The standard medical approaches of surgery and injections often don't work well or last long for many patients, research shows. Opiates, once a standby treatment, are now prescribed sparingly after being implicated in half a million overdose deaths. Treatment is especially elusive for the one in six adults and 30 to 40% of primary care patients with pain or chronic conditions considered medically unexplained As a result, integrated pain management, which focuses on both mind and body and incorporates medical and holistic approaches, is growing and importance. Major medical centers such as the Mount Sinai health system and Cleveland clinic, as well as practitioners such as chiropractors and homeopaths, all for dozens of modalities to turn around painful conditions. Sometimes a single simple method works quickly for a patient with a straightforward symptom; more often, it takes a combination of approaches over time to reverse pain, especially if it is complex, sustained, or recurring. Your mind and body function as a unit with no separation. Chronic pain results when your body is exposed to sustained levels of stress hormones, excitatory neurotransmitters and inflammatory protein. Your brain is sensitized and the nerve conduction speed is faster so you physically feel more pain it's not all in your head. It's a normal physiological process. These three initial steps can help you connect mind and body resulting in igniting your inner ability to heal! 1. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night, which may require a natural sleep aid to achieve. 2. Doing expressive writing twice a day, which involves writing down in long hand whatever is on the mind using graphic and descriptive language for 10 to 30 minutes, and then promptly tearing it up. Neurological research shows that this simple practice rewires the brain. Some people experience remarkable pain relief right away! 3. Practicing active meditation throughout the day by mindfully focusing each time on a sight sound or sensation for 5 to 10 seconds. For deep, sustained healing, the importance of forgiveness, gratitude, self-discovery, exploring a spiritual path, we learning playfulness and connecting with others is of the utmost priority. Medication may be necessary initially, although as the pain recedes most people become ready to improve their diet and exercise more, resulting in a lower dose with the eventual ceasing of the medication all together. Understanding the mind/body connection is key in pain management. When medical evaluation shows no problems with organs or structures, then the pain is being generated by the brain, similar to what happens in phantom limb pain, where people feel pain in the location of an amputated arm or leg. Chronic pain generated by the brain generally occurs due to stress, and emotional/psychological trauma or strong negative emotions (often toward people you care about the most) that are not fully recognized. Often, these issues began due to adverse childhood experiences, which can be anything you would not want a child of your own to endure. I recommend people explore these possibilities on their own, with a loved one or a therapist. That process might sound daunting, but so is suffering crippling pain. The most important thing for people to know is that pain can be successfully treated, relieved and often cured with the right techniques.
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