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Pain Care Tips

Pain Care Tips

*for more great pain care resources visit Neil’s website www.lifeisnow.ca and join him at Purple Lotus for a 3 day Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga Workshop for teachers and practitioners.

Moving with ease is a powerful analgesic

There are many ways to open the medicine cabinet inside you. Gentle movement, no matter how small, is a pain care treatment. Maybe your systems are so sensitized you need to start with imagining movement. Maybe you need to spend time finding more peace first. Or maybe you need to find someone to guide you. Movement is not the only answer, but it is one of the most important ones.

Ease of movement is the important measure of success of pain treatments for people with persistent pain.

Any treatment or pain care strategy that decreases pain but does not improve ease of movement is less likely to be more and more effective over time.

Knowledge is a powerful analgesic

Some people need to become experts to understand everything they can about pain before they find their path to recovery. Others just need the knowledge that pain is changeable, and that there is hope, followed by a little guidance in techniques in order to recover. Which would work best for you?

Laughter is a powerful analgesic

Laughter truly is medicine. It might not fix everything up, but smiling and laughing more will change your body’s chemistry in many ways. This is not just distraction – it is an effective way to decrease your pain. It is okay to have fun.

You have more influence over your pain than most people believe.

Pain changes your brain, and you too have the ability to change your brain. You can use your body, your breath, your thoughts, your emotions, and your spirit.

Pain care is like a dimmer switch, not like an on-off switch.

Most pain medicine and many pain control products have continued to use language that promotes the idea of instant pain relief. This is what we want. Yet, this is not the common experience. Look for techniques that provide you some improvements – especially the ones that improve ease of movement.

We must stop the epidemic of creating co-dependency

Health practitioners must endeavor to teach us what we can do in life when pain persists. The treatments we are given are best considered as boosts to the ‘real treatments’ – what we do over the long-term, to move with more ease, and live well again.

You can change any aspect of your existence through any aspect of your existence.

Traditionally, and even today in some yoga therapy, there is an idea that if you have a problem with your body, that you use your body to fix it, and if there is a mental health issue, you use your psyche to fix this. We are not a body, mind and spirit, but rather an integrated human. This means that there are so many more possibilities for improvement – such as, we can influence depression, anxiety, fear and grief through what we do with our body, and we can use our spirit, thoughts and emotions to change our body.

Everything changes, even pain.

One of the benefits of mindful practices and awareness techniques are that they give us a chance to watch how much pain and all sensations from our body change from moment to moment. When we experience that pain changes, this can offer hope, as well as opening the door to the idea that maybe we can find a way to influence these changes.

Pain is a story. Sometimes an all-consuming story, and at other times we can find ways to rewrite it.

The pain we experience is so many things – a symptom, an experience, a warning, …, and it is also a story. Our internal mechanisms create this, in an attempt to make sense of what is happening in our body and our life, and in a not-so-clear attempt to guide our actions.

Ask yourself – is your strength to persevere in the face of pain helping you improve

The reason you have pain is not because you are weak, or not tough enough. Being able to grit your teeth and push through it is often not the full solution.

Take some time to think about what you think about pain.

For example – you know that the pain of hitting your thumb with a hammer can be different depending on who is with you, and whether you are happy or angry when you do it. This of course means that pain intensity depends on what is happening in your body, and how your systems are responding to it.

Create a sense of space and freedom in your body, heart and thoughts

Regaining ease of movement and living well again might require more compassion, more effort or both.

Treat yourself to healthy love-filled breaks every day

The first step for you might be to perform a loving self assessment (of all those things from which the pain has disconnected you), before you find the best ways to care for yourself

Pain management interventions provided by qualified health professionals should support our individual self care. The treatments we receive are best considered as boosts to the real treatments – which are what we do to move with more ease, and live well again.

Try what works for you when you are angry or sad? The changes we experience when pain persists – in our body, breath, thought, emotions and spirit – start to look similar regardless the original source of the pain, and sometimes the best answers come from doing what is best for all aspects of our self, rather than only focusing on the source of the pain.

Grieving can be vital in pain management. Grief is one of the most commonly overlooked parts of pain care.

Visualization and imagery are effective pain care techniques. Your brain can’t really tell the difference between a thought and reality, so practice he movements you want to recover with vividly imagined movements.

Reconnect with your body by practicing a body awareness technique every day. Pain disconnects us form our body. Regardless of your pain, your body is one of the most powerful ways to change pain.

Get better at self-love and self-nurturing. These turn pain care practices into self-efficacy practices

Daily awareness practices are part of the answer. Experiences remind us that we often need to listen many times before we hear the message clearly or understand.

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