Everyone does say that laughter is the best medicine. Your medications are just a supplement.
Disclaimer: we are not medical professionals- we cannot give you a diagnosis or medication advice. Please speak to a health professional for this. If you are in crisis please contact one of the hotlines on our page.
Take a hand towel and roll it up like this;
Then place it right along your spine starting at the base of your neck and lay down.
Relax your shoulders so they are touching the floor. Just stay like that for 3-5 minutes.
This takes pressure off of the muscles in your back and open up the muscles in your chest. It helps and takes away alot of pain & discomfort.
Just thought I’d share this tip I got from my Bowen therapist.
Overcoming Anxiety, Depression & Anger
Chronic pain can lead to hopelessness, depression, anger and anxiety disorders such as: panic, generalised anxiety, hypochondriasis and post traumatic stress disorder. This not surprising as chronic pain sufferers may have many negative events and stressors to deal with, apart from their pain, such as :losing their jobs, experiencing financial hardship and having increased stress upon their families. Chronic pain sufferers also may have to contend with unpleasant side effects of pain killers (and other medication) such as constipation, weight gain and tiredness. Furthermore, chronic pain sufferers may find that they can no longer engage in activities that they enjoyed such as hobbies, crafts and sports, or that their participation in such activities is greatly reduced. Chronic pain sufferers often end up (1) inactive because they fear exacerbating their pain through activity, (2) socially withdrawn and losing contact with friends, and (3) overweight due to inactivity and/or overeating
Research has shown that having realistic, helpful thoughts is an important part of pain management. The cognitive model of chronic pain is that negative, unhelpful, unrealistic thoughts can lead to : increased perception of pain, anxiety, anger and depression, social isolation and withdrawal, underactivity, overreliance on pain medications and poor sleep. Therefore, the aim is to help chronic pain sufferers to change their negative, unhelpful, unrealistic thoughts in relation to: their pain, the effects the pain has had on their life, and other stressors ( e.g. legal issues, financial difficulties, unemployment).
Cognitive behavioural therapy, has been found by researchers to be a beneficial treatment for chronic pain conditions including: arthritis, whiplash, back pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, rotator cuff syndrome, bursitis, noncardiac chest pain, knee pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
Using cognitive behavioural therapy, psychologists and psychiatrists can assist chronic pain sufferers to develop pain management skills. Many people can learn pain management skills in as few as 12 sessions; however any treatment plan has to be tailored to an individual’s needs so the number of sessions required may vary from person to person.
Cognitive behavioural therapy for chronic pain usually includes:
Relaxation Techniques Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle tension and stress and therefore chronic pain sufferers who practice relaxation are better able to cope with their pain. Increased muscle tension can further aggravate chronic pain. Helpful relaxation techniques include, but are not limited to: deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation and yoga. Relaxation is a skill which gets better with practice so practice your favourite technique (e.g. yoga, meditation or biofeedback) regularly. Relaxation can also help chronic pain suffers to improve their ability to sleep. Exercises for these can be found in the helpful resources page.
Challenging Negative Thoughts and Beliefs: Cognitive Behavioural therapy for chronic pain entails identifying, evaluating and changing negative, unhelpful, unrealistic thoughts , beliefs and images, Chronic pain sufferers may have unhelpful beliefs about their pain, for example, ” If may pain increases I must be doing further permanent damage to myself” or ” I can’t control my pain”. Chronic pain sufferers may also develop negative beliefs about themselves as being weak, unlovable or incompetent. Pain patients may also have negative thoughts and beliefs about other people as being uncaring Pain patients may also predict bleak futures for themselves. For example, ” If I’m in this much pain now just wait till arthritis sets in in my old age” or ” I can barely walk now, so in a few years time I’ll probably end up in a wheel chair” You can learn to challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs as well through this interactive website Mood Gym.
Distraction Techniques: Distraction techniques purpose is to get the chronic pain sufferer to focus their attention on something other than their pain. Distraction techniques may enable the sufferer to experience somewhat less pain.
Pacing Techniques: Chronic pain sufferers often get into an overactivity -underactivity cycle where they do more activity on their ‘good days’ when their pain is lower, but then they spend a day or more resting and recoverng from their burst of activity which has flared up their pain. Pacing techniques aim to spread activities evenly over the day and week so that flare ups in pain are minimised and the pain sufferer can gradually increase the amount of activity performed.
A large number of people have never been taught how to successfully manage their emotions. Because of this, they repress how they feel or they engage in a range of unhealthy behaviors – from substance abuse to outbursts of rage. However, expressing our emotions in a balanced, healthy way is the most appropriate way of managing our feelings.
Below are some instructions to help you with this.
1. First, recognize the importance of acknowledging your feelings and expressing them in a healthy, open way. Buried, unexpressed emotions are usually damaging and lead to a multitude of problems in the end. For example, repressed hurt and anger lead to ongoing problems with sadness, depression or anxiety.
2. Learn to label the emotions you are battling. Many people can’t acknowledge any negative emotions – or they only have permission to express certain ones (depending on what’s allowed in their family or home). Hence, they cry when they’re angry, or get angry when they’re hurt, or they trivialise their heartache and act likes it a joke.
3. Decide that you’ll confront and try and deal with your emotions, instead of ignoring or denying how you feel.
4. Understand … expressed emotions usually dissipate in time whereas those which are repressed will usually linger and do damage.
5. Express emotions in a manner that is safe and constructive – such as going for a walk, or encouraging the tears. If you can “wallow” for a while then you will usually feel much better … but then pick up the different pieces and move on with your day.
6. Seek healing for deep wounds. You need to open up the wound and let the cleansing pain bring healing so a healthy scab is formed, and you can truly live again. Time isn’t the great healer – you need to work through all that pain.
7. Don’t forget how to laugh – look for humour in the dark days. It will help disperse the sadness, and will ease the pain inside.