TMHBlog

In an interview with the creators of This Might Hurt, local filmmakers Kent Bassett and Marion Cunningham join Pongo Power in order to explain the urgency and importance behind their upcoming documentary. Pongo Power Flatbush will be hosting a special fundraiser on Saturday, February 20th to help raise money for the team to continue the post-production process.

  • Pongo Power Q:  Why are we in so much pain?

A:  100 million Americans live with pain every day of their lives.  Pain can manifest in many forms causing joint issues, headaches, back and neck aches as well as a host of other debilitating and mysterious symptoms. It can lead to feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety. In the extreme chronic pain can result in the loss of work, relationships and all too often, hope.

Frequently the cause of a patient’s pain cannot be determined by blood tests or looking at an MRI. Without a true diagnosis, chronic pain thus becomes difficult for doctors to treat using conventional methods. The most common treatments (medications, injections and surgery) leave a lot to be desired.  

In fact, recent studies suggest that some injections and narcotics offer no more relief than a placebo and put the patient at risk for addiction. The issues then created by opioid dependence are not simple to solve. In the extreme, risks include addiction, symptoms of withdrawal if and when the patient tries to taper down, and potential death by accidental overdose. These physical effects do not even include the psychological implications of becoming dependent on drugs.

Additionally, the statistics surrounding opioid dependence and death are staggering. In 2012, doctors wrote nearly 300 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers—enough for every adult to have a bottle—and in 2013 more than 16,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses. The CDC is re-examining prescription guidelines describing the situation as an epidemic.

By changing the prescription guidelines the CDC is making a decision that will effect both addicts and the patients who physically do need the medications for chronic pain. It is important to offer resources other than drugs and injections, however this does not always happen.

The documentary This Might Hurt will launch a much-needed dialogue about the urgency of the chronic pain epidemic in America, by being the first film of its kind to ask, “why are we in so much pain?” We’ll attempt to uncover the mysterious nature of pain by exploring the latest science as the best minds in medicine continue to tackle this widespread illness.

The filmmaker Kent Bassett decided to explore this topic because he experienced a bout of arm pain in his early twenties. After seeing several doctors, trying physical therapy, and having to drop out of college because the pain was so intense, Kent read Dr. John Sarno’s book The Mindbody Prescription and experienced immediate pain relief. In the years following his recovery, he continued to be fascinated by the mind-body connection. Through his research Kent noted that many people suffer from mysterious and confusing pains, and that the medical community struggles to treat them effectively.

When Kent learned how many thousands of people found relieve from chronic pain through mind-body medicine and yet the topic was ignored by mainstream media his resolved to create a comprehensive documentary film was crystalized.

  • Q: Treating Chronic Pain with Mind-Body Medicine

A: The first step for people who have chronic pain, who are interested in the mind-body medical treatment, is to see a qualified physician for diagnosis. This doctor will order and go over any necessary scans and blood tests to rule out various disease processes. For diagnoses like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, and many other pain syndromes, a careful medical evaluation tracing the history of the patient’s pain is recorded. This medical intake often lasts for an hour or longer.

During this interview the doctor tried to determine if there were difficult emotional events that coincided or preceded the onset of painful symptoms in an attempt to discover a link between the patient’s emotional stress and pain. If connections between emotional stress and pain are revealed then some doctors can offer a treatment program that involves working through anger, fear and emotional conflicts, as well as learning to detach from the fear cycle of pain using mindfulness meditation.  

  • Q: Why We Need Your Help

A: Filmmaking is an expensive art form and there’s so much that goes on behind the scenes.

The next step in our journey for This Might Hurt is the post production process. This is one of the priciest phases of a film, and it’s where the bulk of the film actually gets made. The costs we’ll incur over the next few months of post-production include:

  1. Hiring an editor to take the scenes we’ve shot from raw footage to cohesive story arcs.
  2. Hiring an animator that will create motion graphics to explain the science of pain in a fun and watchable way.
  3. Purchasing archival footage like news clips and pharmaceutical ads to illustrate how big of a pain problem we have in America.

These three budgetary items will cost us a minimum of $50,000 and probably much more than that. Every dollar raised at the fundraiser will get us closer to covering these costly but necessary items and to finishing the film.

We hope you’ll join us at the fundraiser.

Click here to buy your tickets now! Thank you in advance for your support!