Friday, 24 April 2015

5 Easy Ways to Nurture Yourself when Living with Pain

There is nothing like a bout of chronic pain to knock you to the ground and darken your days. My recent flare up of sciatic pain from a disc bulge in my lower back has been nothing but debilitating, physically and mentally. And anyone could forgive me for feeling a bit down or being a little more sensitive and easily irritated. 

Pain sucks. It literally robs you from your ability to enjoy life. It sits there, niggling, poking it's tongue at you, jaunting and jeering as it take over, making you feel heavy, weary, drained of energy and sad about all the things it prevents you from doing. But thats only if you let it. You see, pain is actually a mind game. It is a safety mechanism that our clever bodies developed as part of our 'fight or flight' reaction to stress. 

Internally, physically, I have a disc bulge with in my lumber and sacral area. This impinges on the nerve root of the sciatic nerve, which in turn creates muscle tension throughout all the muscles in my glutes. This then sends a message to my brain which creates the pain sensation, further increasing tightness in those muscles, which creates more pressure on the sciatic nerve and sends the message to the brain creating pain. Its a bit of a cycle. On days that it feels unbearable, it gets you down emotionally. And this in turn makes everything else that little bit harder. 

It amazes me to think that their are so many people in our world who live with chronic pain, far worse than mine. People put up with and tolerate to some extent varying levels of pain and discomfort, consuming high quantities of non steroidal antiinflamatories, and possibly developing habits of comfort - eating, drinking, smoking, drugs, etc. Medicine is a wonderful thing. It can help cure diseases and relieve the symptoms of pain, but often it is merely providing a bandaid solution.

After my last visit to the GP and then Chiropractor, I was feeling pretty low as it had been suggested that surgery may be the best option for me, considering my career as a Massage Therapist. After I got over myself and the initial shock of this news, I decided that that was not going to be the case for me. There has to be a better way. I felt nothing but gratitude for my body for giving me this opportunity to grow and learn. And so I started a journey of reading books on metaphysics and Angel Cards, and learning about Flower Essences and Essential Oils. I listened to podcasts about tapping or Emotional Freedom Technique. I've always believed in the power of the mind, we can choose what we want to be true for ourselves. 

I came to realise that I felt stressed. Yes there was the stress of living with pain, but there was also an underlying stress, one that I had been living with for sometime. The stress of my running massage business whilst on maternity leave, and the fact that ever since the baby was born nearly a year ago, I'd been feeling indecisive about whether I should keep it going or try to sell it. I knew that I needed to release this stress in order to be able to remain calm in my mind to heal the physical injury in my back. 

Fortunately, an exceptional Remedial Massage Therapist came my way and was hired immediately. Her positivity and passion for manual therapies matched mine and renewed my own passion. Suddenly I became a mentor, and my decision was made to continue to growing a sustainable business. And I am now back in practice one day a week which feels great! However, my body was still harbouring the effects of the mental stress of the past year and the physical stress of my injury.

With the boys back at school on Monday, I made an effort to mediate when the baby had her morning sleep. I packed away the Easter seasonal table display and in it's place I created an intention alter with crystals, buddha, family photos, symbols of health and prosperity, abundance. I lit a candle and cleared my mind. I focused my thoughts and energy on visualising my abundant healthy happy life.

5 Easy Ways to Nurture Yourself 

1. Juicing - drink a daily juice made with fruits and vegetables that have anti inflammatory, healing properties. I've been drinking beetroot, cucumber, celery, pineapple and ginger.

2. Keep up with exercise. Even if you are feeling pain and limited movement, it is so important to keep the body moving. I have been doing specific back strengthening exercises that were prescribed for me, but also engaging in Feldenkrais. I love the philosophy of this movement therapy and the gentle nature of moving. It has helped me immensely.

3. Meditate - this is so important. Just sit comfortably in a chair or lay on the ground and breathe, deliberate, full breaths. 5 minutes of being still can change your whole day. 

4. Try Tapping - I recently listed to a live Tapping stream on Hay House Radio. I decided to join in and found that it actually started to work! So amazed I was by this, I looked up the hosts web site and found The Tapping Solution. I've been practising this daily in the shower. 

5. Water - it is important to stay hydrated, as this will help to keep your body functioning well, especially your muscles and joints. It also makes sense to me to drink water to help put out the fire or cool down the inflammation. 

These are just 5 Easy and practically FREE ways to nurture yourself when living with pain. The important thing about these nurturing ways is that it is easy to incorporate all or just a couple of these into your daily life. You will begin to experience a greater sense of calm, which, can only decrease your pain and increase your quality of life.

Nic Nurtures

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