Pain is Experienced in the Brain
It is helpful to understand that the chemistry and nerve and cellular network for mediating the experience is primarily in the brain. Effective and easy to learn Mind-Body tools can alter brain activities influencing the awareness and experience of pain. Change the brain’s perception of pain and the physical experience of pain changes. Additionally Mind-Body tools can trigger natural biopharmaceuticals that soothe and reduce pain, as well as create feelings of calm and pleasure.
Use the Mind to Influence the Body
Mind-Body Tools change everything when you live with pain. Mind-Body tools use thoughts and mental and emotional activities to stimulate and integrate the brain and body. The mind can influence the body in promoting pain relief and eradicating the suffering of mind-based Chronic Pain. Mind-Body techniques can produce mind states and powerful chemicals for relaxation, calming and reducing pain.
Activities that enhance the Mind-Body connection provide access to the world’s most amazing bio-pharmacy. Scientific research has shown that visualization, breathing techniques and other Mind-Body techniques can trigger the body’s pleasure or pain reducing neurotransmitters of hormones, proteins and enzymes. Endorphins, serotonin, epinephrine, vasopressin and oxytocin are a few of the body’s natural pain relievers triggered with Mind-Body tools.
Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” Earl Nightingale
Endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce the perception of pain and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine. The oxytocin manufactured by the human brain as a result of Mind-Body interventions is one of the strongest non-opiate pain-killers. Oxytocin even has properties that make us forget about pain after it has been alleviated.
Mind-Body Tools and Strategies Serve Both Acute and Chronic Pain
Far too many medical and physical practitioners espouse a belief there is no resolution to Chronic Pain and this leaves many Chronic Pain sufferers feeling hopeless. Through Mind-Body tools there is much you can do to take charge in changing the suffering of acute and Chronic Pain.
Mind-Body tools for pain are directed at helping to reduce pain and promote a sense of control. Mind-Body techniques can even extinguish awareness of acute or Chronic Pain. As well a primary function for the mind-based Chronic Pain sufferer is to use Mind-Body tools to rewrite the negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes that initially embedded, and continue as core forces driving mind-based Chronic Pain.
“The beautiful thing is that, when someone who has Chronic Pain reaches the point of acceptance, it doesn’t merely bring a new sense of peace. Acceptance also creates a floor to build upon. It marks the beginning of an uphill climb, not to the old life, but to a new one that may be just as satisfying.” Lynn R. Webster, The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us
Vary your tried-and-true mind and body’s strategies so they stay fresh and effective. Apply a positive intention and a positive outlook to any Mind-Body tools you will employ.
- Start Early: A pain increase of a level 5 to a level 10 does not take just twice the effort to reduce; it can sometimes require significantly more work. Don’t wait until pain is out of control. Mind-Body pain management tools are easier to use and are more effective when they are employed before pain is out of control.
- Grounding and Centering. Start any mind-body activity with a pause to ground. Feel your feet on the ground, notice the area around your heart, pick up on any “gut” feeling, focus on wherever you feel most peaceful and connected and allow that area to expand.
- De-Stress: Reducing and removing stress increases the power and effectiveness of Mind-Body tools. Prior to a Mind-Body exercise or intervention letting go of stress and tension will make you more alert and receptive to the work at hand. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is a quick and direct way to let go of tension and trigger the relaxation response.
- Breath: Awareness of breath and employing one of many breathing techniques is a common way to start mind-body interventions. As you continue with your mind-body technique, use deepening of breath or awareness of breath to increase the effectiveness of your mind-body tool. Find a few breathing techniques that are most effective for you in grounding, de-stressing and strengthening your mind-body interventions.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices promote a state of non-judgmental alert relaxation of body, mind and environment. Being present in body and mind is important for discerning how a mind-body tool or technique is needed for reducing pain.
- A Positive Outlook: Mind-Body tools are effective for producing positive feelings and a positive outlook that is critical for reducing and alleviating the suffering of Chronic Pain.
- Intention: Apply a positive intention and a positive outlook to any Mind-Body tools you employ. Intention is a powerful force in bringing about any reality you want to create.
“When you set an intention, when you commit, the entire universe conspires to make it happen.” Sandy Forster
- Directing Pain Relief: Specific Mind-Body tools can be directed to dealing with specific areas of pain or stress. Get familiar with the mind-body strategies and tools that are most effective for you in dealing with your various pain management needs.
- Have a Plan: Discover the Mind-Body resources that work best for you and have a plan on when and how to use them. As your pain increases it becomes hard to remember or think about what you should do. So, have your pain strategy plan and most effective mind-body tools written down and readily available for when you need them.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Mind-Body pain management tools become more powerful when they are practised in some form frequently. Like the musician who wants to get to Carnegie Hall, you will most effectively master the power of Mind-Body tools with practice, practice, practice.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” Earl Nightingale