Taking the power out of Pain is possible.
We have all experienced pain at some time in our lives. It may be from a headache, a cut to your finger, a broken bone or from a disease process. Many people live with chronic pain. Many others suffer emotional pain from heartache, a broken relationship, abandonment, loss or grief.
Pain has been described as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience that can start as a mild discomfort or something more severe. It can be just an irritation or it can be agonising and we all experience it in different ways. This is dependent on the actual pain and our tolerance to it and is also influenced by our attitudes, beliefs, personality and social factors. It can affect our emotional and mental wellbeing and totally dominate our lives.
We can however, take the power out of Pain. What do I mean by this? We can look at the power and attention we give to our pain and change this. We can change our attitude towards pain and our focus on it. I am by no means, diminishing the extent of the pain that you may be feeling. Pain is real and if we are in severe pain, our whole life can be dominated by it.
However we can address the response we give to pain. Pain is influenced by emotions, and the cycle of pain and emotions are connected. Emotions may also affect physical change. For example, when you are anxious or angry, your muscles may tighten, and this change can contribute to increased pain. Our thoughts also influence how we feel pain. If we are anxious, our sense of pain heightens and we feel more pain and become more stressed, which in turn exacerbates the pain. Pain will also affect our sleep and if we can’t sleep, we don’t cope so well with any discomfort we may be feeling.
So what can we change? How can we live more comfortably with pain?
The first step is to acknowledge and accept that you have Pain. This may sound rather obvious as your body is screaming at you that you are definitely uncomfortable, but by taking this step you are starting to take back control. You are acknowledging what is there and now you can do something about it.
Pain does not define you! It is something you are currently living with but it is not who you are. Recognise this because it means that you still have a life outside of your physical and emotional feelings.
Stay informed about measures you can take in your life. If you need to take medication then become aware of what is available. Look at complementary therapies that can help too. Facial Reflexology is a very powerful therapy used in the treatment of pain. Regular treatments will reduce stress and inflammation and improve the nerve supply and circulation to help ease your discomfort. Specific charts can be designed for your particular area of pain so you can take back some control and become involved in your own care.
Practice meditation and deep breathing. This helps reduce stress and relaxes your body and takes the focus off any negative thoughts you may be experiencing. Engage in some exercise every day. Even if it’s a short walk outside. Do what you enjoy. Every time you move your body, you are helping strengthen your muscles, bones and joints. You are also reducing stress and improving your sleep. Just try it for short periods and increase when you feel more able to.
Look at your diet. Try and avoid foods that cause inflammation, as inflammation in the body stimulates the immune response. A heightened immune system, that is, one that’s always on alert, will affect our nervous system. This stimulates the brain to produce hormones, such a cortisol, that bring on anxiety and depression, rather than our ‘feel good hormones such as serotonin, that make us feel better. If our bodies are stressed or inflamed, they become more sensitive to pain, so that pain management techniques may not be as effective.
Foods that cause inflammation include dairy, refined flours, sugar, cakes, biscuits, vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower and corn oils, fried foods, processed foods and alcohol.
The best anti-inflammatory foods include foods that are as unprocessed as possible, fresh whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain breads and pasta, beans, lentils, chick peas and other legumes, nuts and seeds, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, seafood and poultry. Spices such as turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cloves, cinnamon and thyme have also been found to reduce inflammation.
Know that you can have an impact on how you experience pain. Acknowledge where you are without judgment. We all deal with pain differently and no way is right or wrong. Then look at your lifestyle and see what changes you can make. Take back control.
Pain is not an easy thing to live with, especially if it’s chronic pain but you can take the power out of it.
Let me know if you need any help.
I am also offering online consultations to help with Pain relief. They can be booked here. https://solevitalitybooking.as.me/?appointmentType=13076781
References: www.painaustralia.org.au/about-pain/what-is-pain, https://www.hss.edu/conditions_emotional-impact-pain-experience.asp, https://www.msk.org.au/pain-guide/