(778) 215-3148 [email protected]

My Experience with the ‘Protectometer’

My first book report since junior high, I believe.


I have read most of, and referenced often Butler and Mosely’s ‘Explain Pain,’ (EP) in the past few years. I picked up ‘The Explain Pain Handbook PROTECTOMER’ this week, which is complementary to EP and intended for anyone who has pain. The handbook, which is 49 pages of delightfully easy reading, certainly goes along with the EP book, but in no way is it requisite to have already read EP to benefit from the use of the Protectometer Handbook.

I wondered what I might get out of the Handbook myself, being a health professional that uses EP concepts and pain science education daily. In my own journey with pain, I am in a very good place thanks to my understanding and knowledge of pain, but I can’t say I have NO pain. There is always room for improvement and further understanding.

I haven’t specifically used the Protectometer tool pertaining to my own injuries, though I have used it with my clients collaborating in the clinic and emailing them the list to continue to work on. The protectometer operates on the principle that you will experience pain when your brain perceives more credible evidence of danger than credible evidence of safety.
Using this system involves 2 categories of items the person is to identify: “DIMS and SIMS” standing for respectively, things which provoke “Danger In Me” and “Safety In Me.” Within each category, there are subcategories to identify and accompanying colour coated sticky notes, including Things you do, Places you go, Things you think and believe, Things you say, People in your life, Things you hear, see, smell, taste, touch. Reviewing this helped me remember the scope of DIMS and SIMS is a lot bigger than what I have been using loosely in the clinic and is more aligned with the evidence behind using Explain Pain as the authors intended it.
I was very encouraged my current SIMS far surpass my DIMS pertaining to my currently sore foot which is preventing me from running. I found laying on my bed and doing the reflective work and writing it down/organizing it like this to be quite therapeutic.


The authors use metaphor and storytelling in their approach to pain science education, and the book contains adorable little graphics and colourful, unique artwork for the reader’s enjoyment. I remember being introduced to the concept of “The Drug Cabinet in the Brain,” in school.” I just love this metaphor and graphic. You may just have to do more of your own research and reading to find out more about this powerful tool we all have in our brains.



Interestingly, I am a person that has a bit of an ego, and sensitivity to things I am presented with that could seem overly simplistic. Being aware of this, I am often fearful my clients may feel like I am questioning or belittling their intelligence when using simple analogies and metaphor to explain things. Reading EP and the handbook, I questioned if some may find it to be too silly, basic, or belittling. I did not experience any feelings like that. Lorimer and David do an amazing job of appealing to the masses in a way that is not demeaning at all.

WP Feedback

Dive straight into the feedback!
Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly