The Newest Techniques for Relaxation and Pain Relief
Over 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain. To be very specific CP is pain which lasts longer than an appropriate healing time for an injury, diseases affecting the nerves, or surgery. Three to six months and frequently even longer occurrences of pain are classified as chronic. These numbers are rising steadily. Research groups such as IASP, the International Association for the Study of Pain, are ramping up efforts to find more strident methodology for curing patients, when possible, rather than medicating the sufferer with pills which often are a gateway to addiction.
PAIN Has A Purpose?
The word pain has many connotations. It might be identified as an irritating, uncomfortable sensory experience, either sharply felt, or vague and spasmodic. What people in pain don’t often realize is that pain affects human emotions, not just body parts and function, in a very impactful and discernible manner. Anyone who suffers from chronic pain knows that it physically: interrupts normal activities, causes muscles and joints to stiffen, increases blood pressure, lowers the ability of the immune system to fight infection, and affects the heart rate. It impedes the quality of life. Emotionally, when nerve damage is part of the injury, or the pain is incessant and ongoing, feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and hopelessness are felt. Pain and the emotions it emits are inextricably linked 100% of the time, causing stress to increase to unhealthy levels, sleeplessness and poor appetite.
The flip side to this all-inclusive distress, or the positive purpose of pain is that it is nature’s way of providing an innate warning system for the human condition. When inflammation, tissue damage, broken bones, racing heartbeat, or organ dysfunction, cause intense discomfort, the brain demands that action be taken. Often, having experienced the very distressing feeling of pain, the human condition protects itself by using caution to avoid becoming injured. Pain is the very real indicator that the body needs care. It is the human tool for survival. It demands that medical attention is sought. Research has shown that chronic pain is very complex, and the discomfort felt is totally “brain made”.
Relax Like Einstein – He Played the Violin
Learning to live with chronic pain is do-able. However, you must be tenacious and learn to use the new and ever-evolving relaxation techniques that work to, both physically and psychologically, lead to a totally calm mindset and peacefulness, which reduces stress and relieves pain. The hyper-connectivity and overcommitment of everyday life, create a scenario which exacerbates pain levels, increases stress, and makes the effort to become tranquil, a task for super-heroes. Robert Jamison, PhD, and Harvard Medical Professor works with chronic pain sufferers and has found that relaxation techniques are very effective and restorative. However, it is often a combination of techniques, practiced in tandem, which has the most effectual results, since many stressed and pain weary people find the task of relaxing very challenging. Einstein was a genius. He used the technique of listening to music as a therapy for relaxation and pain relief, long before there was any indication that self-care worked to enhance well-being.
Empowerment - Engaging in Relaxation Response
Unlike past history, the continuously faster paced environs of modern life, keep the body’s stress responses triggered, and increase the anxiousness, muscle tightening, and shallow breathing which, although natural in high risk situations, overload the body with hormones and tension, which are unhealthy, physically, and emotionally. Often, the body’s relaxation responses just don’t happen. Relaxation can be induced and achieved with focused effort and a mix of techniques that bring peaceful calm to the mind and body. Finding the techniques that work best is a very personal choice. The ones that feel comfortable and can easily be repeated are often the most effective. The newest techniques offered include:
Mindful Meditation can focus on many things like sounds, objects, aromas and other simple visual, olfactory or auditory stimuli. With quiet time and consistency, it works to calm the mind and body, takes very little time, and builds resilience against stress, and a reduction of chronic pain.
It’s important to find a comfortable place to sit in a very upright position, with relaxed hands, palms facing upward. Exhale before beginning to deplete air in the lungs. * The Mayo Clinic’s recent research substantiates that “intentional deep breathing” activates the autonomic nervous system to regulate body processes which calm, oxygenate the blood, and help reduce chronic pain. Practiced 2 or more times a day, it’s effectiveness will be easily discerned.
Practiced often, even if only the tense or stressed body parts are noted, and relieved of tension through breathing and identification, muscle relaxation will occur more easily, pain will be reduced, and health will be enhanced.
Forest Bathing, also known as Shinrin-Yoku, has been a well-respected preventive health care and relaxation technique in Japan for over 50 years. New in America, practitioners have found that the more serene the outdoor environment, the more complete and long lasting the calm, pain-reduced, relaxation will last.
MyBodyComfort.com offers evenly heating hot or cold packs for more effective and lasting pain relief at the shoulders, neck, joints and lower back or wherever pain is present.
Chilling Out – Breathing In
Often the most important and life sustaining activity that can be done during an industrious day, is the rest taken between two deep breaths. Down time is illusive, yet very necessary. Relaxation is a shrinking mindset, and pain is ever-present. Taking the proactive steps necessary to reverse this unhealthy, yet growing trend, is not only courageous, its vital for anyone who wishes to live a full and satisfying healthy life. Many techniques are easy to adapt to, and setting aside 20 minutes or more, daily, is do-able. Do the footwork, take the breaths, feel the chill of well-being. Then, please, pass it on.