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Pain

PainAlternatives to Drugs for Treating Pain

Many years ago I was plagued with debilitating headaches associated with a number of seemingly unrelated activities that included cooking for company and sewing drapes for the house. I thought I might be allergic to natural gas or certain fabrics until one day I realized that I tensed my facial muscles when I concentrated intently on a project.

The cure was surprisingly simple: I became aware of how my body was reacting and changed it through self-induced behavior modification. I consciously relaxed my muscles whenever I focused on a task that could precipitate a tension-induced headache.

Fast-forward about five decades: Now it was my back that ached when I hurriedly cooked even a simple meal. And once again, after months of pain, I realized that I was transferring stress to the muscles of my back and had to learn to relax them, and to allow more time to complete a project to mitigate the stress. Happy to report, I recently prepared dinner for eight with nary a pain.

I don’t mean to suggest that every ache and pain can be cured by self-awareness and changing one’s behavior. But recent research has demonstrated that the mind – along with other nonpharmacological remedies — can be powerful medicine to relieve many kinds of chronic or recurrent pains, especially low back pain.

As Dr. James Campbell, a neurosurgeon and pain specialist, put it, “The best treatment for pain is right under our noses.” He suggests not “catastrophizing” – not assuming that the pain represents something disastrous that keeps you from leading the life you’ve chosen. Read More

 

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Mindfulness Meditation

Train Your Brain: Mindfulness Meditation for Anxiety, Depression, ADD & PTSD

By now, everyone knows that mindfulness meditation is good for you—but what’s still surprising scientists is just how quickly it works. Ten minutes of meditation won’t make you a better mutlitasker—there’s no such thing, as psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman explains—but it will make you more adept at switching tasks and returning to a deep level of concentration more quickly after a distraction. Every time you practice meditation, you’re strengthening the neural circuitry for focus and training your brain away from mind-wandering. Beyond the need to concentrate for work, pleasure, or to overcome negative emotion, mindfulness meditation can also help to manage disorders like PTSD, anxiety, and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). This last one particularly has shown incredible results, and Goleman cites one exercise a teacher in a rough neighborhood of New York City practices routinely with their class of seven-year-old kids, over half of which have special needs like ADD and autism. That daily

 

Posted in Integrative Medicine, Mind | Body | Spirit: Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mindfulness

ExerciseMindfulness Techniques Can Be More Than Quiet Contemplation

Different meditations to achieve focus, relaxation

Mindfulness—the practice of focusing on the here and now—seems to boost both your mood and overall well-being. You may think of mindfulness as something you do during meditation—that is, while you’re sitting quietly with your eyes closed. If you can carve 20 minutes out of your day to meditate, that’s great. But meditation is just one mindfulness technique. You can also practice informally, by simply being present in the moment during everyday activities.

For example, instead of trying to multitask and do two or more things at the same time (such as eating while you’re driving or watching television), try to practice “single-tasking.” That means doing one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. As you floss your teeth, pet the dog, or eat an apple, slow down the process and be fully present as it unfolds and involves all of your senses.

The goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment. This can help you refocus on the present moment. Below are suggestions of different meditations you can try, as found in the Harvard Special Health Report Positive Psychology.
Basic mindfulness meditation

Sit quietly and focus on your natural breathing or on a word or mantra (such as “om,” “relax,” or “peace”) that you repeat silently. Allow thoughts to come and go without judgment and return to your focus on breath or mantra. Read More

 

Posted in Healthy Living, Integrative Medicine Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Body Massage Treatments

Yoga MatsThe Ultimate List Of Body Massage Treatments To Try

Massages may seem like a modern way to treat yourself and relieve stress, but they’ve been used for centuries. Each country has its version, with other types slipped in between. You can get a massage that is gentle and involves aromatherapy or others that involve elbows or feet digging deep into the muscles.

The type of massage you need will depend on the goals you have at the end. It will depend on the things you want to get out of your massage. Do you want something that is good for deep tissue relaxation or is you after a more sensual with mental benefits?

It’s possible to get massages specifically for pain relief. Others can help you overcome ailments, relieve symptoms, or heal injuries.

Just because your friend believes one type of massage is better, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. Here’s a look at all the types of massages you could try, with their benefits explained.

The Most Common Swedish Massage

There are high chances that you’ve heard of people get a Swedish massage. Phoebe from Friends often performed this type of massage and had plenty of clients visit to receive the benefits.

Swedish massages are therapeutic. They involve long and soft strokes that knead gently into the muscles. Between the strokes, there are tapping, rhythmic ones to help the upper layers of the muscles. Together the strokes will help to improve joint movement, relieve tension, and energize the body. There are also studies that show individuals receive help after suffering an injury. Read More

 

Posted in Healthy Living, Integrative Medicine Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

StressMindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Shown To Be Cost Effective for Chronic Low-Back Pain

Group sessions of either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) provide cost-effective treatment for chronic low-back pain, according to new research supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and published in the journal Spine. In addition, MBSR may offer substantial cost savings compared to usual care. Previous studies suggested that both MBSR and CBT may be effective for treating back pain, but the economic benefits of these interventions have been unclear.

Researchers from the RAND Corporation, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, and the University of Washington, Seattle, randomly assigned 342 adults with chronic low-back pain in an integrated health care system to receive MBSR and usual care, CBT and usual care, or usual care alone. MBSR and CBT were provided in weekly 2-hour group sessions for 8 weeks.
 Read More

 

Posted in Integrative Medicine, Stress Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
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