Pain can be reduced by spending time alone with yourself with a calm and focused state of mind. Taking deep breaths and exhaling progressively slower for a minute or two is a good first step. Put yourself in a comfortable position, perhaps using pillows for support. Close your eyes and feel your body. See if you can find areas that are tense by moving around a little. Put your attention on the painful or tense areas. Hear your mind say ‘relax’ while focused on the tension and pain. Continue your deep breathing. See if you can listen to your body’s response; there are messages coming from your body for you to understand. See if you can establish a conversation with your body and can develop a working relationship with your body. See if you can ‘follow your bodies lead’ with it’s instructions to you regarding releasing your tension and reducing your pain. Partner with your body to get better. Do this every day.
This exercise is part of a larger pain reduction tool called:
‘Body-Mind Medicine’ and will be talked about further in our work.
2. Abolishing self-harmful addictions. Establish self-caring habits.
Self-harming addictions and habits make your pain worse. Addictions and habits can be stopped by our nervous systems with a plan and an appropriate amount of time. Smoking tobacco is the worst because it impedes the body’s ability to heal and reduce pain. Drinking alcohol, using cocaine, using amphetamines and eating too much (especially sugar) all make pain worse. Stopping these habits and addictions starts with an idea. This leads to establishing a plan that is unique to you. Working the plan to eliminate these harmful addictions will pull you away from pain.
Establishing self-caring habits will also pull you away from pain. They go hand in hand with eliminating self-harm. Like a gardener, you pull weeds and plant good seeds.
The most important good habits are exercise, sleep and good nutrition.
Exercise lowers pain if done carefully. Exercise has your brain generate pain killers naturally. These are called endorphins. However, the exercise required must not hurt yourself, especially your areas of pain. Be gentle and ‘check-in’ with your body to see if the exercise leaves you feeling better or making your pain worse. With time and practice, you can develop your unique exercise program that allows you to build up your endorphins, your strength and general good health and your mood and happiness.
Good nutrition pulls you away from pain. The essential ideas are nothing new. We must put the right amount of the right foods into ourselves while stopping the wrong foods into ourselves. We need to stay hydrated. We need to have adequate vitamins and mineral. We need pro-biotics. As mentioned earlier, we must stop addictions to sugar and starch as they leave us too heavy, and can put us on a roller coaster emotionally. The weight itself often is a significant cause of pain, especially to the joints and spine. Our nutrition is a product of our habits, which take both a plan to change, and time to change. Getting support from a caring person helps you succeed.
4. Restrictions and Vocational Rehabilitation
No body lives forever. We must accept this fact. However, it is tough to pass being at our peak and having to live in a body that is different than the one you had when you were 18. Aging is slow and in most people benign. However, people with chronic pain must accept their body the way it is. Then we can improve. Pain is an important way the body talks to you. The better you listen, the less loud the body transmits the pain. Approach pain carefully and gently. Forgive your body for the suffering you feel. And work out how to reduce the demand placed on your body’s painful areas. Baby yourself. Restrict activities that make your pain worse. If your livelihood in in conflict with this, change livelihoods using vocational rehabilitation. Some people need to go on disability or get help from their families while they ‘retool’ to engage fruitful activities that do not cause themselves more pain.
New research has revealed that there is a useful dose range for opioid medications. This has been set forth by our Centers for Disease Control in 2016. Science has demonstrated that there is a dose range can be expected to provide sustainable effectiveness. Patients frequently present to us on higher doses of medication that set forth by the CDC, and are looking for comfort. Our approach to this is to provide a multimodality pain relief program. As the patient develops these skills, the medications naturally reduce to the levels that are truly useful, as opposed to harmful. Additionally, there are other medications that are benign and our internal medicine doctors and pain specialists are skilled at putting together an effective medication plan for you.
6. Benefits of specialists
Our interventionalist uses modern technical procedures to treat some types of pain. Our practice has the capability, skill and experience to comfortably reduce areas of pain using fluoroscopically and ultrasound guided injections of medications to reduce painful areas. We also can introduce medical devices that electrically reduce pain. Other specialists include physical therapists and mental health professionals. Other medical and surgical specialists are referred to when appropriate to provide the full spectrum of pain management.
7. Treat emotional pain
Consider that 20% of people also suffer with chronic pain. Although that’s a lot of people, it also means 80% of people cannot appreciate your experience. Feelings of isolation, anger, guilt, shame, anxiety and depression arise from pain and being misunderstood. Emotional pain is pain, just as much as physical pain is pain. We recognize both types of pain need caring attention and treatment. Our staff includes both the ways and means to help reduce emotional pain as well as physical pain. We have found group therapy is especially helpful, and we provide this modality within our practice with trained counselors.
8. Outside Resources
Many useful books and YouTube videos address these healing modalities. Below are a sample we have found useful to succeed at living both a meaningful and fulfilling life, both in the immediate present, and for the rest of your life.
are part of our multimodality healing plan Read More