Chronic pain management - How does it work?
Chronic pain management can seem overwhelming, if not impossible for those of us who deal with it. Overwhelming and constant best describes how I felt about chronic pain. Experiencing an easing of the intensity of that pain was extremely important for me. I recommend the use of soft socks filled with long grain rice. Heat one of them, for not more than one minute, in the microwave. Place the other in the freezer to keep it cold. Place these "rice bags" on areas of pain and tenderness. They are very soothing and are useful for acute pain as well, such as a bruised knee.
When the intensity of the pain is eased, learn to practice tensing and relaxing muscle groups. Another aspect of chronic pain management is dealing with nighttime pain. Listening to favorite music or relaxation CDs and breathing slowly and deeply relaxed me and helped with sleep issues related to pain.
I learned that chronic pain management does not mean the instantaneous removal of pain. Dealing with underlying issues related to pain, both physical and emotional was, and is, a process. In dealing with these issues, I have discovered a very helpful form of bodywork called myofascial release. Myofascial release involves addressing the pain rather than merely enduring it. When a person experiences an injury, or stress-related bracing patterns in the fascia (the total body webbing underneath the skin), hard, painful or tender areas called restrictions trap pain that may be relieved through myofascial release. Not only do I do self-treatment daily, but also I receive treatment twice a week from a wonderful therapist who acknowledges God's ultimate oversight of the healing process.
Nutrition and physical activity are other avenues for chronic pain management that work together with relaxation and myofascial release therapy. These three approaches used together have brought about better health and healing for me. For physical activity, I try to walk briskly every day for about fifteen minutes, even if it is only in my house. Nutritionally, I am finding that balancing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with a personalized nutritional supplementation program under the guidance of a nutritionist helps to sidetrack the vicious pain-frustration cycle.
If you had told me a year ago that I would be sitting at a computer writing for the world to read the wonderful way in which God has guided my healing, I would not have believed you. I was in constant pain throughout my body. The diagnosis was fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I saw myself fated to view the world from my bedroom window. I saw God, in terms of healing, as a magician who, on a whim, could wave His wand and make the pain disappear. I did not know, as I know now, that He truly heals from the inside-out, asking me to release my pain to Him. I am grateful to God for the instruments of healing that He has placed in my path, and especially that He is teaching me more about Himself as Healer, Father, and Guide.
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