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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is What??
July 01, 2015

"Yes You Can"
Living with Back Pain Newsletter

Hi Everyone,
My name is Dave and I run the website at living-with-back-pain.org. Just like you, I am living with back pain and have been for many years. I started his website to try and help people, like myself, who are living with pain that will never go away.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Another Edition of "Yes You Can", #0014

Well, here it is another edition of "Yes You Can". This month we start off with looking at Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and learning to spend time thinking about how we can manage our pain.

In our distractions section we start working on a "bucket list".

And from the web of this month I think I have found my new guru. This lady has spent many years studying different cultures to find out why there is so much back pain in our modern society. Her conclusions are profound.

The latest from Living with Back Pain that looks at stem cell therapy and tries to understand why things do not always turn out the way they are planned.

I hope you enjoy it.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Tough Talk About a Tough Problem

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is What??

I've always heard a lot of talk about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a technique for pain management. I've never really understood how it could help reduce my back pain.

When I would try to look it up all I could find was information on how it was used for psychotherapy and treating depression, anxiety, and other such mental disorders.

Then I had an epiphany.

Word of the Day: Epiphany An experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. This definition thanks to Wikipedia.

I suddenly realized...

I suddenly realized that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is about thinking. Thinking about what you do. Thinking about what you don't do. Thinking about your thoughts and how you think about your pain.

CBT teaches you to be your own therapist. Thinking about your pain and how it can be managed. Rather than simply experiencing your pain and allowing yourself to be a victim.

It takes effort but thinking about your pain really can make it more tolerable.

Pain management can be broken down into two broad categories.

1) Physical actions and activities that can help to relieve your pain or that will make your pain worse.

2) Mental actions and activities that can reduce your pain and make it smaller or enlarge it and make your pain worse.

The Physical

The first part of this is pretty simple and almost intuitive "Don't Do What Hurts". We have all learned to avoid things that make our pain worse as much as possible. Unfortunately, this can prevent you from living your life and doing the things that you want to do.

Spending time thinking about how you can do things differently can be very helpful. Finding ways to do the things that you want to do without making your pain worse.

Finding Ways

Maybe a standup desk would work better for you. Maybe raising your computer monitor to change your posture would help. Maybe using a "reacher" would help you get clothes out of the washing machine.

I don't know what kinds of things will help you to live your life. That is what you need to spend time thinking about and finding ways to do the things that you want to do.

Actively Treat Your Pain

Everyone knows things that you can do to improve your physical health. Improving your diet and regular exercise can help to manage your pain.

Exercises that improve your posture and stimulate the release of endorphins can reduce pain. A healthy diet, or maybe even trying an anti-inflammatory diet, can also help to relieve pain.

The Mental

Those of you who visit my web site or read "Yes You Can" already know how I feel about the mental aspect of pain management. Controlling your thinking is the biggest part of controlling your pain. Not controlling your thinking will allow your pain to become overwhelming.

You Need to Think About Your Thinking

I have said before that your brain is the best pain management tool that you have. But, learning to use your brain is where many people fall down.

Learning to think of your pain as only an annoyance may not be easy. But, it is not impossible either. It takes mental energy to push your pain into the background and focus on living your life.

Focus on the Positive

With practice and persistence it becomes easier. Spending time thinking about how you can focus on the positive things in your life will make your pain only bothersome. Like an annoying cousin that you can't do anything about you just need to tolerate him.

Learning to meditate it can be very helpful for learning how to control your thoughts. It can help you focus on the good things in your life and ignore the negative things.

It is all work, and the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.

That is all that I have for now so it is time for you to get busy thinking about making your life all that it can be. Make a list of things that you would like to do and then start thinking and figuring out ways to do them. With effort and thinking you can still do many of the things that you want to do, in spite of your discomfort.

People must choose to suffer.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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What Is In A Distraction?

Brainstorming

For a distraction this month how about we try brainstorming about things we would like to do. Like all of the other distractions for this to be helpful you need to focus and really put some effort into it.

First, get something to write with, then make the list of all the crazy things that you would like to do some day. Let's make it a bucket list that you can keep and come back to from time to time until you "kick the bucket".

Do like to travel? Would you like to see Paris, or New York, or Machu Pichu? Or see the running of the bulls in Pamplona Spain?

Would you like to try skydiving? Or learn to ski? Or drive on a high speed test track? Or cook French pastry? Or make fine wine?

I don't know what tickles your fancy. But, I know there is something that makes your heart beat a little bit faster. Make a list of the wild and crazy things that you would like to do some day and then start planning, and conniving, and plotting how you can accomplish them.

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest from the Web

This is an interesting lady that has spent years investigating why so many people have back pain and the simple facts that she has discovered are profound. Well worth your time to explore.

Simple breathing exercise to reduce back pain

Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Latest News from living-with-back-pain.org

Stem cell therapy presents some new and exciting possibilities for degenerative disc disease and other common causes of back pain. This article reviews the latest advances in stem cell treatments and it also covers some of the things that can go wrong.

Stem Cell Treatment Shows Promise

"Yes You Can" live the life you want.

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Well, that is it for this month.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. Next month we will look at "Is Your Pain a Crutch?" Don't miss it.

Shoot me an e-mail at living40@living-with-back-pain.org and let me know what you think. Good or bad I read them all. Stay busy and enjoy your life because "Yes You Can" have the life you want.

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