“Sleepless nights, uncomfortable positions, limited mobility, and frustration beyond reason,” describes the most common side effects of such a little word; pain. Now imagine six months later with the same disturbing lifestyle habits on an agitating loop around the clock. No wonder why the 100 million American adults who have been diagnosed with significant chronic pain may not see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The number of spinal fusions has risen by 67.2% from 2004 to 2014, while a current count of 413,000 spinal fusions occur annually in the US. If these surgeries are becoming more frequent, then why are patients only experiencing about a 60 – 70% improvement afterwards? I should know, I’ve worked with clients who’ve taken this direction.
There has to be more to chronic pain than just the physical symptoms.
In Ayurveda, pain is associated with an over-abundance of Vata, or air energy. That’s why experiencers who know the personality of pain, would agree it can move from one part of the body to the other without explanation. Air is sporadic, it moves quickly. Air can also feel heavy or light depending on other elements involved, so you may feel inflammation or stagnation in these areas that hurt. Perhaps this is why Doctors may look at you questionably when you share stories of your pain relocating.
Pain can also be seen as the body’s way of communicating with us. If we’re going full force 24/7 and ignore our body’s needs, how else are we going to find out what we’re doing wrong? Pain exists so that we can be notified when we cut our finger, or when we wear our ears like shoulder pads, or if we have an under-developed core. With the hundreds of millions of individuals who are taking pain medications, do you think they’re going to miss these cues?
If we take a look into what pain is physiologically, the nervous system takes the stage. Nerves are purposefully spread all throughout the body, like a large tree who’s roots burrow deep into the ground, and the branches, zig-zag their way into Mother Earth. In the event that there’s trauma to the body, whether there be a wound, a fracture, or even a pinched nerve, a signal is sent electrically through the nervous system to the brain, telling you that you’re hurt.
Chronic pain occurs when the nerve signal of pain is still released, even after the wounded source is healed. This could last 3 to 6 months, or years after the fact. Even those who have lost appendages still experience pain in their astral body parts, almost as if they still exist. Doctors call this Phantom limb syndrome and it occurs in 80 – 100% of amputees.
If you’ve come to a dead end with doctors and drugs, and you feel completely lost and alone, you may be surprised when I say you still have options. Like Albert Einstein once said,
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
I’m glad you’re here.
There are many not-so-familiar natural healing modalities that I am sure you have yet to try. These are my top choices when you find yourself at a road block with chronic pain:
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was developed by Gary Craig and first introduced to the public in 1995. It involves using the fingertips and a series of “tapping” movements directly on Chinese Meridian points across the body. This technique has been known to reduce the length of conventional therapy to a fraction of the time.
Eye Movement Desensitization (EMD) was developed in the late 1980’s by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow at the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, as a way to desensitize anxieties. She later added the “R” (Reprocessing) when she observed the changes in cognition and perception in her patients during their treatments.
EMDR is “a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.” -EMDR Institute, Inc.
Psychotherapy or counseling can initiate a change in negative thought patterns and introduce new ways of coping with stress, anxieties, and also defuse psychosomatic symptoms. Sometimes individuals just need to be heard and exercising the voice can have very transformative effects.
Hypnotherapy is a special branch of psychotherapy, that brings the patient into a relaxed and peaceful state where the subconscious is open to positive suggestions. This in turn can assist in developing beneficial behavioral patterns to improve the quality of life. This method is a non-invasive alternative method to medication.
Ayurveda is a sister science of yoga. It is the “science of healthy being,” and an ancient way of looking at the body holistically. Body types, ailments, and personalities are seen as elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) and assessed by an Ayurvedic practitioner. In order to balance these elements, it’s recommended to use carefully selected herbs, adjust lifestyle choices, as well as food, and incorporate movement, meditation or yoga.
In her 30 years of studying Human BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards™ has developed a software called nVoice Personality Profiler™ which uses “frequency-based biomarkers within the frequencies of your voice to allow you an enlightening peek into your Secret Self.” Located in Albany, Ohio, her non-profit research institute, the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology, provides Technician training courses, as well as online workshops. Visit her website to find a practitioner near you.
Gentle Restorative Yoga
Yoga poses that are supported by cushions, blankets, and other props on the floor. This yoga technique is meant to open up the energetic channels in a relaxing way to properly restore the flow of prana, or life energy, throughout the body. This is perfect for yoga beginners, chronic conditions, and post surgeries.
Pranayama, or breath control, has been used for centuries by yogis to balance energetic channels throughout the subtle body. Many of these exercises are intended to assist specific conditions. One that would benefit most individuals, especially those experiencing chronic pain, is Alternate Nostril Breathing, also known as Nadi Shodhana. Watch how to learn this simple breathing technique HERE.
Myofascial Release (MFR) is classified as a massage/bodywork technique, however, this method works on so many levels. John F. Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB, is the leading authority for his insights and experience with MFR throughout the last 50 years. Fascia is a rather strong connective tissue just below the epidermis that envelopes, stabilizes, and attaches all organs and muscles. This method works directly with the fascia, or what he calls a “straightjacket” to release the pressure of restriction caused by surgeries, trauma, and everyday stresses.
It’s a “whole body approach for the evaluation and treatment of pain and dysfunction.” (MFR) -John Barnes
One cannot suggest enough, the importance of grounding, or Earthing. When our bare skin connects with earth energy, something remarkable happens: it chemically changes our tissues, naturally discharging and preventing chronic inflammation in the body. The dis-connection from the earth by wearing synthetic shoes has shown a devolution in health just in the last few centuries. Could there really be a connection? I encourage you to seek the answer for yourself.
Many individuals don’t realize the detrimental ripple effects of habitually walking on the outside of their feet, or strolling around the neighborhood with their feet pointed out like “duck feet.” Damage can also occur over time if their cervical, or neck, extends forward and down too often while playing around with their tech. With this approach, Movement Specialists or Trainers assess your posture and help you retrain your joints to move in natural alignment. Exercises that hone in on specific muscles are typically integrated during your session, and encouraged for you to practice in your self-care routine.
Look at all those options! And there are many more not listed! Did any of them resonate with you?
We are each creating the story of our lives. How it turns out is up to us. This does not mean we have to do it alone, although we do have to take responsibility for the action we put out there. I know from personal experience, how chronic pain can turn your life around, and pull the rug from under your feet. The question is, “Have you really tried everything?”
Wherever you are on your journey, I wish for you hope and fire that will continue to fan your flame for a happier and more full-filling life. You deserve a better quality of life. Everyone does.
From Your Biggest FAN,
Alternative Medicine; The Definitive Guide, by Triveri & Anderson
Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever!, by Clinton Ober, Sinatra M.D., Dr. Stephen T., & Martin Zucker