This week I will be re posting various mind-body pain control techniques taken from a variety of sources. I hope that you will approach these techniques with an open mind so that you can find everything that can be of use to you.
Tricks to Control Pain
If you’re in pain, you may be able to harness your thoughts to help fight it. Skeptical? Studies suggest these pain relief tools can work.
“Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis can learn mind-body techniques to assist the body and mind in relaxing,” says Janice M. Singles, Psy.D., of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. “This generally reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body, allowing the immune system to be better able to fight off illness.”
Taken from: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20655874,00.html
Thinking about food—whether it’s warm, gooey chocolate brownies or a juicy roast beef meal—has been shown to help alleviate pain from menstrual cramps, migraines, and more.
A study conducted by University of Wisconsin researchers found that fantasizing about a favorite food took away some of the pain associated with plunging a hand in icy water (a pretty painful process used in research).
Chocolate was the favorite food fantasy, preferred by 32% of participants in the study, followed by a roast dinner (31%), pasta (14%), pizza (14%) and fruit (4%).
Saying A Mantra
Repeating a mantra—usually a sound, word, phrase, or a prayer—is a common practice in many religions and it can relieve pain as well.
As little as 30 seconds of using a mantra can dampen unpleasant sensations, says Ellen Slawsby, PhD, director of Pain Services at the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Slawsby recommends a picking neutral or positive word or phrase rather than a sound.
“That’s using something inborn, an internal mechanisms to elicit your own endorphins or endogenous morphine,” she says.
Other blogs: http://www.finerminds.com/spirituality/mantras-for-meditation/ Top 10 Mantras for Meditation; http://programminglife.net/mantras-for-meditation/ 21 Mantras for Meditation; http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8188/5-ancient-mantras-that-will-transform-your-life.html5 Ancient Mantras That Will Transform Your Life.
Youtube Mantra Meditations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6tr5WpOXdU Easy Mantra Meditation; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EATWrScfiDA Buddhist Monk Chant; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzVaLHIohC0 Om Mantra; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d63COahIpVM Deva Premal and Miten Gayatri Mantra; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EEFSB0zyE0 Deva Premal and Miten In the Light of Love/ Om Shree Dhanvantre. This is a slight sampling of the videos I found on Youtube.
Not surprisingly, patients who suffer unrelenting pain can tend to have repetitive, negative thoughts, but these can serve to actually increase the pain.
Try to switch to more positive thoughts and, in particular, avoid catastrophizing or imagining the worst.
“Somebody’s thinking is very powerful and very important to the management of pain,” says Singles. One study found that cognitive behavioral therapy—which focuses on changing thought patterns—combined with a self-help manual provided relief to patients with unexplained pain, weakness, and dizziness.
Taken from: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20655874_9,00.html For more information on cognitive behavioral therapy see: http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/cognitive-behavioral; http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/chronicfp.htm
A very good self help book on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns.
Getting your thoughts and feelings on paper has been shown to relieve pain in many different populations. It can even enhance immune function. James W. Pennebaker, PhD, a leading researcher in the field, recommends writing before bed for a minimum of 15 minutes a day for at least three or four days.
Some possible topics: Something that you are thinking or worrying about too much, something you’ve been avoiding, or something you think is affecting your life in an unhealthy way.
Tapping into Your Creativity
Art therapy is gaining more credibility in medical settings, with some hospitals having dedicated therapy—often geared to children.
But the technique works in adults as well, with one study reporting that one hour of art therapy relieved physical and psychological symptoms in people living with HIV/AIDS.
The same group of researchers earlier found that playing with clay, glitter glue, yarn, beads, colored pencils, and an array of other art supplies relieved symptoms of pain and anxiety in cancer patients.
Hypnosis, which is a trance-like state in which you experience heightened focus and concentration, can help decrease pain by altering your emotional responses to your body’s pain signals and your thoughts about the pain. Contrary to popular belief, you do not relinquish control over your behavior while under hypnosis, but it does render you more open to suggestions from the hypnotherapist. According to the featured article:
“Studies show that hypnosis can help manage the pain from childbirth and metastatic breast cancer as well as chronic low back pain. What’s more, cognitive hypnotherapy can lead to less depression, anxiety and hopelessness among depressed people than cognitive behavioral therapy does, according to research from the University of Calgary in Canada.”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K34t5QJF70 Pain Management Hypnosis Session by Thomas Hall
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLQmSmWutnE Amazing Pain Relief Hypnosis (numbing gel)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15ALVtKaz0s Hypnosis Pain Eraser
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfmpSmyio-Y Glove Anesthesia in Hypnosis-Medical Hypnotherapy Pain Management
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-xNKWDJE0 Pain Control Hypnosis Session
Take Up Yoga
Yoga has been proven to be particularly beneficial if you suffer with back pain, but recent research also suggests it can also be of tremendous benefit for your mental health. Duke University researchers recently published a review of more than 100 studies looking at the effect of yoga on mental health, and according to lead author Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a professor of psychiatry and medicine at Duke University Medical Center:
“Most individuals already know that yoga produces some kind of a calming effect. Individually, people feel better after doing the physical exercise. Mentally, people feel calmer, sharper, maybe more content. We thought it’s time to see if we could pull all [the literature] together… to see if there’s enough evidence that the benefits individual people notice can be used to help people with mental illness.”
According to their findings, yoga appears to have a positive effect on:
- Mild depression
- Sleep problems
- Schizophrenia (among patients using medication)
- ADHD (among patients using medication)
Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy, by influencing neurotransmitters and boosting serotonin. Yoga was also found to reduce levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, blood lipids and growth factors.
Youtube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7AYKMP6rOE Yoga for Complete Beginners, 20 minute workout; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0o0kNeOyH98 Yoga for Complete Beginners, 20 minutes workout; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6NfFIr2jw Yoga for Complete Beginners, 40 minute workout; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY Day 1-Ease Into It-30 Days of Yoga; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_SE2gQwXoo Yoga for Complete Beginners-Relaxation and Flexibility Stretches.
There is more to life than money. Money is the root of all evil. Money can’t buy happiness. You’ve been warned your whole life not to become too attached to money, so after all that brainwashing, you should be repelled by the mere sight of cash.
Not exactly. Despite society’s best attempts to keep you grounded, your brain loves money. It loves it so much that just handling it actually works as a drug. In a study in China, participants placed their hands into very hot water for a short period of time. The participants who had just handled a stack of bills before the test showed a higher pain threshold than those who had just handled blank paper.
That is, the people who got to hold money right before shoving their hands into hot water found the temperature more bearable than those who held regular paper. Keep in mind, the people didn’t think they would get to keep the money or anything like that — simply being in physical contact with it made them feel less pain.
Based on these results, the researchers think money might also help lessen emotional pain, making things like breakups easier to deal with.
In our ever-expanding society, “comfort eating” has become a pretty familiar concept. You get emotionally or physically hurt, you comfort yourself by eating the shit out of your favorite food, most likely some sort of dessert.
But that’s just because we’re a gluttonous culture, right? It doesn’t matter if you aren’t hungry — you just keep eating because for whatever reason, you feel happier shoving that next Oreo into your mouth.
Actually, we can thank evolution for this one. Humans haven’t always had it so good on the food front — for most of our history, food was pretty damn scarce. If you managed to find or kill something to eat, you damn well found a way to make it last, because who the hell knew when you’d get your next meal. Due to this sad reality, our brains developed in a way that said, “If there is food in front of me and I am eating it, everything else can f*&% right off,” including any wounds you may have suffered in achieving said food.
Today, with food readily available to almost everyone in the Western world, this comforting, pain-relieving feeling may be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
Taken from: http://www.cracked.com/article_18882_6-random-things-other-than-drugs-that-reduce-pain_p2.html (changes to text are mine)
This does not mean that you should eat and eat and eat. Nor does it mean that you should eat foods that do not have good nutritional value. However, eating foods that are good for you and in moderation may help provide needed pain relief. Use eating as one way of dealing with pain, not the only way.
The research is still equivocal, and anyone planning to take herbs and supplements should consult with their physician or a licensed naturopath. Still, many MDs find that their patients experience relief with fish oil (or flax seed oil) supplements and daily consumption of anti-inflammatory spices. “The three main supplements I use for pain are fish oils and turmeric, which are both anti-inflammatory, as well as vitamin D,” says Dr. Lipman. Some small studies have found that fish oil (or flax seed oil) may reduce pain for people with rheumatoid arthritis, too.
Dr. Miller is a proponent of turmeric for pain. “Take two teaspoons of turmeric and one teaspoon of grated ginger per day, with a little black pepper to help absorption; it works as a natural alternative to ibuprofen, and is great for achy joints. I make a smoothie in the morning with mango, turmeric and ginger,” says Dr. Miller.
Well that is all I have for this week. I will be back next week with even more methods that you can use to help to create an even greater life and living. Until then I hope you have a great week and as little pain as possible.
**I am not a doctor and I will not be giving any type of medical advice. I also do not advocate stopping any medical treatment without talking it over with your doctor.**
See also the blog I posted titled Fourteen Natural Pain Relievers which was posted on May 4, 2014.