Living with chronic pain
How to Heal Naturally
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It may be from an injury, an illness, or from an unknown source, but living with chronic pain can sometimes feel like … hell on earth.
I was in a car accident at the age of 16. I was skipping school on the Friday before spring vacation. Bad idea! It was a beautiful spring day, and a group of friends decided to go to the beach.
Lucy and I were sitting on the trunk of a friend’s car when the driver got in and started the engine. I thought this would be a good time to get off the car but just as I began to slide off, she began to drive forward.
Now if I had some background in physics or engineering I’d probably be able to describe what had happened in a more scientific way. Essentially, I did not land on my feet but on my head.
I recall a brief moment of consciousness in the front seat of the car with my head bleeding on my other friend’s lap. The next thing I knew, I was in the hospital, on a metal table with strange doctors speaking in a foreign language standing over me.
A week had passed before I gained consciousness. It was Easter Sunday. And people were there bringing me chocolate. Only I had no appetite.
I spent the next six months regaining my ability to walk and talk and study. And then as a typical teenager, I forgot all about the situation. I dedicated myself to studies and preparing to go to college.The past was in the past.
But today I live in chronic pain, and have lived this way since the age of 26. I’ll never forget the moment when my back locked on me! That’s when I discovered through an MRI that I had slipped discs in my back and neck. In fact, I was told that I had lost the natural curvature in my neck.
I have spent much of my life learning techniques to prevent, heal, and manage this source wound. If you are like me, and suffer from chronic pain, you may want to try out these techniques.
May you be inspired, find relief, and live a life of joy!
Gaining knowledge provides you with confidence and guidelines to work with. Whatever your pain is, look it up! Search under reputable sources like Mayo Clinic or WebMD.
Your research may even lead you toward a new career path, as it did with me!
#2 Source Wound
My story illustrates how I discovered that the source of my pain was from an accident that happened many years prior. Knowing this leads you toward not only healing the pain, but the initial trauma.
You must be kind to yourself! I suggest you do this in every area of your life. Pain can sometimes prevent you from doing the things that bring you joy, and awaken the inner critic. Resist the urge, and instead lean into it. Bring natural healing with loving kindness.
Breathe deeply. Relax. Be in the present moment. Meditate.
This is a natural remedy for any kind of pain! The following meditation incorporates natural healing energy. Your very own!
As you close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your breath, following it as you breathe in, and as you breathe out, focus on where the pain is. If it is in your lower back, for example, bring your full attention to that area. Imagine the air that you are breathing going to that area, filling it with fresh clean air, healing it with your exhale. Imagine the air becoming healing energy. If you believe in a higher power, ask that its healing energy join yours. Imagine it moving into the area of pain, doing all the work. You simply relax and guide the energy.
Stretch. Breathe. Flow. Strengthen. Stretch. Meditate.
Yoga is both a physical exercise and a mental practice. Both bring you into the present moment, and fully into your body! Most asanas will be perfect for your spinal health, but with any physical injury or pain, modifications may be necessary. Ask your teacher. And if so inspired, train to teach yourself!
This was the first modality that managed my back and neck injury. It has many positive aspects worth exploring.
#7 Physical Therapy
This is a practice I highly regard. Some PTs actually incorporate a little bit of chiropractic techniques in their work. But it’s far less aggressive. And you almost always walk away with homework as in physical exercises to strengthen and lengthen your body. You’ll also be given tips to avoid future incidents.
# 8 Massage Therapy
I have to admit this is my favorite! I come out feeling not only better physically but mentally relaxed and spiritually rejuvenated. Look for a massage therapist that is right for you. You may prefer a lighter touch or a more firm massage style. I’ve been seeing Adrian now for a year and look forward to it every month!
While your diet may not be the source of your pain, it may impact it. Learn to limit foods that increase inflammation like dairy. Stay at a healthy weight. Excess weight may add excess pressure. Take a look at any prescriptions you may be taking, and read their side effects. You might actually discover a direct link to persistent pain.
# 10 Natural Health
While all of the tips above may fall under this category, I’m giving it its own heading because my source wound was the motivation for me to become a Certified Natural Health Professional. Underneath this umbrella, I continued to quench my thirst for knowledge with studies and training in meditation, yoga, nutrition, reiki, energy healing, mindfulness, and exercise.
I hope that you, too are inspired! Let your pain be your teacher. Learn to heal naturally.
Alana Cahoon is the Amazon #1 Best Selling Author of Mindfulness, Mantras & Meditations: 55 Inspirational practices to Soothe the Body, Mind & Soul. www.AlanaCahoon.com.
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Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.