Chronic Pain Management Ten Alternative and Cost Effective Techniques
Traditional chronic pain management usually consists of medication. This medication often creates an additional burden on the body and may not be an option for some people. It can also be quite costly.
Below you'll find ten of the most common, natural and non-toxic techniques I have found to be effective. However, I would like to call to your attention, that I feel that the very best technique for managing chronic pain can be found in a particular type of mindfulness meditation, which you can learn in less than 90 minutes in this handy little booklet, Mindfulness Over Chronic Pain.
You can also find an abundance of tips and techniques for managing pain and improving the quality of life in my affordable little handbook, "Living Life to the Fullest - Creative Coping Strategies for Managing Chronic Illness."
Try some of these holistic approaches for your chronic pain management that are healthy for your body and cost you absolutely nothing.
These techniques are helpful for chronic pain such as headaches, migraines, myofacial pain, muscular and connective tissue pain, organ pain, back pain, fibromyalgia pain, TMJ, atypical trigeminal neuralgia and just pain in general.1. Go Into Your Pain
Allow your pain to consume you and become one with it. Don't resist it. Just let it exist in its fullest extent. Welcome it and embrace it.
When you resist pain it becomes stagnant, if you go into it, it will flow through you and disintegrate. This releases the power it has over you, changes it form and is one of the most beneficial chronic pain management tips I can share with you. It is sometimes referred to as mindfulness or mindfulness meditation.2. Breathe deep into the pain.
Another priceless technique for chronic pain management. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through your nose with your mouth shut. The abdomen should distend on inhale, not your chest, and then exhale very slowly while focusing your mind and your breath into the area of pain.
In your minds eye direct your breath into the pain. Visualize the breath flowing into the painful area and melting it away. Do this repeatedly until you feel it begin to release and then move to another pain area and begin again. It may take several breaths to release it. It may also take a lot of practice to train your mind to focus into the pain.
I find this exercise more effective when I can close my eyes, but it is also helpful when your driving or in public places by doing the breathing without closing the eyes.
Breathing in this manner releases endorphins, your bodies natural pain relieving neurotransmitter. You can learn more about this powerful chronic pain management technique by reading my and deep breathing exercises pages.3. Stretch your face and jaw
Open your mouth as wide as it will go and then gently push it to go a little wider. When you feel the muscles in your jaw and head pulling and tingling then relax it. This will probably be excruciating and bring tears in your eyes, but it will release the pain and you will have a lot of relief afterwards. Then pull your lips forward over your teeth and stretch the front face muscles.
Experiment a bit, wherever you feel the pain and pull and stretch the jaw in different directions until it hurts so bad you can’t stand it and then relax it. After doing this several times then do the breathing into exercise described above and breathe into all the jaw muscles and connective tissue in the shoulders and collar bone.4. Self Massage and apply pressure to trigger points
Gently massage the area with pain. Use your 2nd and 3rd fingers to rub softly in a circular motion. This is also helpful on painful organs. Massage the trigger points on collarbone, back of head or wherever they may be for you.
Sometimes it is more effective to use the thumb for deep penetration into areas such as the collarbone. Gently press into the trigger points until again it feels like you will go through the ceiling and bring tears to your eyes and then release pressure.
Do this several times to each painful or tender area. Sometimes just laying the hands on the painful area can give it some relief. After applying pressure to painful areas and releasing then do the breathing into technique described above.5. Take a Hot Shower
Stand in the shower with the water as hot as you can tolerate and let it flow gently over the painful areas. Also shut the bathroom door and all windows so the heat and steam can build up in the room. It is also helpful to apply pressure to trigger points, do gentle massage and do the breathing into exercise while you're in the shower.6. Have an Orgasm or Two
An orgasm can bring about incredible relief to a severe headache, generalized muscular pain, and even a migraine. If you have one at the beginning of your migraine it is possible at times to stop it from progressing.
Of course when you are in pain you may not feel like having sex, and you certainly don't want to get into the habit of using sex as a pain reliever, but using it therapeutically now and then is very beneficial. If you can muster up the desire and your partner is willing then the act of sex itself, if you allow yourself to become immersed in it, can provide great relief by drawing your attention away from your pain.
When you have an orgasm it has a natural pain killing effect on the body, by releasing endorphins and other feel good neurotransmitters. When sex is not desired and to avoid using sex too often for relief, then masturbation that ends with an orgasm will produce the exact same pain killing effects.
For women, getting a clitoris stimulator, which can bring about orgasm quickly, is very useful. That way you don't have to spend much time at it. For men, well most men now how to handle themselves to bring about an orgasm in a rather short amount of time. So, this is a great pain management technique that's lots of fun too!7. Walking
If you are capable of walking and if you enjoy it, then walking briskly for about 20 or 30 minutes can also have pain-killing effects on the body, because it too boosts the endorphins. If you don't walk and it is something that is possible for you, then you might consider working on building this habit into your daily routine.Another option is dance, just turn on a song and dance around the living room. Just one or two songs will do the trick.8. Sleep or meditate
This chronic pain management technique is probably most useful with milder forms of pain, although with some practice it can become beneficial to more severe pain. Sometimes the pain may be too great for this technique to work, because you may not be able to achieve a sleep or relaxed state, but even a semi-sleep or semi-meditative state can be useful too.
Lie down, close your eyes and do the deep breathing exercise I described above to every part of your body beginning with your head and work down to your toes. Then either try to go to sleep or just meditate.
When we sleep the body repairs and heals itself. A short period of sleep can often give miraculous amounts of pain relief. If sleep is not possible then just continue the deep breathing and think relaxing thoughts.
Don't allow yourself to think about what needs to be done, your problems, or anything else. Focus completely on your breathing. Repeating some form of mantra may be helpful to keep the mind focused.9. Nurture Spirituality
Feeding yourself spiritually has a positive effect on your overall well-being. If your overall well-being is feeling better, then the impact of pain will not be as powerful and disruptive. When you have meaning and purpose in your life, then you are more at peace with yourself and the world around you.
Do daily activities that add meaning, purpose and richness to your life, such as getting in touch with nature, writing, reading, singing, meditation, yoga, a social cause, a hot bath, special time with loved ones or whatever it is that is nourishing for you. The things that make you feel whole, alive and one with the Universe is your spiritual food.10. Express Your Pain Verbally
Most of us know that it is beneficial to express our emotional feelings and detrimental to our well being to let them build up. This can also apply to our physical pain.
Physical pain and emotional pain are intertwined on a deep level. If we are enduring physical pain you can bet that there is some emotional pain brewing in the back ground and vice versa. Therefore, expressing your physical pain verbally can provide us with some relief. So let it out.
Tell someone understanding and compassionate how awful it is and what it feels like. Vent, vent, vent. If you don't want to verbalize out loud, then try writing it down on paper without censoring yourself. Be sure to allow yourself to feel the pain as you are expressing it, so that it will dissipate. If you need someone to talk to who understands completely, you may find Cynthia's holistic health phone counseling to be helpful.
Sometimes you may need to do all the chronic pain management suggestions above to get relief or you may only need to do one or two. It varies from time to time. The degree of relief may also vary. For example, in my own life, it depends on factors such as what was the trigger, how long did I wait before doing the technique, what cycle of the month I was in and how intense the trigger was. However, I have used these techniques successfully for chronic migraines, myofacial pain and trigeminal neuralgia.