Relaxation Techniques for Pain

Relaxation Techniques for Pain
geralt/Pixabay

Relaxation Techniques for Pain

These last few weeks have been more painful than most.  My pain wants to take control of my life.  Instead of letting that happen, I decided to continue my fight to conquer it.  I decided that researching some relaxation techniques for pain might be helpful.  

From that I decided to see what I could find that might help me feel better.  I hope it might help you feel better.  

The following list is not all inclusive.  I am sure there are more techniques.  But why not give one of them a try?  Can’t hurt you, because no medication is involved.  But they will take time and discipline. 

Deep Breathing

What is deep breathing?  There are many ways to practice this.  The practice is in the name.  You breathe deeply.  

When you do this, the process sends more oxygen into the blood and into the brain.  This releases endorphins into your bloodstream.  These are “feel good” hormones which help relax you and reduce your stress. 

There appear to be several forms of deep breathing.  If you want to get started right now, try this simple form.

  • Sit or lie in a comfortable position.  Put one hand on your belly (just below your ribs) and the other on your chest.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, causing your belly to push out.  Your chest should not move. 
  • Breathe out through your mouth, using your belly to push all the air out.
  • Do this up to 10 times.  Notice how you feel afterwards.

You should be calmer and less anxious.  By pushing those endorphins through your system you should feel less pain too.

Divert Your Attention

Also called distraction, this involves forcing your brain to focus on something other than your pain.  I guess you could say I am doing this right now by researching and writing this article.  As I study new ideas, my mind can only focus on the work, and not the pain.

I found a great article on how to get started with practicing distraction.  Click here to see the article.  They suggest up to 20 activities to distract you.  Very helpful.  And the video of the children speaking about distraction is so sweet.  

That link gave me some encouragement too.   Playing a game on an app (which I do), will make you feel better.  I’m not going to berate myself when I do that.  I didn’t realize I was managing my pain this way.  

Walk

First of all, I find this particular activity a real challenge, because it hurts me to walk.  But I don’t feel I have much choice.  I am in pain one way or another.  

The same endorphins are released when you exercise, as when you do deep breathing.  This makes you feel calmer and relaxed and may also work at minimizing the pain.  

If you can get your heart rate increased, all the better.  I have read that brisk walking is just as good as running for your heart.  And there are other benefits, like lower blood pressure, and better sleep. 

Relaxation Techniques for Pain
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Sing

I wasn’t able to find much research to back up these claims, but some articles claim that singing can make you feel better for probably two reasons.  The first is that you are focusing on an activity, and therefore distracting the brain from the pain.

The second reason is that like walking or deep breathing, you are releasing more feel good hormones into your bloodstream.  Think about it; you have to do some deep breathing to sing in the first place.  And then combining that with the distraction, you have a one two punch to the pain.

I can testify that when I sang in church choirs, I always felt better afterwards.  I didn’t realize until now that the reason was all those endorphins swimming in my system.  Find some music you can sing along with and belt out a few songs!  

I’ve been singing to some Barbershop tunes while I write.  I love the harmony.  Listening to uplifting music is also just that; uplifting.  Here’s an example of one I really enjoy.  

Massage

I am a person that loves to go for a massage.  But it is something I can’t always afford.  I have had positive and negative experiences from massage; but mostly positive, thankfully.   

There doesn’t seem to be research supporting the positive effects of massage as far as pain management is concerned.  But there is proof that the massage of our muscles does relax the muscle and surrounding tissue.

I am also a firm believer in the power of touch.  Just being touched (in a healthy way!) by another caring human can lift our endorphins.  

Just a caution.  The one negative experience I had made my pain worse.  I have a feeling the therapist didn’t know much about pain.  But other therapists had profound positive effects.  I recommend checking how much your therapist knows about pain massage before they treat you.  

Get Out

Getting out has been a challenge during our quarantine period, hasn’t it?  But just a change of scenery can help lift your spirits and take your mind off your pain.  Again, some redirecting the mind.  

If possible take a friend with you, or have a friend take you.  Talking and listening are both activities that engage the brain and help to make the pain take a back seat.  

I have a classic Chevy truck that I try to take out every Saturday afternoon for an hour.  The feeling of the wind blowing through the cab as I motor down the road is such a spirit lifter.  I hope you can find a similar experience to raise your outlook. 

Stretches

I do stretches almost everyday.  I do set a goal to do them everyday, but sometimes the day gets away from me.  But these stretches make a huge difference in my pain level.  I like to think of stretches as a self massage.  Pulling out the muscles does release tension.

Relaxation Techniques for Pain
12019/Pixabay

Stretching also keeps your body young.  Since starting these stretches over two years ago, I am more flexible than I’ve ever been, and I’m 69!  Some of my friends who are younger tell me they can’t stretch like I can.  (I know, I’m boasting.  Forgive me.)  

I recommend finding a program that you can stick to.  Here are two DVDs that I recommend, and that I have reviewed.  See the reviews here: Jane Adams Gentle Yoga and Emily Lark’s Back to Life. I use parts of these two programs plus some others.  

Conclusion

May I recommend that you choose one of these suggestions and give it a try?  I would ask that you get back to me on your results.  

I am also open to suggestions of other techniques that you have found helpful.  I’m in this to search for help for myself and others.  

Disclaimer

I am not a medical professional.  Any new activity you start should be approved by your physician.  I recommend these practices because they have worked for me.

Sometimes I include product recommendations in my articles.  If I do so, I receive a small fee if you purchase it.  I do not have any product recommendations in this post.

On the other hand, I do recommend the platform that I have been using to build my websites.  If you are interested in finding out more about that, click here.  If you decide to join, I do receive a referral fee.  Thank you.

Is There a Natural Remedy for Pain?

Worse for Wear in Pain
HolgersFotografie/Pixabay

I assume you are on this website because you are in pain.  Are you wondering if there is a natural remedy for pain?

Or someone you love is suffering.  You have my empathy, because I live with pain constantly.  Because of that, I have spent hours researching alternative treatments for pain or what I call natural pain remedies.

In case you are wondering, my pain is like sciatic, but is caused by a bulging disc.   Most of the pain is in my buttock, but sometimes radiates down my leg.  It hurts to walk, and sometimes I can’t get comfortable when I try to sleep.  It has very much impacted my life.

I need to tell you up front that none of my recommendations are cures, and that none of them have given me a pain free life.  But the number one reason I like natural pain remedies and can recommend them, is that there are few side effects.  This is unlike the medications and drugs that our western medicine seems to rely on.  The few alternatives I tried that did adversely affect me will be discussed later.  Also, I am not a doctor or a scientist, so I can only speak from my suffering and experience.  The recommendations I make are based on my results only.

It is my goal to help you wade through the numerous options available to you in this field.  I have only scratched the surface.  My reviews will cover: chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, fish oil, turmeric, ASEA, books and foods I have found that seem to make my pain worse.

Chiropractic

There are various forms of chiropractic available.  I recommend ones that do manipulation.  The benefits of chiropractic are pain relief, and realignment of your spine.  My pain makes me lean to one side, so I am messing my spine up continually.  My chiropractor’s goal is to keep me aligned.  Check with your insurance and the chiropractor; many insurances cover this now.

Acupuncture

The number one question I am asked is, “Does it hurt?”.  My honest answer; yes and no.  But mostly no.  The needles are so thin that you barely feel a slight pinch.  Some people feel nothing.  Sometimes, depending on how sensitive my pain area is, I do feel pain, but not so much with the needle as with the nerve that the doctor is treating.  It is an ache mostly.  He can adjust this to stop it.  My understanding of this treatment is that it deals with the nerve to enhance its ability to function.  The needles also stimulate the body to release a pain hormone that is stronger than morphine.

I have written a complete article on acupuncture.  Click here.

Acupuncture needles
Alterfines/Pixabay

 

A note here about practitioners.  The first acupuncturist I went to was dishonest.  I found this out after a few months of treatment, when I wasn’t getting any documentation from my insurance.  My current one is my 3rd one.  The second one was honest, but I didn’t feel I was getting the care and concern I needed.  My current doctor is very attentive and seems invested in my wellness.  This is very important to me because much of the time I feel I am not understood.  Or even heard.  So, check around.  Some insurances cover this as well.

Massage

Some doctors say not to do this.  Others say to do this.  I had one massage that set me back; the pain got worse.  But I have recently found someone who apparently understands what needs to be treated and has given me some relief.  Plus, it is a real treat to have the rest of your body massaged.  I would do this more often if I could afford it.  Investigate how much the therapist knows about joint pain, and what they would do to treat it.

Thumper Mini Pro Massager

My acupuncturist uses a hand held massager.  After the needle treatment, he massages my pain areas for a few minutes.  Currently this is in my hip and back.  Boy does it feel good!  The massager is called Thumper Mini Pro.  Of course if you need massage on your back you may need someone to operate it for you.  But if you can reach the spots, it is self administering.

Food and Supplements

Fish Oil

This product claims to reduce inflammation and thereby relieve joint pain.  I tried a few products and settled on OmegaXL (by GreatHealthWorks) as one of the best I could find.  A friend told me how he found relief from arthritis pain.  This product gave me extensive relief for weeks but doesn’t seem to be helping that much now.  I may adjust the dosage.

Turmeric

Also an anti-inflammatory, this product gave me relief for a time.

ASEA

This is a liquid that tastes a bit like salt water.  They claim to renew the cells in the body.  It also gave me relief for a time.  It appears that it has renewed my skin health, so I continue to take it.

Foods

So far, my research shows that beef can be an inflammatory food.  Too bad, because I sure love my steak!  I have cut back on beef consummation and look for the grass feed, non-chemical enhanced beef.  A very good video to watch regarding the drugs put in our meats is What the Health.  See the video clip below.  I am eating way less meat, and therefore ingesting less chemicals.  That has to be a good thing!

Essential Oils

So far, I have yet to find an oil that gives relief.  But I am using lavender to relax and sleep better.  Since my sleep is impacted by my pain, I feel being able to relax has been helpful.  More research needed on this topic.

Books

Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain

The best book I have read so far is Overcoming Acute and Chronic Pain, by Micozzi and Dibra.  This book is an extensive goldmine of treatments available.  It also has a test of your emotional type to predict how well you may respond to alternative treatments.

Conclusion

In my continuous search for natural pain remedies, I will post new discoveries as I find them.  I would welcome information that you may have found helpful as well, so that we can help others who suffer.  I truly want this website to be a community of support for all of us who suffer with pain.

Disclaimer

I am not a health care professional.  Only a pain sufferer.  These recommendations are from my own experience.

In some of my posts I will recommend products and provide a link where you can purchase them.  I have no such links in this post.

Finally, should you be wondering about learning how to build a website, click on this link.  It takes you to Wealthy Affiliate, of which I am a member.  I will receive a referral fee if you join.  You can join form free for seven days to check out the platform.

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