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Today's Item:

Learn How to Meditate and Cure Stress

Uncontrolled Stress will Ruin Your Life

manure pile

Image thanks to Nervous.ned, via Wikimedia Commons

Nobody understands the power of the human brain. Science can explain some of the benefits of meditation, but some things remain a mystery. This article makes some great points about the effectiveness of meditation for managing chronic pain.

"It works for beginners".
People do get better with practice but even novices are able to reduce their pain levels.

"Meditation changes the way that your brain reacts and responds to pain". MRI studies of the brain demonstrates ways that meditation changes your reaction to pain.

This article from The Atlantic discusses
Treating Chronic Pain With Meditation


Even Better:
"Yes You Can!!"
Learn How to Meditate







What Works for Me...... and some others

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

These can be a double edged sword. They can help to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. However, for some people they can also have severe side effects. They can cause gastric ulcers and damage your kidneys or liver. Talk to your doctor before starting any medication.

What it does for Me I've tried many of the other anti-inflammatories and ibuprofen always works best for me. I've taken it for years, 800 mg every morning. A few years ago when I was going through a hard time with my back that got increased to 800 mg every 8 hours. Then my kidney function started to deteriorate. I saw a nephrologist and they did all kinds of tests to decide that my kidneys were still OK. I stopped the ibuprofen and my labs and kidney function returned to normal.

Since then I have returned to taking 800 mg in the morning and my kidneys seem to be doing OK. I think it does make a difference in how my back feels throughout the day.

My Best Advice For the people that are sensitive to anti-inflammatories the side effects can be life threatening. Talk to your doctor to see if they would be safe for you.







Learning How to Meditate I, Audio for Beginners

Learning how to meditate is easy with a little practice. When your body is completely relaxed and your brain is alert and focused good things can happen. Try this short and simple guided meditation.

Continue reading "Learning How to Meditate I, Audio for Beginners"

Learning How to Meditate Will Reduce Anxiety and Relieve Chronic Pain

Learning how to meditate will provide natural pain relief, reduce stress, and control anxiety without side effects. This pleasant practice is not only for Tibetan monks. It really will help you!!

Continue reading "Learning How to Meditate Will Reduce Anxiety and Relieve Chronic Pain"

Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

You don't think distraction won't help to control your pain?

Imagine for a minute if you are sitting quietly in your living room watching television. When suddenly your television set bursts into flame. You would suddenly be busy calling the fire department, trying to put out the fire, getting the children out of danger, etc. For those few minutes when you are dealing with the emergency you will not notice your pain.

Think about what that means.

It means that if you can focus your brain on something besides your pain, your pain will become an annoying discomfort in the back of your mind.







What Works for Me...... and some others

Staying Active

Finding something that you are interested in and passionate about is not likely to make you pain free. However, it can be a great distraction and minimize your discomfort for hours at a time. Things like working on a hobby in the garage or in a spare bedroom. Finding an exercise or a sport that you enjoy can have multiple benefits and who cares if you don't always win. Working as a volunteer at the local hospital you can learn that there are many people with worse problems than you.

What it does for Me For me this is important on many different levels. Working has always been a great distraction for me. Especially, working in construction I was afraid to tell anybody about my back because somebody with a "bad back" is always the first to get laid off.

As I've gotten older exercise has become a good distraction and it helps me control my weight. Working on this website also gives me something to think about and do besides lying around thinking about how much my back hurts.

My Best Advice I have said it a million times, Find Something To Do. Everyone is interested in something. There are lots of things that you can get involved in that are more important than you and your pain. Everyone can do something.







Reactive Arthritis is an Autoimmune Disease

Reactive arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes joint pain in response to an infection in another part of the body. Find out more and learn what can be done today.

Continue reading "Reactive Arthritis is an Autoimmune Disease"

Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

All medications have risks. Do not take more than is prescribed or recommended and discuss any side effects with your doctor.

Pain does not kill people but taking too much medication does.







What Works for Me...... and some others

Acupressure Mat / Bed of Nails

I have one of these acupressure mats that has hundreds of the little plastic spikes. It does not exactly feel good; but when I am on it I do not notice my back pain.

What it does for Me I use it in my chair when I am meditating.There is a "sensation" when you first lay down that some people could interpret as pain, but you can get used to it. I was afraid of it when I first got it. I started out wearing a tee shirt and then gradually pulled the shirt up exposing more skin.

When I realized that these little points do not actually break the skin I became more comfortable with it and now I can say that it is "stimulating" without being painful. When I am lying on this mat I do not notice my back pain; and the relief will often last for a few hours if I'm careful about what I am doing.

This mat has helped me understand the difference between a "sensation" and "pain". Everything we feel is just a signal traveling up the nerve to your brain. How your brain reacts is what makes it a "sensation" or "pain". You can decide to feel "pain" or just a "sensation". People must choose to suffer.

My Best Advice Just like everything else, Give It A Try. Everyone is different and you don't know if you don't try. You can start off easy by wearing a light tee shirt or placing a thin towel over the mat. People have been using this kind of treatment for hundreds or thousands of years. There must be something to it.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Do you feel depressed? People who are living with chronic pain certainly have a reason to feel depressed and depression is like a magnifying glass on pain.

Studies have shown that depression causes lower levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine in your brain. Reducing these levels can make your pain sharper, quicker, and harder. Making it more difficult to live with.

Everyone who is living with chronic pain should talk to their doctor about depression.Learn more about Neurotransmitters at Neurotransmitters Affect the Pain You Feel.







What Works for Me...... and some others

My Chair

When my wife and I were shopping for recliners all of the recliners that we looked at made my back hurt worse because they were so soft and cushy that there was no lumbar support. I have learned that my back needs lumbar support more than anything. So I built a chair out of electrical conduit and covered it with latigo leather. It is a little bit hard kind of like a saddle is hard. But it has plenty of lumbar curve and it is comfortable for me.

What it does for Me

I was able to build this chair so that it supports my back in a position that is comfortable for me. It has such an exaggerated lumbar curve that nobody else likes to sit in it.

My Best Advice

Try different things. I understand that not everybody can build a chair like this. But, you can try different chairs with different size pillows, rolled up towels, or foam rubber wedges. Everyone will have different requirements to be comfortable. You need to start trying different things to find out what works for you.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

All treatments have risks. Even bed rest poses the risk of muscle weakness and blood clots. Use your medications carefully. Discuss the risks and benefits before scheduling surgery.

Discuss any new treatments that you are considering with your doctor who knows your health history and other medical problems.







What Works for Me...... and some others

Control Your Weight

This is a big one (pardon the pun). Obesity is so problematic in so many different ways that if you have a weight problem it deserves your full attention. Adipose tissue (fat) produces inflammatory chemicals that contribute to the inflammation and pain everywhere in your body. It makes it difficult to exercise and enjoy the many aspects of a happy life.

A small weight loss of even 10 or 15 pounds can make a difference. If you are extremely overweight getting down to a normal weight will change your life.

What it does for Me

Controlling my weight was never a concern for me........until a I got to be a about 50 years old. I changed careers to a more sedentary profession and I also think that my metabolism started to slow down.

I still believe that it is a calories in/calories out issue. If you are gaining weight it is because you are either, eating too much, or not doing enough. I try to manage my calorie intake and I do exercise regularly bicycling or on a treadmill. However, I am still probably 15 or 20 pounds overweight. I understand the struggle.

My Best Advice

If you think your weight is a problem start watching your diet and exercising regularly even a small weight loss can have big benefits.

If you are extremely overweight it is truly a life and death issue. Talk to your doctor, see a nutritionist, see a psychologist, develop an exercise program, and regain control of your life.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

More drugs is not the answer, especially more narcotics.

Narcotics, Anti-inflammatories, Muscle Relaxers, SSRIs, etc., can all help but there are limits to how much they will do and they all have side effects. Nothing is likely to make your pain go away completely. You must find other ways to manage your pain.







What Works for Me...... and some others

Laughter Therapy

This is one where I have only fiddled around the edges. Not because it doesn't work, because I believe that it does help to reduce pain. But, because there has never been a group close to where I live and the whole concept seems a little bit weird to me.

What it does for Me

I do have a couple of funny web pages that I visit often for a few minutes of humorous distraction when I am surfing the web. Mostly political and editorial cartoons like townhall.com, and theweek.com

Sometimes, when I think about it, I make myself smile. I find that even though my back pain does not go away smiling makes me feel better about.

If I ever live somewhere that there is a Laughter Therapy Group I do think that I would go in to try and learn more about it. Once you get past the weirdness and self consciousness it might be fun.

My Best Advice

At least think about.

Read some articles and search the Internet to find out what is available in your area. Do a little bit in private where you can be as weird as you want and nobody knows. It may not make you pain free, but I bet it will make you feel better. You can start with our web page at Laughter Therapy, It is all Good







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Your brain is your best pain management tool. Learn to use it.

Meditation, Distraction, and Visualization can all help to manage your pain. But, only if you do them.

Get started today.







What Works for Me...... and some others

A Lumbar Roll

Your spine was designed to have a shallow curve in the small of your back. When driving or sitting for long periods of time it is easy to lose that lumbar curve. You need to have something to support your lumbar spine. The Internet is full of different little cushions for your chair at work, or even just a small pillow can be enough to relieve low back pain.

What it does for Me

My back really needs lumbar support whenever I'm sitting and sitting on bleachers for extended periods of time is nearly impossible. I have a small towel laying in the front seat of my truck. I roll it up and stuff it behind my back whenever I am driving for more than just a few minutes. I use a standup desk at work so that I never have to sit. My favorite chair at home is one that I made and it has so much lumbar support that no one else likes to sit it.

My Best Advice

Everybody is different so you need to find out what works for you. Start off easy though because it is easy to get too much. Experiment with a rolled up towel or small pillow behind your back whenever you find yourself sitting for more than a few minutes.







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

When I was a shy and nerdy little high Schooler I used to wonder why everyone else was having all the fun and I was alone or just with a couple of my guy friends from the neighborhood.

Then I figured out that the people who are having fun with lots of friends were the people that were having fun. People want to be around people that are having fun so that they can have fun too. I was so shy I that I wasn't that much fun to be around.

"Fake It Till You Make It"

I decided to start making myself be happy and fun to be around. First with guys I knew, and then (Oh Lord!!! The horror) I started talking to girls. My first attempts were pretty pitiful but before long I had a car full friends and we were going someplace downtown, or bowling, or to a party, or something.

I tell you that story because when you're living with chronic pain it can make you pretty miserable. When you are miserable you act miserable and make everyone around you miserable unless you make a decision.

You can decide to be happy and fun to be around.

Being miserable does not make your discomfort any less painful, in fact it makes it worse.

Forcing yourself to be happy can make your discomfort less annoying. Being fun to be around and having friends and talking about interesting things and doing fun things can also be a great distraction. It can force your pain into the background if you let it.

People must choose to suffer. Don't you agree?


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What Works for Me...... and some others

TENS units

I have had several different TENS units is over the years and I guess they do help me a little bit. But, I never seem to use them consistently over long periods of time. Every time that I dig out one of my old ones, or buy a new one, it really does seem to help for a while. But, only for a while.

What it does for Me I think it may be the distraction of having a new toy and being able to change the way my back feels. Just changing the way it feels for a while is a good thing.

But when I get used to it, and the new wears off, and it gets to be too much of a hassle fooling with the sticky pad electrodes and wires, and I quit putting it on. Then it lays on top of the dresser for a while. Then it is put into a drawer for a while, and eventually ends up in a box in the closet. Until the next time.

My Best Advice Give it a try!! It is very difficult to tell who a TENS unit will help and the risk of side effects is very low. If nothing else you can turn it up high enough to stimulate some endorphins to help control your pain.

Discover more about TENS units at TENS Unit or E-Stim for Pain







Random Thoughts
For People Who are Living with Chronic Pain

blockquote>(If these seem a little harsh please let me know. I would like to explain to you what is harsh.)

Your brain hears every word that comes out of your mouth. Your brain believes every word that comes out of your mouth.

If you start talking about how hot it is; you can convince yourself and you will begin to sweat.

If you are constantly verbalizing how severe your pain is; how miserable you are; how you can not function because of the pain, pretty soon you will have yourself convinced. And sure enough, your pain will be severe; you will be miserable; and you will not be able to function because of the pain.

You can make this work the other way. If you're constantly verbalizing that your discomfort is annoying; that it is aggravating; that it makes it difficult to finish what you're doing. Guess what? It will become only annoying and aggravating, and you will be able to finish what you are doing.








  


  

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  1. Learn How to Meditate and Cure Stress

    Uncontrolled Stress will Ruin Your Life
    manure pile Image thanks to Nervous.ned, via Wikimedia Commons
    Nobody understands the power of the human brain. Science can explain some of the benefits of meditatio…

    Read More

  2. What Works for Me...... and some others

    Anti-Inflammatory Medications

    These can be a double edged sword. They can help to relieve pain by reducing inflammation. However, for some people they can also have severe side effects. They can cause…

    Read More