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Chronic Pain & Getting Back On Track

Chronic Pain & Getting Back On Track

Needles and Pins, Luv.

“Mistress of Pain, Harbinger of Sorrow, I am Dolor.” 

The sweet voice in a 1940’s sing-song mode, whispers in your ear. Soft yet audible, crystal clear and pitch-perfect. Just like that, you could hear a pin drop on the floor. Jabbing constantly at your lower back with three hundred sharpened needlepoints, all at the same time, she sing-songs her end phrase, saying 

“Welcome to the Hurt Locker. Your own, personal Via Dolorosa.” 

Silent screams in hellish agony, escape from your mouth muffled yet heard and felt all over. Tiptoe on the tulips… Luv.

Not to be confused with the Oscar-winning 2009 film of the same name, “The Hurt Locker” defined in this writing is something that profoundly signifies troubling pain experienced constantly over repetitive periods. An attempt to describe and aptly depict a commonplace of deep pain and discomfort.  There will be no bombs over Baghdad here but talk about pain we shall and will, so saddle up your camel, Habibi. Let’s get educated!

 

PAIN is a four-letter word, HURT, HEAL and LEGO too.

Often an unpleasant sensation that limits your abilities and hinders your capabilities, pain is the body’s early warning signal to alert you that something is not right. Depending on the level of hurt, pain can range from mild, localized discomfort to some OG seventh level of hell type of sheer agony. It can be short-lived, fleeting and momentary, or a redundantly cyclic, long-term problem. 

The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) had established a current definition of pain that culminated the centuries of ideas and work exploring the concept of pain and has defined pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of tissue damage, or both.”

Pain occurs when physical pressure damages tissue and triggers our sensory nerves within the area of where the hurt is manifested. Much like when you accidentally whack your thumb with a hammer, an auto-response from the smashed sensory nerves signals your brain to open your mouth and let out curses in a frilly, banshee shrieking voice Marilyn Manson would totally die for. 

Apart from having this default protective function for us humans, acute pain also helps us to heal. Believe it or not, the fact is sudden acute pain is an important sensory reaction of the nervous system as it helps to prevent any more resurgence of hurt, in the physical, emotional or even mental aspect, greatly improving our chances to heal completely. This is also probably the reason why you couldn’t help but smash that red LEGO brick in smithereens with the wife’s meat tenderizing mallet right after you stepped on it, and indeed, F#%K is also a four-letter word! 

To help us understand what pain is, we must learn the modality of how pain is perceived in part by the human body through nerve fibers involved in the transmission of sensory signals. These nerve fibers carry the signals through electrical impulses generated in response to various sensations like touch, temperature, pressure, and pain. 

These nerves constitute the peripheral nervous system that transmits these impulses to the Central Nervous System (the brain and spinal cord) which are then interpreted and perceived as pain sensations that alert a person when tissue or a particular part of the human body has been injured or damaged.  But the pain signals are transmitted simply not that way.

Like how Doc Emmett Brown made a time machine out of a DeLorean to make things better in the future for young Marty Mcfly, a-time traveling we go! No stylish time machine involved, only the power of words and knowledge! Great Scott!

The Wheels on Descartes go Round and Round.

René Descartes was one of the first Western philosophers to describe in detail the presence of a nerve sensory pathway in humans in his posthumously published, illustrated and edited manuscript, Treatise of Man. The year was 1662.

In Treatise of Man, Descartes' description of the pain system as a perception that exists in the brain and makes the distinction between the neural phenomenon of sensory transduction (today, known as nociception) and the perceptual experience of pain. Descartes' description of what nerves are and how they function constitutes the most essential development to the theory as he perceived nerves as hollow tubules that convey both sensory and motor information. 

This understanding of the neural function was considered groundbreaking and but actually by no means novel. These studies on pain perception had been ingressed previously by 3 other people spanning almost a millennia apart! Oh, How pain has hounded mankind! 


Descartes contributed to all previous model studies within what we may call a spirit of scientific inquiry that resurfaced in the renaissance by postulating that a gate existed between the brain and the tubular structures, or the connections which were opened by a sensory cue, reaffirming the three conditions and parameters on pain perception, which are;

  • An organ must be able to receive the stimulus, 
  • There must be a connection from the organ to the brain, and 
  • A processing center that converts the sensation to a conscious perception must exist.

  • As Descartes would then be a purveyor for all the following studies made on pain, how it is perceived and affects the human brain, medical science has since spearheaded towards an often misleading direction for better understanding of what pain is. This has attracted the world’s most renowned scholars and throughout the years, Armchair Quarterbacks have also been known to come, few and far between.

    What in the Sam Hill is an Armchair Quarterback, you ask?

    WiseGeek, a popular reference site defines an "Armchair Quarterback" as an idiom that refers to someone who doesn't participate in action but still makes judgments about it. The term originated in the American heartland, where else other than the land that made Friday nights exciting with all the blood, sweat and drama that makes football very uniquely American.

    The Armchair Quarterback is a person who offers advice or an opinion on something in which they have no expertise or involvement, oddly a behavior believed to be relegated to mere football or otherwise related social circles. Like tiny echo chambers of devoted fans, often of the same team, who "just want what is best." Thanks to the rise of social media, blogs, and vlogs, everyone with a wifi connection and opinion is free to blast their brilliance across multiple channels, for the world to see and weigh in.

    Today’s Armchair Quarterback will jump in on every scenario as they pride themselves with their outspoken opinions and observations, feeling the need to speak on what should have or could have been done, and bring about a plethora of different outcomes. Much like Doctor Stephen Strange, weighing in on all 14 million possible outcomes and capping it off with a simple, straightforward declaration of having no other way.

    Armchair quarterbacking is much like being in a flight simulator. You have the knowledge and the much-needed background info on the instrument panel, the readings,  checklists, and even the jargon. The difference is, you can crash over and over again and you do not get hurt. No equipment is damaged. No money is lost.

    A guild has risen from the leagues of people who always feel entitled to make judgments on each subject and they incessantly offer their opinions and unsolicited advice. Yes, they have practically evolved from being hardcore football fanatics to genetically mutated experts on every subject known to man or seen on the internet, encompassing color, race or religion.

    Do the Armchair Quarterbacks really know better?

    In football, the Quarterback holds the gameplay in his hand. He plays a pivotal role and is expected to be always in control. This is not football, and the subject of pain is not one to be taken lightly. However, the preceding content is an unofficial review by the Guild of Armchair Quarterbacks on the subject and the insights provided are based on what has been historically acknowledged in the medical profession. 

    As evolution would have it, The Guild of Armchair Quarterbacks only aims to provide adequate knowledge on any given subject. Sharing ideas, making it known, highly publicly available and highly accessible. 

    Because 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. You cannot kiss an idea,  cannot touch it or hold it. Ideas do not bleed. Ideas do not feel pain.

    The Four Theories of Pain: An Unofficial Non-Scholastic Review from The Guild of Armchair Quarterbacks

    The four most influential theories of pain perception include the Specificity, Intensity, Pattern, and Gate Control Theories of Pain.

    The Specificity Theory

    One of the first modern theories for pain,  The Specificity Theory refers to the presence of dedicated pathways for pain receptors that transmit signals to a "pain center" in the brain. The fundamental tenet of the Specificity Theory is that the body has a separate sensory system for perceiving pain, as it does for hearing and vision. This theory considers pain as an independent sensation that responds to damage and sends signals through pathways in the nervous system to target centers in the brain that process the signals to produce the experience of pain.

    The Intensity Theory

    Postulated several different times throughout history, The Intensity Theory has also been called the Intensive or Summation Theory of Pain. The theory defines pain as an emotion that occurs not as a unique sensory experience but felt when a stimulus is unusually strong. This theory is based on a concept that pain results from excessive stimulation of the sense of touch.

    The Pattern Theory

    The Pattern Theory implies that responding to touch, warmth and other non-damaging as well as to damaging stimuli, our peripheral sensory receptors give rise to non-painful or painful experiences as a result of differences in the patterns over periods of the signals sent through the nervous system. The theory states that people feel pain only when inappropriate signal patterns are made at excessively high levels of frequency and that it only occurs with intense stimulation. Ever wondered why that slap really felt hard and painful right after that stolen hot, wet and steamy kiss? 

    The Gate Control Theory

    The year was 1965. George Harrison had his tonsils removed and John Lennon finally got his driver’s license, all these while in the midst of another number 1 album burning up the Billboard charts a week after another. This was also the year Ronald Melzack and Charles Patrick Wall proposed a theory that would revolutionize pain research, The Gate Control Theory of Pain. 

    The Gate Control Theory recognizes the shortcomings and carefully discussed the experimental evidence that supports the Specificity and Pattern Theories, and attempted to bridge the gap between these theories with a framework based on the aspects of each that had been corroborated by physiological data.

    The Gate Control Theory provided a model concept on how pain messages travel from the periphery of the body through the central nervous system and describe how some pain messages are allowed to get through the nerve “gates” in the spinal cord and reach the brain, while others are blocked. 

    The Gate Control Theory suggests that pain signals are not free to reach the brain as soon as they are generated at the injured tissues or sites, they need to encounter certain ‘neurological gates’ that determine whether the pain signals should reach the brain or not. 

    Though The Gate Control Theory theory has not presented a complete picture of the central system that underlies pain, it has helped visualize the mechanism of pain perception in a new dimension and paved the way for various pain management strategies.

    Regardless of type, all pain is weird in some way, because it’s all under the total control of our brains. As our brains are uniquely our own, each has complicated and conflicting priorities of interception that we are often oblivious to. Lost you there, didn’t I? 

    To be a tad more specific, these governing theories on pain led the way to a better understanding of how pain perception works. Studies based on these theories have shown that the human brain employs two different systems to process the hurt information from intercepted sensory signals. This modality from our nerve endings determines the emotion we attach to each painful experience. Catching on?

    Categorically, there are two well-recognized types of pain:

    • Nociceptive pain or the type and kind that arises from various kinds of trouble in tissues reported to the brain by the nervous system. This is the type of pain everyone is most familiar with, everything from bee stings and burns and toe stubs (LEGO PAIN!) to a repetitive strain injury, nausea, tumors, and inflammatory arthritis.
      • Neuropathic pain or the type and kind that arises from actual damage to the nervous system itself, central or peripheral, either from disease, injury, or pinching. The simplest neuropathies are mechanical insults, like hitting your funny bone or sciatica, unfortunately, it’s also more likely to lead to chronic pain where the nerves don’t heal well.

      Pain is predictably unpredictable, thanks to our gray matter, and thus, pain does not feel the same for everyone. However weird, whenever signaled by nerve endings of a possible hurt occurrence, the brain then makes a somewhat paranoid guess of how much danger we are actually in. 

      This then leads to a default defense protocol unique for each individual, which incidentally kicks in semi-automatic, automatic and delayed response settings. Weird as it is, this is when your body knows that everything is working correctly and functioning well. 

      Imagine how it is when actual damage to the nervous system has been felt. Yes, your guess is as good as everyone else’s, including the world’s best medical professionals. When the nervous system misbehaves, sensory signals can get so wonky that the brain will tend to work up a whole new category of hurt just to name that kind of pain you are intolerant of.

      This phenomenon is likened to the exact same moment experienced in having engine trouble and having the same troubling experience upon seeing that light on the dashboard that says there is indeed engine trouble. Same feeling, different levels of anxiety, all at the same moment. Caught up yet?

      Pain, in essence, is a part of the body’s defense mechanism but is a big category in itself that has puzzled the most renowned scholars, medical professionals and general practitioners as they have been trying for eons to logicalize. Anything from damaged neurons, to multiple sclerosis to chemotherapy to alcoholism to phantom limb pain to the common-sensical localized symptoms of stabbing, electrical, or burning pain have been studied and endlessly pinpointed for a certain or specific cure. 

      However vague and blurred our understanding of the general definition of pain is, we must remember that nearly any type or classification of pain is possible to experience. Modern medicines have since been discovered and developed to help control and contain the discomfort brought about by each and any of these symptoms.

      But what about the type of pain which often involves elements of both nociceptive and neuropathic pain? The type and kind of pain which serves no useful purpose other than give you endless torment by constantly signaling your brain that there is a pain to be felt when in reality there is no injury present, no hurt to be healed?

      In the Hurt Locker, pain is accentuated with an unpredictable schedule of delivery of repetitive torture and torment, making the emotional component of the horrendous experience stronger with the amplitude of 300 valkyries riding down with lightning and thunder at one specific spot or many. 

      And this Dear Luv, is Chronic Pain. 

      The Low Down on the Down Low. 

      Commonly defined as any pain which lasts more than 12 weeks and usually associated with a long-term illness, chronic pain lasts much longer and often tends to be related to dysfunctions or diseases that linger. It can occur anywhere in the body. Where acute pain is classified as the normal sensation which alerts us to an injury or illness, chronic pain is one that persists and continues to send pain signals to your brain, even after an injury heals.

      This period of torture and torment may last months or even years longer than expected and can sometimes be resistant to treatments. The severity of chronic pain in today’s modern world has been reported to affect as many as eight of every 10 American adults, 1 in every 5 Scots, or at least around 1,500,000 people around the globe. Numbers don’t lie, but most websites do. You can take my word for it.

      Many diseases or infections have been known and identified to cause chronic pain. These include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, shingles, and AIDS. Chronic pain can affect people of all ages but has also been commonly found to affect older adults. 

      Besides age, there have been a lot of other factors identified to increase the risk of developing chronic pain, and in many linked cases the source of chronic pain can be a very complex and even mysterious issue. Sometimes chronic pain may be triggered even by an old injury or infection, or by a disease. Sometimes there is no known cause for the hurt. 

      In the same manner of research, it has also been shown that however unsuccessfully chronic pain can not be prevented, some conditions that may cause and lead to chronic pain like diabetes or cancer can successfully be avoided in various ways. One can do nothing but control the onset and improve tolerance for chronic pain. 

      Pain and the underlying factors that make it such was long believed to be a straightforward example of cause and effect. At a quick glance, stepping on that LEGO piece directly resulted in the status of pain and this particular mishap does ring true for what makes acute pain. In the case of chronic pain, a much more complex process is revealed with a closer look at what has inadequately addressed the variations of responses to pain.

      The perception of pain varies across almost everyone who has had that experience of going through a never-ending cycle of hurt. Individual thoughts, emotional condition, mood, and actions are greatly aggravated and influenced by stress, anxiety and other factors, even if the pain was caused by similar physical stimuli and result in a similar degree of damage.

      Studies on pain signal transmission have also shown emotions and thoughts determine the way how pain is perceived. That pain does not disturb those who are focused and concentrated on activities that share their great interest, while people who exhibited anxiety or depression feel intense pain and find it difficult to cope up with chronic pain. This is because the brain sends messages through nerve fibers that stop, reduce or amplify the transmission of pain signals depending on the thoughts and emotions of a person.

      Strong evidence-based research suggests that the body’s pain modulation system does not work well with chronic pain. Instead of suppressing the hurt felt, the system may actually over-sensitize every signal that even the most normal sensations can trigger pain transmission and suffering. 

      There are treatments highly available for chronic pain though most may not take all the pain away but have been known to alleviate the worst conditions of torment and reduce the levels of the pain felt and how often it occurs. Forms of treatment have ranged from electrical stimulation and nerve blocks, or at worst, and in most severe cases of chronic pain, a more invasive treatment like surgery could be required. 

      The irony of the popular adage of the truth being hurtful could not ring any truer than the painful truth that there is no cure for chronic pain. Qué horror! Having chronic pain is likely to be Groundhog Day for you and Dolor, locked in the gruesomely picturesque freeze-frame of Via Dolorosa and it’s a long term lease condition on the Hurt Locker exclusively for you. Qué barbaridad!

      But wait, there’s more!

      As if the complexities of having chronic pain isn’t serious enough to impact every facet of the people whose lives are affected by its symptoms, to suffer the unbearable truth of not finding a cure adds more insult to injury. Pun ruthlessly meant and intended. 

      Sometimes people suffering from chronic pain exhibit mood changes as the condition slowly leads to other symptoms that may include low self-esteem, anger, depression, anxiety or frustration. These gradual changes may make it challenging for persons afflicted with chronic pain to get through daily tasks and activities.

      Chronic pain, however fleeting, steady or intermittent, coming and going without any apparent reason often result in having increased levels of anxiety and depression, decreased quality of life, fear of further pain and disability, deficient mobility, sleep loss, and at worst, withdrawal from social functions and activities. And because the pain lasts so long, a life of recluse awaits anyone who chooses to be locked from within the Hurt Locker. Well not actually, because there’s always the Mistress of Pain to serve you ten thousand acupuncture needles like a madman pricking holes on the pincushion that is your lower back. 

      For centuries over, torturers have exploited the aspect of how negative emotions can limit and reduce focus, flexibility, strength, and endurance. At its root, chronic pain is like the torture master, tearing on those nerve endings constantly while connected and in sync with the body and the brain. Living with this serious medical condition can be very difficult not only for the one who has it but also for the people sharing the torture and agony of the person directly afflicted.

      The severity and frequency of chronic pain can differ among affected individuals. Half of the time, those affected by this sickness succumb and surrender to the disease. Not even wanting to try and defy the odds of winning over the adversity of having this affliction. 

      I suspect that you are wryly amused with all these efforts attempting to make any sense of what pain is, the types and kinds of pain, the difference between acute and chronic pain when there seems to be no rhyme or reason at all. Like everything is but meaningless gibberish backed by some Dr. Google half-truths whose whole purpose is to confuse, befuddle, and mess with your mind.

      Who wouldn’t be? You’ve read three thousand seven hundred thirty-five words on the subject of pain, the types of pain, a short segue on who the Armchair Quarterbacks are, the theories of pain, the difference between acute and chronic pain, and yes, there’s MORE.

      Take a breather. This is going to be epic. I promise.

      Before We Start, We Already Bleed.

      Let us be clear on some facts about pain. 

      Pain is a key part of our ability to learn and survive. Apart from being the body’s protective device, the pain has a purpose. Without pain, our ability to detect danger is compromised with severe consequences. It is a reflection of a perceived threat, a prediction of the potential danger a person will likely experience when confronted with real hurt.

      Perhaps you are the one in pain and know what it is like to be afflicted, or you might be living with someone or know a person who is dominated by torment and agony. Mostly common people whose lives, decisions and every action are made at the mercy of their kind of pain.

      One of the best summations of conscious experience is love. Pain is another. Both conscious experiences are complex, as what we are, humans. Pain as an experience shares one too many perceptions and predilections, and yet when encountered, it proves to be the type that totally dominates. It is always and often addressed or diagnosed as a mere symptom in addition to the onset of a certain disease or a prevailing condition. 

      Pain is a problem in itself. It has thrived on the general context and a customary setting where it is supposed that our neurobiology weighs up evidence and responds to whether a real danger exists or not. This is also probably why there are many factors that strongly influence the perception of pain at any given moment.

      In the case of being afflicted with chronic pain, choices in life appear to narrow as the impact grows and the pain it brings reaches in deeper as more parts of the person’s life get affected.

      Today, in this present modern world, where denizens across the globe are bridged by the Internet of Things, the sad truth is far too obvious to ignore. Chronic pain has gone from what was once thought to be domestically curable and has undeniably affected millions in the world, and the numbers of those affected have shown constant growth at an unimaginable rate.

      Economies stand to slow down and suffer in the long run. At present, the global cost to society is in the billions, combining treatment expenditure and the loss of productivity. The cost of individual suffering is immeasurable. There is no doubt that chronic pain is a public health issue of enormous proportions requiring an urgent shift in society’s thinking and such has not been the primary approach to date, which is one of the reasons why chronic pain has continually been such a health burden to society.

      Yet, great hopes abound as we gain deeper knowledge about chronic pain. Understanding what it is and knowing what we can do. Relying heavily on the strong fact that humans are genetically designed to learn, adapt and change, which is why we truly know that we can overcome. It may take years but get there we surely will.

       

      The Drugs Don’t Work. 

      Existing and conventional treatments seek to circumnavigate the problem of chronic pain rather than going head to head, face to face, not even toe to toe on the new facts one can learn about overcoming pain. An in-depth approach should be taken. Knowing the back story behind the person’s ordeal, the vulnerabilities they have on developing chronic pain and the influences that exist and that contribute to this development is a simple and scalable method of providing remediated ways of relief.

      Much like the ‘Gram, the history of pain must be seen through a cultural filter, and much like everyone’s favorite FB status, It’s a complicated picture to say the least. As with your long exchanges and threads on that viral Twitter feed, you are more likely to scroll through a line resembling more like a braided rope than a clothesline. The fact is, at every point since Creation, a physician’s way of thinking about pain and the average patient’s experience of pain has been orchestrated by a belief system that frames its occurrence.

      In a world inclined on quick fixes for anything and everything, where medicine has promised much and have constantly failed expectations, we need to re-learn the things we have been taught to ignore and realize that the capacity for any medical amelioration of chronic pain often exceeds reality. Like water damage to a house, if chronic pain goes on long enough, the house collapses. By the time most patients make their way to a pain clinic, it’s very, very late.

      We should begin to have a new understanding of chronic pain, focus ourselves on new thinking. Maintain a comprehensive course of action in line with the desired outcome, encompassing a specific training in theory and practice, as well as honing skills to properly nurture well-being amid the onset of chronic pain.  Let all these begin with that person who is heavily afflicted and in constant bouts of periodic pain, for it is only by addressing the conditions of the pain in that person, in this comprehensive manner shall any treatment be successful. Because pills and injections do not teach us how to live again. 

      A pain-free life requires understanding, patience, compassion and the adaptation to a practice of new life skills on health and well-being. Exploring these themes in greater detail and painting new pictures from new angles and perspectives, will certainly improve the results of how we tackle this problem together as a society within which chronic pain is deeply embedded. 

      Let us leave behind these notions of management and coping, and really talk about successfully overcoming chronic pain, living meaningfully and draw on our strengths to achieve this success by focusing on doing our very best. Let us inspire change in society to ease suffering and live well.

      Today is an exciting time, as fresh thought, medical science and newly formed therapies have come together, interacting thoroughly with one another, offering a way forward and providing groundbreaking ways in healing the hurt, while employing an active approach that seeks to gain the very best from applying alternative solutions across the globe to benefit the masses. For indeed, it is a shift in the thinking of the masses that we truly need to make this work on a global scale.

      Alternative Nation: The Ten Best Ways to Help You Cope with Chronic Pain

      The line between alternative and mainstream pain treatment has gotten pretty blurry nowadays. Anyone and everyone who has access to it would do it if they could. While most studies made have shown progress and better results than the usual mode of pain management, not all alternative pain treatments work, some can even be risky. Make sure that you do your homework when considering alternative treatments for chronic pain and always discuss any alternative pain treatments you want to try with your doctor.

      Once scoffed at, these 10 pain treatment options are now what many doctors look to and consider as standard alternatives to medication and surgery in addressing chronic pain. 

       

    • Acupuncture

    • The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier evidence has shown that instead of needles, sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment. 

      Around 100 BC in China, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (Huangdi Neijing) was first published, some experts suggest it could have been around this time that acupuncture was made known even though it was believed to be practiced even earlier. Always seen as cringe-worthy and bizarre, acupuncture uses hair-thin needles that are inserted into the skin and are thought to stimulate nerves in your body in a way that overrides pain. 

      How does it work? No one's quite sure but this form of ancient treatment has rapidly reached a mainstream status for addressing chronic pain backed by good scientific evidence as it has been known to block the pain signals coming from the nerves or help to naturally release pain-numbing chemicals in the body. Some studies have found that acupuncture helps relieve pain from a variety of conditions, such as low back and knee pain, migraine, and fibromyalgia, while other research has shown no real benefit.

      The nice thing about acupuncture is that even if it doesn't work, it doesn't do any damage or harm. Except for leaving you looking like a pincushion.

       

    • Reiki Healing

    • The spiritual healing art of Reiki is alleged to aid relaxation and works by channeling positive energy into your body. During a Reiki therapy session, a patient typically lies down on a massage table, the Reiki Master then places his or her hands over or directly on top of the body in various positions, starting at the crown of the head and on the affected areas of the body where chronic pain is felt, channeling the body's natural healing processes and boosting the energy where it is most needed. The method of Reiki healing is believed to help activate the self-healing processes of an individual and reduce, if not eradicate chronic pain while inducing deep relaxation, relieving emotional stress, and improve overall well-being. 

      In recent years, several reviews have been evaluated and some studies published on the efficacy of Reiki healing, and its approach to ease chronic pain, anxiety and improve health. Although several of these studies have shown beneficial effects and no significant adverse side effects, there have also been limitations on some of these studies that make it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. I know a Latino Reiki Master, his name is Reiki Martin, and he is livin’ La Vida Loca!

       

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    • Why do people balk at the idea of seeing a therapist? Most recent studies have shown that chronic pain is often worsened by the patient’s reactions to it, and deepened by stress and anxiety.  The same studies show that depression and chronic pain often go together and work hand in hand to debilitate the person’s condition with a killer equation, chronic pain can worsen depression, and depression lowers a person's tolerance for chronic pain.

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented psychotherapy treatment that can help manage how you think and react to pain. Its goal is to change patterns of thinking or behavior that are behind people's difficulties, and so change the way they feel. CBT has been seen to yield particularly good results as a practical approach that helps people identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that contribute to their pain and unhappiness.

      Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a type of talking treatment that focuses on a hands-on, practical approach to learning how to respond to negative thinking in a positive way. The therapist helps to explore your negative thinking patterns, finding out what triggers these thoughts and how you react to them. Taking this information into account, the therapist helps develop strategies for you to use when pain brings on negative thoughts.

      What an insanely easy way to talk your pain away! 

       

    • Guided Therapeutic Imagery

    • Guided therapeutic imagery is a relaxation technique in which mental health professionals help individuals in therapy focus on mental images in order to evoke feelings of healing and relaxation, and is based on the concept of the mind-body connection.

      According to research, the practice of guided imagery can provide relief from various painful conditions. Studies have also shown that one of its benefits is that it reduces circulating cortisol levels, eases stress and anxiety, improves physical function, and reduces the incidence of chronic pain. 

      This technique uses positive mental images to influence how you feel, it focuses on images that help harness all senses -- sight, taste, sound, smell, and sensation and connects you to your inner resources to improve health. Scientific research has backed up a recent study showing how guided therapeutic imagery can help with conditions like chronic pain, cancer pain, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia.

      You never had it coming, but those pictures and GIFs of Grumpy Cat have already helped someone somewhere overcome their pain! Imagine the therapeutic results that would yield from the unguided imagery of… Whoah! 

      Time to imagine that scene and try adding some explicit details, let the healing begin!

       

    • Chiropractic Treatment and Manipulation

    • Mainstream medicine has traditionally regarded Chiropractic Treatment and Manipulation with suspicion however the treatment has successfully proved and shown its effectiveness in treating chronic back and neck pain over the years.

      Chiropractic Treatment and Manipulation is one of the most common nonsurgical treatments and is a hands-on therapy that combines moving and jolting joints, massage, exercise, and physical therapy. It aims to reduce chronic pain and improve mechanical function or the way a person moves. Chiropractic Treatment and Manipulation is also designed to relieve pressure on joints, reduce inflammation, and improve nerve function.

      Compelling evidence from the majority of clinical trials performed continually over the years has helped Chiropractic Treatment and Manipulation reach a better acceptance from people and medical professionals alike. Further studies are currently assessing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for pain management.

       

    • Hypnosis

    • Hypnosis interventions consistently produce significant decreases in pain associated with a variety of chronic-pain problems and a compelling body of evidence has proven time and again that hypnosis can numb, reduce pain, or even eliminate chronic pain completely. 

      The power of hypnosis can sometimes replace painful sensations of pain in the brain with more pleasant sensations, new sensations that take up some of the bandwidth so that fewer pain signals can pass from the body into the brain and that's why hypnosis is a potential treatment for all types of pain. Studies and findings indicate that hypnosis was generally found to be more effective than non-hypnotic interventions and more likely to be effective for most people suffering from diverse forms of pain, with the possible exception of a minority of patients who are resistant to hypnotic interventions.

      Self-hypnosis books and tutorials are aplenty and available on the Internet. But for best results, it is recommended that finding a licensed clinical hypnotherapist to treat any emotional or physical health issues, including chronic pain yield the best results. This treatment is not for the faint of heart, lest you want to fall into a deep sleep at every snap of a finger, find yourself a certified hypnotherapist.

       

    • Yoga

    • The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago and the word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas were a collection of texts containing songs, mantras, and rituals to be used by Brahmans, the Vedic priests. In a traditional sense and understanding, yoga in itself is a religious act. 

      The postures exhibited during yoga are a form of prayer in themselves which leads the practitioner to God, whether the practitioner intends this or not. Yoga is done with awareness, discipline, and virtue, and with the sole purpose of spiritual attainment, one can't simply separate the religious and secular aspects of yoga, and why bother trying? Divine healing through a form of prayer? Who’d ask for anything else? Duh!

      Chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depression and anxiety. Research has supported using mind-body practices to prevent, reverse and alleviate the effects of chronic pain, and has also shown that the practice of yoga creates this same effect on the brain and thus helps to relieve chronic pain. Yoga is also a gentle way to stretch your body and loosen up tight muscles and joints. It can also help with balance and strength. 

       

    • Sleep

    • New research shows sleep can determine how pain is perceived and interpreted. Gaining the much needed seven-hour shuteye may actually improve one’s ability to withstand pain and continuously going without the right amount of sleep can lower one’s threshold for pain. During deep sleep, your body works on muscle repair, organs, and other cells while chemicals that strengthen your immune system start circulating in your blood. Makes sense, right?

      With better sleep, pain problems are significantly reduced, getting at least the recommended hours of sleep each night is probably your best bet when you’re dealing with constant aches and pains. The way we sleep and its interaction with pain can influence the way we cope with pain and sleep deprivation can make chronic pain feel even worse.


      When forty winks isn’t even remotely reachable, a cup of coffee may help you feel better... at least for a short time. The same research was done on sleep-deprived mice and was able to find out that a dose of caffeine temporarily brought elevated pain levels back down to normal— and is believed to have similar effects for humans, as well.

       

    • Cannabis

    • As far back as 12,000 years ago, evidence suggests cannabis has been cultivated and used for its medicinal purposes throughout history. Exalted as miraculous and equally cursed as a danger to the fabric of society, the cannabis plant has throughout this time and it’s colorfully varied past, present and future, remained as controversial as pain and it’s true definition.

      Chronic pain can be an incredibly debilitating condition. For many who live with it on a daily or near-daily basis, the condition can be so oppressive, it affects other parts of their lives, impacting their mood, health, and overall well-being. 

      In recent years, many research studies have looked at the effects and in the use of marijuana and cannabinoids for various chronic pain conditions. Anecdotal evidence from the studies suggests and reports that several trials had positive results and has proven effective for treating types of chronic pain including neuropathy (nerve pain).

      Fast becoming an increasingly popular alternative to traditional pain-relieving medications, marijuana or cannabis contains cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), compounds that may ease certain types of chronic pain, including pain resulting from nerve damage and inflammation. 

      Research and studies have found out significantly striking results relating to the vast majority of conditions for which people use cannabis or medical marijuana and has elicited substantial or conclusive evidence of cannabis being an effective treatment. As medical marijuana becomes more mainstream, debates have continued surrounding what motivates people to use it the most. 

      Isn’t it true that when you’re feeling good, you’re less likely to focus on the things that hurt? Well, scientific studies have proven and shown, not only does a positive mood shift your attention away from the things that bother you, but it can also directly reduce the strength of pain signals that enter your brain! It’s a mind-over-matter phenomenon and it can be powerful when it comes to pain.

      A new study on treating chronic pain specifically with the use of cannabis for entirely medicinal purposes has yielded different results from that of the occasional recreational use. Adding this to the popular and widespread current understanding is of importance because the stigma on the use of medical marijuana has remained to be a controversial and polarizing topic. 

      In observational studies made the subject respondents say one of the common reasons they have substituted cannabis for medications is consistent with the idea that many chronic pain medications, like opioids, come with significant side effects and cannabis is perceived as being relatively safe because the risk of fatal overdose is incredibly low and there are fewer side effects.

      Fortunately, it has now also been established that chronic pain is indeed the most common qualifying condition for which proponents claim cannabis is a valuable medicine. Research has established chronic pain as one of the best-studied conditions when it comes to cannabis and cannabinoid-based formulations, however diverse the causes of chronic pain are, or if its symptoms are identified as either nociceptive or neuropathic. 

      Nociceptive pain can be weakened by reducing the pain signals at the site of injury by blocking the inflammatory process itself or the signals they elicit. Another strategy is to dampen their effects as they make their way up the spinal cord to the brain.  Cannabis can target both of these processes to reduce pain.

      Neuropathic pain is notoriously difficult to treat because it doesn’t result from inflammation that can be targeted by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. However, whether it’s due to disease, amputation, or chemotherapy, many are turning to cannabis as it is turning out to be a promising treatment option for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain.

      Central pain has recently emerged as a catch-all term for types of pain that arise from dysfunction to the nervous system. While sometimes central pain can result from injury, it often arises in the absence of any known cause. As a result, it can be particularly hard to treat. 

      Fibromyalgia is a classic example of central pain that arises from dysfunction in the way pain signals make their way to the brain and are processed. Like other types of central pain, the origin of fibromyalgia is largely unknown. Because of the diversity in central pain, there are few studies investigating the benefits of cannabis in this pain category. However, the most well-established benefits of cannabis in treating central pain is for fibromyalgia. 

      The use of medical cannabis and the research that comes with it should set aside facts that it is not merely a drug to abuse for recreation, or simply a cover for potheads to get high legally. There has been strong evidence that it indeed has medicinal properties and a modest effect on certain types of nerve pain and helps with managing most types of chronic pain.

       

      THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol

      THC resembles the cannabinoid chemicals that occur naturally in the body. Cannabinoid receptors, located throughout the body, are part of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory. 

      When ingested or inhaled, it stimulates the brain's cannabinoid receptors which then activates the brain's reward system and reduces pain levels. THC is a psychoactive compound as it binds to cannabinoid receptors and produces an elevated state of mind, known as a high. by affecting the brain's endocannabinoid receptors. This activates the brain's reward system, producing pleasure chemicals such as dopamine.

      While the use of high-THC products may be initially effective pain relievers, they don’t represent an optimal pain relief strategy. Instead, consider balanced THC/CBD products, or CBD-rich products as they may provide better long-term treatment for chronic pain conditions.

      CBD or Cannabidiol

      Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants and accounts for up to 40% of the plant's extract. CBD does not cause a high, although it does interact with pain receptors in the brain to exert pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. Unlike other cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a euphoric "high" or psychoactive effect. 

      This is because CBD does not affect the same receptors as THC. On the other hand, THC’s anti-inflammatory properties are primarily driven through the activation of receptors on immune cells which dampens the body’s pain-inducing response to injury. By activating serotonin receptors that have anxiety and stress-reducing effects, CBD can also improve mood and tolerance levels. Since depression and anxiety are common among those in chronic pain, the mood-improving effects of CBD make it a valuable addition to pain therapy.

      Cannabis has always been known to relieve chronic pain, but pain can arise for a variety of reasons which makes choosing the right cannabis product tricky. Knowing which cannabinoids have been shown to treat different pain types is useful information to take with you always.

      Both THC and CBD in cannabis are known to elicit analgesic effects, especially when used together due to their congruent chemical synergies and have potent anti-inflammatory effects that reduce pain at the site of injury. Indeed, the benefits of THC and CBD on relieving nociceptive pain have been well-documented in models of inflammation and clinical trials.

      In some studies, the use of the parts of a whole marijuana plant lead to what is called an entourage effect. The ‘entourage effect’ is a new term coined to describe the idea that all compounds found in the cannabis plant work synergistically, providing more benefit together than the individual compounds would provide alone. Up until this point, there weren’t many concrete data about why people in pain are using cannabis. A lot still needs to be learned, but what is provided as general information for public knowledge is a good starting point to build from.

      Bring out the Bongs. Hit on some Chronic for your chronic pain.

    • Percussive Massage Therapy

    • Percussive massage therapy is known to relax tense muscles by providing maximum comfort to and helps teach the body to repair itself by manipulating the connective tissues. 

      Gaining popular feedback and being known to help and encourage relief from soft tissue pain by providing maximum comfort to boosting recovery from chronic pain, percussive massage therapy is also said to improve range of motion and flexibility, break down adhesions and encourages circulation in the veins and the lymphatic system.

      Depending on the desired result, percussive massage therapy sessions are highly effective for average everyday people who are looking to enjoy the benefits of undergoing regular deep tissue massage. This massage technique is also known to provide a level and type of discomfort which is aptly described as a "good hurt", the kind that feels good at the same time. As the adage goes, fight fire with fire, so Johnny, flame on!

      As a deep muscle treatment that delivers a rapid form of soft tissue manipulation, Percussive massage therapy delivers powerful strokes into the muscle causing a neuromuscular response that helps to relax tense muscles and knots. Deriving strokes, style, and delivery from a method called tapotement (pronounced Tap out man, just kidding.) a specific technique used in Swedish massage, this form of massage therapy delivers healing through rhythmic percussion, most frequently administered with the edge of the hand, a cupped hand, or the tips of the fingers. It’s like Rico Suave, mambo and salsa beatboxing and simultaneous pounding with your body as the drum kit.  Tack så mycket, Mr. Suave.

      There is absolutely no pressure on taking what has been written here as gospel and this might not even be close to what you may have expected or considered as a definitive list of alternative treatments for chronic pain, but as you would have it, this here is a starter list on what is available out there in the real world. Tapping on these alternatives will hopefully give your kind of pain, the relief you have ever so longed for yet endlessly failed to have. 

      If you're living with chronic pain, always remember that even if a treatment is an alternative, it has to be integrated with your overall pain management plan. Don't try out these techniques on your own without your doctor's knowledge. Instead, you and your doctor should talk over the pros and cons of different approaches. What's most likely to help in your case? What will complement your other treatments? 

      However sensible it may seem to try to keep up and be up to date with research into alternative treatments for chronic pain, the options for people with chronic pain are always growing and some of the odd quacky treatments of today might just become the mainstream treatments of tomorrow.

      Sun’s Out, Guns Out!

      In 2018, studies were conducted regarding the efficacy and efficiency of percussion massage therapy and one of the specific subjects leading the research on percussion massage therapy was handheld devices that provided an alternative mode of healing and recovery through percussive or vibration therapy, now popularly known as massage guns.

      A massage gun is a handheld device that can work tension and knots out of muscles, and deliver concentrated pressure pulses deep into the tissue while quickly enhancing range of motion and greatly improving blood flow. When properly used, it was also found out that a massage gun can shorten recovery time while relieving the pain, tension, and soreness that comes naturally from the perils of crosstown traffic, the rigors of daily work and stress, and you guessed it right, intense workouts.

      Massage guns claim to effectively soothe and soften the surrounding tissue of the sore, overworked muscle and help aid the speedy healing with the constant delivery of rapid pulsations from the handheld percussive therapy device. The applied variable pressure received through a series of constant impacted vibrating pulses concentrated on the affected area has been considered a breakthrough technology for handheld massage therapy devices.

      Our daily life activities undeniably bring about stress, tension, heightened levels of physical and mental pain. When it comes to fighting pain, gaining ground for fast recovery, enhanced peak power, and ultimate performance, massage guns are effectively the perfect choice for professional gym buffs to the average daily Joe. A massage gun in the palm of your hands could just be the life hack you need in successfully managing stress within the shortest possible time.

      The consistent use of massage guns encourages more flexibility on the joints, making it less prone to strains and sprains. This is because at every session with a massage gun, the gun hammers down on the surface of the affected area, sending vibrational pulses of pressure deep into your muscle tissue, mimicking the rhythmic tapping of cranked up massage therapists. Like a really heavily cranked up posse of masseuse trancing on some technofunk bassline on your body parts. 

      The deep muscle penetration with every percussive thrust of the massage gun allows increased blood flow to each targeted area  promoting the immediate release of nutrients important for the healing process to take place and this has also proven to be more effective in the restoration of muscle strength.

      Now that you have been educated on how chronic pain and stress on our muscles can actually lead to the creation of micro-tears in the muscle tissue, or the condition also known as scar tissue. Scar tissue is an occurrence that you wish you saw, is described by many a-sarcastic Mister Know-It-All, as a condition tremendously uncomfortable and intolerable. Apart from relaxing the muscles and alleviating pain, many other health benefits of massage guns include increased mobility, improved sleep, and improved immunity. It has also been found to be helpful for persons afflicted with depression and anxiety, fibromyalgia, digestive disorders, and stress-related insomnia. 


      Technology has again amassed advancements in the health and wellness sector with the invention of the massage gun. Barely a decade after the prototype gaining momentum and a massive following with the likes of popular celebrities endorsing the usefulness of the handheld percussive therapy device, massage guns now have been widely accepted as a tool for recovery and pain relief.

      Offering the same therapeutic results of a relaxingly serene session of deep tissue massage, the beauty of having your own massage gun is getting all the healing and recovery you will ever need with a simple pull of the trigger. All these benefits within minutes at your convenience, anywhere and everywhere possible, whenever possible.

      HydraGun: Better Living with Technology, Better Healing with Vibration Therapy

      Today, HydraGun™ isn't the only percussive massage therapy device available on the market created for the purpose of making percussive massage therapy accessible and easier for people to manage their issues with chronic pain or any health concern. But it would also be an understatement to say that the HydraGun™ isn’t the best there is for many in the world looking to take charge of their muscle therapy and recovery process.

      HydraGun™ is an advanced handheld, mobile therapeutic percussive massage device designed and developed to meet the essential fitness level standards and requirements of the elite professional athlete and righteously made for the every day Joe. No bullets or projectiles included but spot-on in eliminating the immediate threat of pain and muscle soreness through massive percussive massages perfectly distributed at each identified body area in need of recovery.

      The therapeutic effects of percussive massage therapy is a proven non-invasive way to physically reduce harmful levels of stress hormones while increasing levels of endorphins in the body. Using the pain gate theory, quick recovery and getting you back on track is utterly possible with the use of a HydraGun™, sending the right frequency of nerve impulses and successfully taking the pain away.

      HydraGun™ was created with you in mind. 

      Because the team behind HydraGun™ knows who you are, what you want and what you truly need for the full spectral experience of maximum recovery. The supreme beings who molded HydraGun™ to perfection have long dreamt of a world where you are free from the barricades of physical shortcomings and with absolutely nothing to hinder you from every glorious moment of greatness.

      With the HydraGun™ in your possession, let it hover on all bodily points of physical pain, stress, and pressure, wield it as you would a weapon forged from light and like a true warrior borne of might, yield to the groundbreaking difference of this handheld percussive therapeutic device known as the HydraGun™ and feel the difference of enhanced recovery! 

      Seriously, who needs to be Asgardian when you've got HydraGun™

      Jojo, The Beatles and the Thousand Word Tale of Gettin’ Back.

      Fret not. Comes now the tale of one Jojo, a man who thought his earthly days plagued with chronic pain has condemned him a life of a destitute loner, but once chancing upon this here good read, found his initial motivation for seeking out triumph and victory against his condition and he knew then that hope awaits and the torment of having chronic pain wouldn't last. 

      Not a second less, nor a minute more, for the rest of his life.

      After pushing limits to dangerous extremes, Jojo’s own freakish efforts to gain more with the pain inside the Iron Paradise led him to Rhabdomyolysis, a syndrome involving the death of muscle fibers and the release of their contents into the bloodstream which often lead to serious complications if left untreated and ignored. 

      Yielding to a shameful defeat, it was under these circumstances Jojo led himself unto the depths of the Hurt Locker where at the doorstep, Dolor waited patiently with each snap, crackle, and pop of her jet black whip. In no time at all, this ordeal left Jojo physically broken, damaged, and desperately in need of being fixed. 

      The truth behind the collective outcome of what the erstwhile scholarly faction of the World Wide Web was able to expose about chronic pain isn’t as far off as the dredged up words in the opening verse of the schoolboy poem and prose of  “I am the Walrus” by the Fab Four or The Beatles as everyone would know them.

      “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.”

      Everybody's pain level is different and all that we have in common is agony and suffering. Advances in neuroscience have demonstrated that people experience hurt and torment from social and emotional pain like rejection at the same levels similar to that of any type of physical pain. 

      In plain and simple English, anyone who has gone through any form of heartache, perhaps by being bullied or the sudden loss of a loved one, suffers the same pain levels in all physical, mental or emotional aspects of those people who have been whacked in the noggin with a  2” x 4”, bitch-slapped left and right with mighty full swing backhand strokes for a whole minute, and watching The Notebook with sweet Loretta Martin, endlessly on loop for 24 hours straight.

      Regardless of something or someone being the root cause of your pain, the fact remains that you were waylaid flat and down by the hurt and suffering. It’s time to give your pain a name and unshackle yourself from that heavy ball and chain. Time to get back, Jojo.

      3 Over Easy Lessons on Getting Back from the Egg Man

      I bet you all heard of Humpty Dumpty, right? How he scaled and climbed up the palace walls and then had a great fall? Broken into a million little pieces, there was nothing or no one that could put him back together, not ever. The Egg Man’s tale had a lesson to be learned and this is what Jojo took to heart. Rhyme and reason, folks. 

      Lesson 1: No sitting on the wall.  

      People with chronic pain often have the need to be in control to “feel safe”. This mindset is based solely on a selfishly imposed, unrealistic standard that only aims to trigger a potent fear cycle that eventually steeps a false pressure from within. Pressure as we all know always has a counterproductive effect, and fear paralyzes. As we’ve established early on, inactivity leads to stiff muscles, decreased mobility, and decreased strength. All the effects that can only worsen the symptoms of chronic pain.


      The Egg Man says there is no sitting on the wall. Not anymore. Time has come to redefine what movement and motion mean for you. Liberate yourself from lethargy and gain for yourself the freedom to embrace new standards of self-help. Whatever they are and however small they could be, these attainable goals will exercise your will and empower you. This initial step of self-recovery will help remind you of the strength your body innately possesses.

      The more you explore the core of your pain and the less you try to protect yourself from it, then you shall experience the breakthrough you never thought possible.

      Lesson 2: Embrace the fall.

      Will it take years and a thousand tears to help you realize that spending another day with chronic pain and not being able to do anything about it will only bring you further down? Our body has a natural way of preserving itself, but it needs our mind to focus on the process and follow the protocols of healing and pain management. In order for this to take place, we must embrace the fall. 

      You have given a name to your pain and now the time is ripe to get intimately down and dirty with it. Here’s how:

      • List down details on how frequent your pain attacks are. 
      • Feel the pain where it really hurts.
      • Use a pain scale. A pain scale measures pain intensity and is used in a variety of medical settings. Pain scales are a necessity to assist with a better assessment of pain. To know more about what a pain scale is, go here.
      • Visit your doctor. Pay your resident medical professional a visit and have him/her tell you more about the condition you are in. Do not spare any of the details and go for the full show and tell! 
      • Get up on your feet. Knowing is half the battle, and now that you have learned everything there is to know about your Hurt Locker, it’s time to transform and roll out! Yo, Jojo!
      Lesson 3: All the King’s Men (and Women) Don’t Horse Around.

      Remember, the pain that comes with the fall goes beyond the physical. 

      The Egg Man kissed the cobblestone path hard and it left him literally cracked, distraught and numb with paranoia. This is why you need to account for your mental and emotional well being and go beyond the physical when you hit the reset button.

      Isolating yourself can only worsen your condition, give you a more negative outlook and increase sensitivity to the pain you feel. Be not afraid to ask for a helping hand. There are more than a dozen pair of hands on your contact list that will extend theirs for your cause. Restore your faith in humanity, dear child.

      All the King’s men and women, a.k.a your family and friends will gladly provide you comfort during difficult times. These are your people, and they do not horse around! They will always be there to boost your mood and help decrease the stress you feel by participating in activities you enjoy or simply offer that hand at those times when you’re having trouble with daily tasks. These persons will be your compass to help you get through the dark alleyways of chronic pain and will help you find happiness if you can remember them in your plight.

      Take heed of the riddle and go your mighty way!

      How life in general, is tremendously affected by how, why and what chronic pain is may depend upon the assumption that a person falling off his game due to injury might be irreparably damaged beyond the physical is the riddle. Recovering from the severity of this serious condition and getting back on track with a sound mind and a great physique, by heeding these 3 important lessons are not meant to be the sole solution, but more like a jump starter kit to get you moving on your journey of rediscovery.

      The Egg Man wants you to accept the beautiful freedom found in starting over, gain the confidence and re-experience the ability to achieve greatness through the small things. Feel empowered and encouraged to tune and tweak those things that run you flat out dry. Stay focused while you redefine that of which is, and should always be your top priority in this new beginning. 

      The anthropomorphic Egg Man has spoken. This is the way.

      Pain Monopoly, Ritual Misery: Escaping the Hurt Locker

      In the Hurt Locker, when the tremendous amount of pain overwhelms you, there are and will be times when you won't remember anything, won't be able to tell if the state you are in is true or just a dream. Times like these will hit you unexpectedly, no matter how prepared you think you are and will be, deep down inside there will be an urge, a feel to scream, but a terrible silence from within will just stop you. 

      The pain will begin to worsen and monopolize the peripheral receptors of the body because of a complication that stems from the intended function of the brain matter that has been lost to nervous system inefficiency. 

      As intense pain makes its presence felt, brain matter is eaten away. As the brain matter is eaten away and the pain becomes more acute, more brain function is destroyed, and so forth in a downward spiral.

      In the Hurt Locker, you are never the only one with scars. You are not the only one to bear the weight of the world on your shoulders. No matter how unbearable the torment gets, or how thick you're smothered in this tragedy of pain, remember that you should never hold your breath and wish for death. Never let Dolor get her fun from your own personal hell. There's much more to life than what you see, don’t ever allow yourself to be a friend to misery.

      Let these words of experience be your weapon, your wealth. Remember, sometimes we are allowed to get ill to gain our own health.  Acknowledge that there is something wrong with all that you have ritually seen, do not take it all on yourself and just stand there, letting fear hinder you and hearing only what you want to hear. Because far and long before you know it, only your own voice and muffled screams are the sounds that can soothe you and your pain.

      Whether you want to turn over a new leaf, see the world in a grander perspective or simply get back on the course of leaving all the pain behind, many of these “well-intentioned” goals are vaguely set on a date in which the resolve to get back on track is definitely met.

      And for some reason, this “well-intentioned plan” usually goes off course 99.5% of the time, even when we have all the resources within our fingertips. Food for thought, all the resources in the world are useless if we can't get ourselves to utilize it, and this can often lead to more unwanted results and less resolve in reaching goals.

      Resolve that the time for resolve is now. 

      The resolve you need is a matter of applying a focused discipline every day, the kind of focus in training the most important muscle, your mind. 

      Focus on having the self-control to achieve and possess what you need to gain for a better chance of success in meeting and maintaining your goals. You will get much more out of your efforts if you focus on the factors that are prompting you to change rather than just making the change. 

      Make a mental decision that this is something you want to do and take the time to focus on the reason you want to do it. Do it with due diligence, and discover that there are and there will be common triggers that will often cause you to fail. 

      Let your mind and body heal the pain with the methods that make you feel safe,  protected and in control before you start cranking it up in the gym. Life is divine and anytime you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain!

      The truth may remain harsh, my friend. Chronic pain, nociceptive, neuropathic, or even central in manifestation, at that given moment when you are afflicted, nothing gets more real than the type or kind of pain you are going to endure.  No matter how long, short or intermittent the period of agony gets, how you handle it is now your choice to make and your decision to take. 

      Take the challenge. 

      Right now the whole point is to push your body to the edge of escaping the Hurt Locker, but be smart and train your body to adapt to the new activity and your new mindset of wellness. Make sure that you tailor the new routine to your level of fitness. Always bear in mind that transforming to a healthier and fitter you is never a remote possibility, yet acknowledge that your body also has limitations. 

      Employ the healthiest habits you can incorporate in your day to day regimen, push slowly but consistently, challenging your body toward wellness and better function. It is always vital to listen to your own body and know what shape you are in and what you can handle, it always pays to do things in moderation. Progress through consistency, my friend. 

      If you need to, slow down a little to get through. 

      Take some time to identify and reflect on the triggers that cause your newly formed habits to fail. Allow yourself to work a little harder the next time around and lay the proper foundation for the other strategies to help you get back on track. Trying to do too much too quickly is like having too much on your plate, and often too counterproductive,  especially when you’re trying to get back on track. Be willing to cut yourself some slack. Be okay with not necessarily starting in the gym or looking for that article on Men’s Health Magazine presented in high gloss prestige format as a recovery workout!

      Seek out simple strategies to help you identify the root cause of these triggers, stop procrastinating and get things done with less effort. Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes, but no plans A, B or C. Be very specific about what you will be doing, where it will take place and when you will be making it happen. 

      Establishing goals will help to keep you motivated and will help you decide what you want to achieve. Train your brain to work towards SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time based Goals). These are goals that help you obtain success and definitely better than vague and senseless, general goals. 

      Similar goals rooted in SMART goal settings will help to motivate you and set exactly what you mean to accomplish, including training in small progressions that continue to challenge your mind, body, and subconscious to overcome pain in all forms. That and it’ll definitely keep you from getting bored with routine.

      The problem with establishing multiple goals is failing to plan and prepare for the long-haul. Remember that your motivation is to completely focus on a specific set of SMART goals, and not to get derailed and again, fall off track. 

      Tie a knot up your pinky, and know by your heart that this is a long-term commitment, and will not be something that you can simply accomplish in a few weeks. 

      If in an unfortunate instance you do get derailed and fall off the track, grab the camera from the idiot taking all the shots in your life because he might not realize that the lens is too dirty for one to see and focus clearly. 

      Oh Yes indeed, that idiot would be you! 

      Why not try to stand at a distance and perhaps focus on an angle. The rule of thirds may not apply or even the golden triangle, or perhaps it might even be a skewed view, but that doesn't mean that what you see isn’t what is intended to be seen. 

      Perhaps it is with a filter that the view or subject should be shot, or perhaps not. No matter the case, in the grand scheme of things, grind it out and stick to the plan, for you may actually end up even further ahead than you ever imagined. 

      Adios, Dolor! Adios, Via Dolorosa! Adios Hurt Locker!

      Nos vemos, no quiero ser tú !

      3 comments

      Feb 27, 2020 • Posted by Peetcha #18

      Wow this is so cool I’ve been dealing some discomfort on my right shoulder blade whenever I work on my cubicle. Might get a massage gun soon enough

      Feb 27, 2020 • Posted by Rae Chuang

      Wow it’s my first time hearing about Reiki Healing. It the the most interesting (and I think most contentious) one out of the 10 ways to counter chronic pains that you guys recommends. Would love it yall could share more about this method!
      I have chronic right shoulder pains as I work in front of the screen everyday (bad posture I guess)

      Feb 27, 2020 • Posted by James Bond

      Very insightful! This is a pot of gold!!!

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