Chronic Pain

Chronic pain has posed a problem for practitioners and patients alike as it resides in the deeper consciousness. Pain cannot exist without a mental source. The mental source often comes from decisions and beliefs we made as babies and toddlers.

Acute pain comes and then once the injury is recovered, goes away usually in under three months. Chronic pain is more like a disease. Pain persists not necessarily for an obvious reason and continues for years affecting quality of life, dramatically. Other issues develop such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Depression. 

Chronic pain is a serious issue that really has no solutions in conventional medicine. It is time to look at the research being borne out by Gabor Mate, Bruce Lipton and Peter Levine. Chronic pain is tied to unresolved emotional issues and trauma. 

Muscles are not only involved with movement of the body but they control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature, etc. Muscles not working properly have far reaching implications so it is no surprise that their failure to work as they should, causes various kinds of symptoms.This is why bodywork is so useful.

Our thoughts govern our biology. The beliefs that we made as little people can interfere with our healing. Our thoughts, emotions and beliefs have a great deal of influence over whether we feel and experience pain or chronic health conditions. We want to reprogramme our automatic brain body signal that leads to arthritis, chronic pain, inflammation, chronic stress and more. These signals from past programmes have become hard wired and cause our bodies to react in a certain habitual way. Through tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique)  you can work through unresolved negative emotions that are increasing stress levels in your body's environment and work towards a more calm and healthy mental state.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is real science at work. It is simple to do on your own, at times when you feel it would help you e.g. at bedtime or when pain flares up. We would recommend that you work with a therapist, in the first instance, to gain the greater benefit. There is lots of help and advice on the page on this website.

Tapping on painful points is very effective in painful conditions. The physical pain is real but can be exagerated by unresolved emotional issues.You can't really separate the mind from the body but this technique brings calmness to all aspects of you.

People with chronic pain often turn to Massage Therapy to help naturally improve their quality of life.

Notes from Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida:

"Most people go to massage therapists to reduce pain. There's a release of serotonin, which is the body's natural production of anti-pain chemicals. Additionally, an aggravating factor in pain syndromes can be a lack of deep, restorative sleep. Massage is very effective at increasing deep sleep. With more deep sleep, you have less pain."

Fibromyalgia and arthritis are two chronic pain syndromes that can be positively impacted by massage therapy. In a study of massage therapy for knee osteoarthritis, a group receiving massage therapy for the pain showed significant improvement in pain, stiffness and physical function. They increased their range of motion and reduced the time it took them to walk 50 feet.

In another study, conducted by the Touch Research Institute, people with arthritis in their wrist and hand reported less pain and greater grip strength after massage therapy. They also had lower anxiety and depressed mood scores.

For people looking to naturally manage their chronic pain, massage therapy can improve quality of life by impacting mood as well as manage the pain. When you live with chronic pain, having a toolbox of strategies you turn to for pain relief is important. Massage can be a powerful tool for relaxing both mind and body.

TREATING THE WHOLE PERSON

Sometimes it can be difficult to make time for taking care of yourself. Ongoing massage therapy promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness, which reinforces a positive attitude to all pain.

Reserving some specific time for a massage, customised to address your personal needs, makes it easier to remember that you deserve to feel good and that you're taking important steps to make it happen. You may need help with insomnia, headaches, migraine, back pain and more as well as your own chronic pain issue. Reducing these signs and symptoms should help your mood and thus your pain, reducing your need for drugs and their side effects. We don't advise stopping your medication, but telling your doctor that you are having physical therapy will allow him or her to monitor your needs.

Spinal health is important for all your body as the nerves from the spinal cord go everywhere including being linked to the electricals to your organs. Osteopathic adjustments help to release hormones including oxytocin (the social bonding hormone).

Naturopathy and lifestyle advice may be necessary. A healthy diet is important for all. Fresh unprocessed foods are recommended and checking to see if you have sensitivities to certain foods can make a huge difference to mood and stress levels and therefore, pain.

Shiatsu

  • Similar to acupuncture, Shiatsu works to regulate the flow of energy or ‘qi’ thus maintaining health in all ages. Qi is the vital energy in the body that underlies all functions.
  • Qi flows in specific pathways known as meridians
  • Shiatsu practitioners can detect which meridians are too energised and those which are lacking in energy. Either imbalance can lead to blocks to healing and also to what we call dis-ease or indeed, chronic pain.
  • Specific points relative to the presenting pain are pressed on the major meridians of the body to cause energy to flow more easily. This combined with acupressure, trigger points and Thai style stretching makes this a is very effective treatment.
  • This explains why so many are delighted with the improvement in other areas e.g. constipation, painful arthritic joints, headaches, overwhelm, anxiety, obsessing about work, memory problems, period pain, nausea, asthma and so on. 
  • BCC Clients are finding shiatsu a great help in managing their chronic pain as specific points are pressed, related to that particular pain.
Reflexology
  • encourages relaxation - so important for the body to heal itself
  • aids flexibility - by working on the muscles and joints of the body through  the feet, movement becomes easier and less painful
  • increases the circulation of blood with its oxygen, nutrients and healing  hormones
  • assists the removal of waste products from your exertions - this is done by affecting the circulation of venous blood and lymph through the body
  • decreases tension and those ‘uptight’ and anxious feelings
  • speeds up recovery time after surgery or injury
  • helps to prevent you from becoming sick and ill, through its effects on the  immune system
  • improves the repair mechanisms of the body and reduces inflammation

SWEDISH MASSAGE AND REMEDIAL AND SPORTS MASSAGE: BENEFITS OF MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN

  • Health relies on a state of balance and can be described as the ability to adapt and cope with whatever occurs, combined with feelings of comfort, safety and enthusiasm
  • Touch in the form of massage can make a huge difference. There are many explanations for this:
    • improved circulation – more oxygenated blood plus removal of toxins
    • reduction in pain – massage stimulates the brain to release natural painkillers e.g. serotonin
    • anxiety reduction – it has been shown that relaxation and anxiety cannot co-exist. This helps the person realise that they can cope.
    • helps with sleeping problems and increases deep sleep
    • relaxation effects – as the body lets go of accumulated tension it is able to work better as there are fewer demands being placed on it
    • healing – touch is healing and certainly the improved circulation already described improves healing time and is why sports people seek massage therapy
    • energy – we tend to have more energy after a massage. Tension tends to ‘trap’ energy; massage tends to encourage energy to flow.   The Massage Therapist will hopefully create all these effects which are made even more special by the caring and love given, as well as his / her intent
    • increases range of motion
    • helps to restore or maintain a healthy structure - essential to avoid  chronic conditions developing
    • improves body awareness - helping posture.

  • People who are starved of touch can feel very isolated and anxious which then affects their total well-being, after all, solitary confinement must be the worst punishment. Appropriate touch is soothing and relaxing and also helps that ‘feel good feeling’.
  • Touch is essential for life so there is a direct link to that 'feel better response' to massage. Relaxation effects are so important for everyone but especially for anyone with depression.

 More and more people are working with talking and energy therapies for chronic pain. Here at BCC we have Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Matrix Reimprinting to help.

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC