Phoenix Acupuncture & Holistic Health

When Pain is Impacting Your Life


Gwen James

Posted on 08:38 28/07/2017

Everybody suffers pain at some time in their lives. It can affect any part of your body, be short lived and due to a small event such as stubbing your toe or it can be chronic, severe and debilitating. Pain can not only be physical, such as muscular or neurological, it can also be emotional and may lead to conditions such as depression. No matter what it's cause, what part of the body it is effecting or it's duration, pain is a stress on us. And sometimes a significant stress! What can you do to help it?

Pain is one of the things that I treat most often in my clinic - both physical pain and emotional pain. From a Chinese Medicine point of view, pain is a blockage or stagnation in the energy in the body. This sounds very vague so consider it this way: when you break your leg you have pain because the energy in the leg - the blood flow, the nerves, the muscles are disrupted and can't work properly. How do we fix it? We remove the blockage! And that's exactly what Chinese Medicine does to help people manage pain! That's not to say that Chinese Medicine can fix a broken leg - you are much better advised to see a doctor about that - but managing the pain as the leg heals is something that Chinese Medicine can definitely help with!

Lifestyle is also very important in the management of pain. Whether the pain is emotional or physical, the following are important:

  • Getting enough sleep - sleep is when our body heals itself. If you're not getting enough sleep or your sleep is disturbed by the pain, your body will have trouble healing.
  • Eating a good balanced diet - your body needs nutrition to heal especially carbohydrates to fuel the healing process and protein to heal tissue. Often people in pain don't feel like eating much so eating small amounts regularly or drinking protein smoothies can be a great help.
  • Drink plenty of water - the tissues need to be fully hydrated to heal.
  • Exercise - when you're in pain, your body releases hormones, such as adrenalin and cortisol, to let you know you're under stress. Exercise can help you burn off some of those hormones. Many people who are in pain don't feel like exercising - they have little energy and it hurts to do things. Choose exercise that is suitable for you - some gentle walking or maybe a swim.
  • Get outside - having the sun on your face and breathing fresh air can give you a real lift.
  • Stay warm - cold is an enemy of pain! Muscles exposed to cold will contract - this is a natural, normal reaction! But when you have an injury or pain and the muscles around it contract, it may cause spasm which will increase the pain! Staying warm can not only help to stop spasms, it also encourages a normal blood flow to the area bringing in the nutrients it needs to heal and flushing out the waste products.

Sometimes, severe pain can threaten to consume your life. The is an old saying: "No pain, no gain". We may learn some things about ourselves through severe pain, such as our resilience and ability to keep going when all we want to do is curl up in bed, but generally, but we gain much more if we can manage our pain! If you are in pain and it is becoming overwhelming, don't try and do it alone! Try some of the lifestyle changes but also get some people around you who can help: acupuncturists, massage therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and doctors.  Finding the right group of people may take a little time but rest assured, they are out there and keen to help!

Category: Pain Management    Tags: Pain,Pain management,Chinese medicine,Holistic health

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