I want to talk about something that is more common that you may realize: chronic pain. This agonizing condition affects tens of millions — no, that’s not a typo! — of people across the country, increasing health care costs, making work (and living a normal life) difficult, and heightens emotional stress — all of which contribute to a vicious cycle that may seem impossible to break. If you are living with chronic pain I want to share some simple lifestyle tips that can help ease the unfortunate burden of “making it through the day.”
Move your body and care for your muscles
Yeah, I know. When you’re run down and sore and everything seems painful the last thing you can imagine doing is exercising. But one of the best methods of managing chronic pain is to get your body moving and trigger endorphins. “Getting your blood pumping” with exercise strengthens your muscles, which is a pain-reducer in itself. Push yourself to exceed your expectations! You’ll be surprised how great you’ll feel.
Bodywork is another effective therapy for pain relief. Regular Active Release Technique treatments release scar tissue and adhesions, along with neuromuscular cycles that create a lot of the chronic pains most suffer from due to over use syndrome. Even sitting at a desk is over use! Just three to five sessions can dramatically improve the way you feel.
Fuel your body appropriately
It’s time to cut the crap! Especially the junk you’re eating! It’s not good fuel! What we eat can be the most important factor in managing chronic pain and other conditions. Treat your digestive system like your best friend! Reducing excessive sugar, fats and salt from your diet can not only help you control your pain but help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Food is what fuels us, so eat good, fresh, friendly for every body type — foods which include fruits and veggies, whole grains and legumes. When a diet is balanced with these nutrient-dense foods, it’s receiving the optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber to propel your physical self forward. And there are amazing “supplements” that add flavor and help you reduce inflammation, like cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and cherries.
Develop a habit for regular relaxation and meditation
When was the last time you gave yourself a timeout? When we do not take a moment to relax, recharge and step away from stress our body is always in a state of “high alert.” This state of agitation, even when it’s so common for us we accept it as normal, results in excess cortisol pumped through the body, affecting everything from our emotional state to unexpected weight gain.
When someone is living with chronic pain it may seem impossible to relax, but that is when you need to the most. Try some breath work. Pause, close your eyes (only when you are in a situation where this is appropriate! Not if you’re driving!), inhale a deep breath all the way down into your stomach, and slowly exhale. Repeat this three times. You may also want to recite positive affirmations while doing some deep breaths, or allow time in your day for meditation.
When your body is improving so does your mind and spirit. Thats a win-win solution!
If you’re not sure how to start, talk to me! I can assess your current habits and work with you to develop a plan that works. I assist people every day with implementing little changes that add up to huge results. Believe you can and you will succeed!
I hope the tips I shared with you today are helpful. Here’s to a pain-free tomorrow!