two significant ways: chronic pain and psychological disorders like depression and anxiety.”

We use a variety of quick and easy techniques to release stored emotions, such as the Emotion Code and Body Code System, and resolve the stress or trauma. Many of our patients feel immediate relief and an increase sense of peace through our methods.


“Surprising, but true: Overusing pain killers dulls your body’s response to pain, so you need more, and more potent, painkillers to alleviate chronic pain. But that just leads to increased sensitivity to pain in the long run. Dr. Kaplan says this problem is particularly bad with prescription opiod painkillers, such as Vicodin or Oxycontin. Using painkillers to deal with chronic pain is “shortsighted,” Dr. Kaplan writes.”

The Healing Center addresses inflammation and pain sensitivity using natural methods that address the underlying cause. Pain medications suppress or inhibit physiology, while we work to support physiology back to a state of balance.


“Our perception of pain increases when the quality of our sleep is poor, Dr. Kaplan writes. Deep sleep is a time when your muscles have an increased blood supply, which helps with tissue growth and repair. You can see an increase in generalized muscle pain, he adds, within just a week of not getting regular deep sleep. And sleeping pills don’t help, since they just put you to sleep without improving the quality of sleep, which means you might not reach those deep, pain-relieving stages you need to feel better.”

We increase the quality and regularity of sleep cycles using a variety of methods to support the adrenals, brain and central nervous system, and blood supply to aid tissue growth and repair.


Related Posts

Staying Safe in the Summer Sun – Sun Exposure, Sunscreen, and Hydration

During the hot summer months, it’s important to stay hydrated and mindful of exposure to the sun. We will discuss staying hydrated, getting sun exposure for Vitamin D synthesis, and healthy sunscreen options.

Summer Recipe from Fresh Perspective!

Hello friends! My name is Sonja Miltner. I am a vegan personal chef, and my business is called Fresh Perspective. My parents converted to vegetarianism in their early twenties and raised me that way as well. In my adult life I found a passion for creating nutritious and delicious vegan meals for my family, my friends, and myself. I offer personalized, in-home meal prep for busy families, professionals, and athletes.

In Doubt about Gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that this characterized by sudden reoccurring attacks of severe pain, redness, tenderness, heat/warmth, and swelling in the joints of the body. The metatarsal-phalangeal joint is the most commonly affected area of the body, but it can also affect other major joints of the body (ex: hand, wrist, elbow, knee, ankle, etc…). Gout is commonly caused by an increased intake in foods that are rich in purines and/or a dysfunction of the kidney’s ability to properly excrete uric acid from the body.

Meet Our New Doctor!!

Dr. Katharine Gandy is a passionate student of all things holistic and strives to help others find their optimum life potential. Using disciplines of chiropractic, functional medicine, energy work, massage, and cranial sacral, this integrative natural care physician has been treating patients with a wide range of conditions for over 13 years. Dr. Gandy focuses her continuing education in Neuro-Emotional Technique, nutrition, allergy elimination, pediatrics, and functional neurology to help her patients address the physical, chemical and emotional imbalances created from the multiple stressors we face each day.

Reiki Classes!

In June, The Healing Center is offering a 3-part course to offer clients the opportunity to learn the basics of Reiki healing energy and understand how to use energy for your own healing, and daily wellness. The classes are taught by Suzanne Rainey, a healer and spiritual guide who works with energy and also guides clients through their Akashic Records for healing and insight.

Suzanne is a Karuna Reiki Master, registered with the International Center for Reiki Training, and teaches beginners through masters/teachers, as well as Karuna, the Reiki of Compassion.

Announcement: Foundations of Health: Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment

Have you ever eaten sushi? 

Have you ever used Windex or other common cleaning products?

Have you ever traveled, or kissed someone?

If the answer is yes, you’ve been exposed to pathogens and other toxic chemicals.  Unfortunately, they are a widespread part of our modern lives.

Join us at The Healing Center for Dr. Marie Starling’s FREE Foundations of Health Series, “Toxins and Pathogens in your Environment,” to understand daily exposures that destroy your health, learn what they are, and how to avoid them.

Foundations of Health Lectures Series Dates and Times Announced!

As some of you may know, Dr. Marie Starling is putting on a FREE lecture series starting in April!  “Foundations of Health,” is a series designed to share Dr. Starling’s wealth of knowledge with anyone interested in long term health.  You don’t need to be a patient!  In fact, we are encouraging patient’s to bring any family or friends that don’t quite understand what it is you do when you’re at The Healing Center OR have interest in becoming a patient themselves.

How Emotions Affect Your Health: Drop the Emotional Baggage for Good

Every day each of us experiences an array of emotions that can range from pure illation to the worst kind of grief, sometimes making it feel like we’re on an emotional rollercoaster. Though most emotions leave the body after they are experienced, some will latch on, continuing to have a negative effect without us consciously knowing. Before we dive into why some emotions…

Your Underactive Thyroid and Weight Gain: Hypothyroidism Symptoms and Treatment

Are you tired all of the time despite getting a full night of sleep? Have you noticed sudden weight gain with a decrease in energy and motivation? Do you feel like you’re going through your day in a haze of brain fog…

Meet Suzanne! Our New Energy Worker!

Hi! I’m Suzanne Rainey. I like to call myself a spiritual guide. I work with clients who are on journeys to heal in deep ways, and who may be suffering from chronic issues, pain, anxiety, and other symptoms. I work with people to clear old patterns and restore balance…