Managing pain

We hope that if you have been to see me your level of pain will decrease. Pain is a message of dis-ease. My aim is to restore a degree of symmetry to your body and restore it to normal function.

It is very rare for someone to be in pain all their life. Think back to a time when you were not aware of this pain. What has changed? Was there an accident, a new habit or change of lifestyle that brought the pain back to you? Did you change medication or has the dose been changed? There is a physical, chemical and an emotional element to pain. Life takes its toll and we lose the symmetry in our body. We compensate by walking, standing or sitting differently. Crossing your legs is a way of compensating. Here are some suggestions:

Drink enough water

Herbal teas such as mint, or lemon,watermelon and other juicy fruits are rehydrating. Tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol are dehydrating. Look at your urine output, light clear is good. Dark cloudy needs more. Dark, brown – kidney problems. 1.5 litres a day for someone 70 kg in weight is about right.

Heat or Cold?

Heat helps muscle spasm but makes inflammation worse. A warm shower or hot bath eases aching muscles but red, swollen tender muscles become worse with heat. If you can finish off a warm bath or shower with a short burst of cold water.

Slow, persistent stretching

Always support yourself when you stretch. For instance lying on your back, legs in the air and knees bent rolling them side to side is guaranteed to make an aching back worse. Keep your feet on the ground if you twist, or go on all fours. Try placing a finger into a tender point, tense the muscle, count to three, then stretch a little further. Keep going until you reach the limit.

Eat fresh foods in season

Most fruits and vegetables can be grown in greenhouses. Eat them in season keeps you in peak health. Even nuts and seeds have a season. For instance Turkish fruits are mainly harvested from August to October. Figs, raisins, hazelnuts. European and Moldovan walnuts and almonds again are an Autumn crop. Look for puffy well sealed bags. They are flushed with nitrogen to keep out the oxygen. Oxygen, light and heat lead to free radicals and an off taste in nuts. Chinese walnuts are an earlier crop. They are not my favourite flavour. Before Christmas shops will sell off old stocks of fruit and nuts. Wait as late as possible roughly when the new crop Californian walnuts come into the shops is a good time to start looking at dried fruits.

Play positive games with Pain

The happy hormone serotonin, and the racy hormone adrenaline are good substitutes for pain. Play the game, “I am not in pain, the pain is in me. Is it pain, or is it stiffness? Can I stretch it out, breathe into it or focus elsewhere. Music, learning a language, being in your quiet, beautiful place are all safe places to go. When you stimulate your mind and spirit, your body and your emotions pain has to take fourth place. The body can only register three stimuli at once so pain has to take fourth place.

Look at your lifestyle

Young people get away with punishing their bodies and minds at least for a few years. Smoking, fast living, junk food, caffeine, alcohol all take their toll on the body. Many people don’t realise that smoking and marijuana wipe out your reflexes. They protect you from danger or sudden jolts to your body. Smoking leads to early severe arthritis and marijuana to short term memory loss and inability to concentrate. Pain might be teaching you to step back and examine your lifestyle. The things you once thought fighting for become less important. Living in the present is more important than thinking of the future. Ask yourself, Can I handle in future what I am taking on now?

Remember Pain will pass, be patient it will change for the better