Few things are as distressing as chronic pain. It saps your energy and takes an emotional toll. Over time, a vicious pain cycle develops, one that seems to have a life of it’s own, often persisting even after the original cause is resolved.
Our bodies were created to be self-healing dynamos, given the right tools. But, often, we’re so distracted by life that we’re not paying the attention to our bodies that they deserve, and we don’t provide the tools our bodies need to avoid postural distortion and developing pain syndromes.
Amazingly, though, making just a few simple changes in your life will set you up to once again live a pain-free life.
Pain often develops with injury or illness. Chronic pain develops when the complex interplay between the Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System is upset. Each element of pain – especially stress – can add to or even start the cycle.
The current medical model in this country advises that pain medications are considered the last line of defense in the increasingly common fight again chronic pain. The most commonly prescribed medications for pain management are prescription grade anti-inflammatories, opioids and anti-seizure medications. All have severe side effects, up to and including death, which often further degrade your quality of life.
Manual therapies have been proven to be more effective tool in pain and stress management than medications. It’s been in use since mankind’s beginning. Haven’t you used mechanical pressure to relieve pain – stretching an aching back or rubbing an area that hurts? Research shows that massage stimulates the release of natural pain-relievers such as endorphins and reduces the devastating grip of pain on your body.
When I first met George, he literally vibrated with tension and pain. George suffered with a nerve entrapment causing pain that most days exceeded 10/10 and was nearly suicidal. The traditional medical approach was to surgically sever the nerve (a short term answer at best as nerves regenerate over time) and physical therapy made his pain worse. Working together and using a multi-dimensional approach, we were able to restore his life and lifestyle with pain levels which have maintained below 2/10 now for several years – a more than 80% reduction in pain!
Using the food you eat to support your body, instead of eating for dis-ease, will also help reduce pain levels by reducing inflammation. Discover the foods you’re allergic or sensitive to, and correct the adverse affect those foods have on your system. Eliminate the foods from your diet that contribute to dis-ease; eliminate and purge the effects of chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides from your body. Learn how to eat to balance your pH and to eat for health.
Christine’s case illustrates the dramatic effect diet can have on the body. Christine suffers with arthritic degeneration of her spine, and came to me when her back pain ratcheted up to the 7-8/10 range and was interfering with her retirement lifestyle. After a thorough assessment, it became clear that inflammation was a major contributor to her pain. Just a few tweaks to her diet, and her inflammation was dramatically reduced, which brought her pain levels back to a manageable level (3/10 and below), allowing her preferred lifestyle to resume.
Our bodies were built to move, not sit behind a desk 40 hours a week, then behind the wheel of our car another 10 or more hours a week, sit to eat, sit to read, sit to watch television, sit to play games . . . The average American now sits 13 hours every day. No wonder chronic pain is becoming epidemic!
I wish I could tell you that the simple solution is a certain number of hours at the gym 3 times per week, after all exercise is exercise, right? I’m afraid not. Once pain develops, you already have musculoskeletal imbalances, and it takes an expert to unravel the influences that contribute to those imbalances.
A recent case study of mine really illustrates this truth: Bob was referred to me when his back pain was so severe, he could no longer stand up straight or work. Bob, a middle-aged “gym rat”, had unwittingly been continuing a work-out routine that was making his symptoms worse. But, by using an approach of manual therapies combined with functional and corrective exercise, Bob could stand erect after just two sessions; after 8 sessions, he was balanced, pain free and back to work. Before you hit the gym with pain, get properly diagnosed and have a plan to overcome the imbalances.
My clients know me as the go-to person when allopathic medicine fails. When allopathic medical treatments fail, my clients come to me to help them devise a plan to address their complaints in a natural way, often without the need for medications or surgery. It IS possible to unravel the unwanted influences on your body and regain your health.
Janet Lawlor is a holistic practitioner, Board Certified Bodywork Therapy, posture and pain specialist and a chronic pain survivor. Janet is also a certified Yoga instructor and certified in Functional and Corrective Exercise. She continues to train in techniques to help others overcome their chronic pain. Her focus is on reducing pain, improving mobility and restoring quality of life.