The sensation of pain can be deafening. Unable to focus, pain can take up so much of our present state of awareness that there’s little room left for anything else to flourish. In today’s modern world, we have so many medicinal and informational resources at our disposal, yet finding relief, even temporarily, may pose a legitimate challenge. Doctors may prescribe pain-numbing medications or request in-depth screenings and tests, but are they really getting to the cause of our dis-ease?
In an earlier blog, we discussed chronic pain as a symptom of unresolved emotional trauma, stress, and anxiety. In order to push through the many stressors and to-do’s of our daily lives, we become disconnected from the health-preserving signals of our minds and bodies telling us to slow down, rest, take a break, take a breath. In this state of disconnection, we cut ourselves off from our ability to address minor issues in the moment; pushing them aside and sweeping them under the rug, we shift our focus to our larger goals of external self-satisfaction, without understanding the broader ramifications of our own ignorance.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, we first recommend that you address the underlying cause of your distress. Due to the major association between trauma and pain in the body, experts recommend a course of simultaneous psycho- and physical-therapy. Other options for treatment include following Dr. John Sarno’s course of treatment from his uber-popular book, The Mindbody Prescription, and embracing a Yoga practice to rid yourself of the scars from healed physical, mental, and emotional trauma.
If you’re looking for tips on how to treat pain (although Sarno would say to give up these alternative methods and treat the pain head on without looking outside of yourself), here are a few we think might be useful:
(Notice that they all require you to set time aside for the prioritization of self-care. No quick tricks or band-aids here!)
Of course, if you’re suffering from back pain–especially the kind that’s at its worst first thing in the morning–it’s wise to consider your mattress. Our Nuvanna mattress is an affordable investment and a supportive foundation for a life that is balanced and focused on your health and wellness.
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For self-myofascial release, all you need is a tennis ball and a bit of patience. Locate a trigger point (aka. the spot that’s most sensitive!) in the area of concern, and release the weight of your body onto the tennis ball completely…or as completely as you possibly can. For example, this technique is often used to release the hips which can also release the IT bands and low back. Here is a more specific guide to get you started.
You don’t need to go to a Yoga class to reap the rewards of Yoga practice….you almost don’t even need the mat! In-home sessions can allow you to focus on your personal challenges without the cost of or commute to a local studio. For in-home sessions, we suggest Yoga Anytime. Sign up for their free, 15 day trial by following this link. And, if your budget and schedule allow, consider joining an in-person class. The connection between wellbeing and community is truly remarkable!
We strongly feel that the best methods for feeling better center on taking the time to notice how your body is feeling at any given moment. Check in with your body at multiple times throughout your day. Are you tensing your neck and upper shoulders while at your desk? Do you hold your anxieties in a specific place within your body? Have you lost your connection with your internal messages, cues, and signals that warn you when you need a break, have pushed too hard, or simply don’t feel any joy in what you’re doing? These simple tools may be just what you need to cure your back pain and reconnect with the present moment.
What have you experienced when you’ve attacked your chronic pain at its source?