Three free tips for you to try so you don’t have to tahan your pain anymore

Other Singapore chiropractors may tell you to do something about your pain. Because to tahan (Singlish for endure) your pain is bad for you and that it will lead to irreversible damage.

Well, fake news. They probably just wanted to scare you into buying a 40-session chiropractic package.

neck pain machine
The very fancy equipment used to measure joint positioning error in patients with neck pain.

The truth is there’s no irreversible downside — suicide aside — to tahan-ing your pain. However, living with chronic pain does increase your risk of developing mental health issues like depression or anxiety, and even suicide. It may also lead to movement or joint positioning errors.

Thankfully, all of these are reversible with evidence-based treatment.

There is a time for everything.

I can appreciate that for some of you, this is not the right season to be seeking professional help.

We have our reasons to put things that are important to us away. Sometimes life just gets into the way of us doing what we need to. I accept this.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to mindlessly endure your pain. There are still things you can do to help yourself.

Stop telling yourself that your pain is hopeless.

self talk, exercise, chronic pain
We often belittle the power of words and how it can have a observable, tangible effect on your symptom experience.

Most people don’t try to help themselves because they think there is no hope.

If you think about it, that makes sense right? Why waste time, money, effort into trying to improve something if you don’t think it’s going to get better.

Here’s where the problem lies: Most people FALSELY believe that their pain is hopeless.

I am willing to accept that there are genuinely complex cases where the pain may never truly go away 100%. Yet for these patients, there are things they can do to improve their symptom experience and quality of life.

Research has shown that self-talk can change your recovery outcomes. A study made participants read either a positively-worded or negatively-worded script before doing an exercise. Those in the positive group experienced a 22% improvement in their pain.

The negative group? They experienced MORE pain.

Yep, this is not just feel-good advice. What you say to yourself makes a real difference.

Turn down the heat

chef cooking high pressure
There’s really no point in trying to fight your pain. First, it doesn’t make your pain go away. Second, you suffer more as a result of that.

All pain can be made worse under the right conditions. Similarly, they can improve by reducing the aggravating and/or contributing factors.

A client asked during last night’s coaching call if he could put “sleeping more” as an interim goal to help with his recovery.

Well, 100% yes!

Poor sleep does contribute to your pain experience and getting more days of quality sleep will help you turn the heat down.

Just because it’s not the right season for you to seek professional help doesn’t mean you can’t already take small steps to help yourself feel better.

Increase the size of your pot

water flower into cup
Cups, pots. Tomayto, tomahto. Increasing your capacity is what’s important.

Sometimes we underestimate how much foods like pasta or rice can expand during cooking. When that happens, I switch out for a bigger pot.

Yes, a bigger pot is not always available.

Thankfully for all of us, our bodies are adaptable. This means — with enough time and a good exercise strategy — you can increase the size of your pot.

If you’re getting knee pain with walking, you can use exercise to increase the capacity of your knee. As you can do more with your knee, you will see an improvement in your pain experience.

One of our senior clients was working with us for neck to heel pain. She had pain all over her body!

During her initial sessions, putting her arms overhead was enough to give her intense neck and shoulder ache that would head to headaches.

Yesterday, she did a 40kg rack pull with minimal exertion. Her back pain didn’t even act up! She was surprise. Her daughter was surprise. Her son was surprise.

Repeat after me, “my body is robust and adaptable.”

Your turn now, start small today.

Telling yourself that your pain is not real, or that it’s all in your mind is not going to help.

Trying to just tahan (Singlish for endure) and shoving it to the back of your minds also wouldn’t do you any good. In fact, it makes you suffer more.

Did you know Tahan is a Hebrew name which means merciful?

With that, I implore you to be merciful.

Specifically, to be kind to yourself. To be tahan towards your pain so you can help yourself through this.


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.