10 Ways to Zap Pain Away Without Drugs of Any Kind – Vol. 306, April 23
When pain is felt it is an indicator that there is something happening in your body that needs to be checked out. This is why as a hypnotist, I never relieve 100% of the pain that any of my clients may be experiencing, without first knowing from my client’s doctor, that the underlying problem is being treated.
To better understand how “pain” is felt, let me take a few moments to explain how we understand the process. Your brain processes the pain you feel in your body letting you know where the problem may be. However, what is most important for you to realize is that the mind and body are linked up allowing your thoughts and emotions to have a direct impact on your physical feeling of pain. So, your attitude alone can either lesson or worsen the pain you feel.
There are many ways that one can alleviate the sensation of pain one is feeling without the use of pain medication – prescribed or over the counter. This is a very good thing because we know that the abuse of pain medication has become the number one drug abused and the number one killer, opioids coming in at 32.7% of deaths being the number one killer by pain killers in 2007. One needs to understand that opiates effect the central nervous system by slowing the heart rate the breathing becoming more shallow. When the heart rate is slowed to a stop, death occurs.
Over the counter pain medications create all sorts of side-effects as well with Tylenol being used with alcohol causing liver problems in many. Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen ( Aleve) cause all sorts of stomach problems including blood loss for the irritated area, stomach pains (gastritis) and even ulcers. Always keep in mind that there are many prescription and non-prescription cold medicines and including other pain medications that have doses of Tylenol or aspirin in them giving you the possibility of getting a double dose if you are talking more than one medication at a time.
Given that your thoughts and emotions have a direct impact on the amount of pain one is feeling, there are many things that you can do to diminish the pain felt. Here is a list of 12 ideas that you can use to help you or someone you love to significantly lesson the amount of discomfort felt.
- Self-hypnosis – the best thing about this is that you can do it on your own anywhere and it can be done in a very short amount of time. Hypnosis is a stress reducer, is able to effectively get rid of anxiety and depressed feelings and improve sleep. I am going to include a guided image for you to use specifically for minimizing the pain.
- Start by putting yourself into a relaxed state (noting that tension felt in the body increases the amount of pain felt, and no one can be tense when in the highly relaxed state of hypnosis). You can do this easily enough. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and take in a few deep breaths.
- Next, focus on a spot above eye level. Focus on that spot till you feel your eyes getting tired and then close your eyes.
- Next, relax your eyelids till they are so relaxed they will not open.
- Imagine a spiral stair case floating in the sky, with 10 steps.
- Count yourself down each step suggesting to yourself that you will double the relaxation with each step you take until you hit step zero.
- On step zero, take yourself to a beautiful relaxing place and stay then enjoying that place for about 30 seconds.
- Next go to the place where you feel the discomfort.
- Make it hurt a bit more. Then make the feeling go away to the point where it is as small as the tip of a pin.
- Take that feeling that is now the size of the tip of a pin and move it to your toe, and then out of your body allowing the wind to take it far away from you.
- Laughter was found to heal even a terminal illness as proven by Norman Cousins many years ago. He watched all sorts of old time comedies and brought himself back to health. Trust me if you are busy laughing you won’t be feeling any discomfort in you body. Laughter is able to do this because it releases endorphins that are pain relieving on their own while giving one the feeling of euphoria.
- Massage is great as it promotes relaxation and a general feeling of well-being. It works by stimulating your skin’s nerve endings stimulating the release of endorphins. As a result massage reduces spasms, cramping, increases joint flexibility while reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Stronger massage increases blood circulation bringing more oxygen and nutrients to your body while helping your lymphatic system release waste products.
- Being in the “present” allows you to leave the “past” in the past and forget about the problems that you may feel are in your “future” knowing that all is fine in the “present.” By allowing yourself to let go of any negative thoughts by remaining in the present you are allowing yourself to remain stress free. Without stress there is no tension and without tension there is a sense of relaxation, bringing relief of any discomfort you may be feeling. Stress also can induce inflammation, so becoming stress free will allow your body to heal any inflammation you may be experiencing.
- Mediation is another way to release your discomfort, allowing a decrease in your brain”s activity that monitors the pain for you. This decreases the amount of pain felt. Monks have learned how to increase and decrease their bodies temperatures, so, many things are possible once you allow yourself enough practice to get into a deep meditative state.
- Mindfulness Meditation is simple to do:
- Put on some calming music.
- Then breathe rhythmically focusing on one word on your exhale like “peace,” “love” or “Om. Allowing any thoughts that come in to pass, going back to the word that you are focusing on. Doing this for even 10 minutes a day brings great benefit to people though the usually suggested amount of time is 20 minutes in the morning before breakfast and 20 minutes before eating dinner.
- Biofeedback is where electrical sensors are attached to your skin to monitor your heart rate. Once again, you are focusing on your being relaxed and in so doing learning to be relaxed, while letting go of stress. Biofeedback allows for the same sorts of relief of your pain as self-hypnosis and meditation.
- Deep breathing also helps to control any discomfort you may be experiencing. This sort of breathing is a natural tranquilizer for your body. There are many ways to go about doing deep breathing, however the easiest one I know is to sit in a comfortable position. Take in a breath for a count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 4 and then release the breath for a count four. Do this for 5 minutes or so and you will be wonderfully relaxed, as you have oxygenated your body, and that includes your brain where relaxation will take place.
- Yoga is a great way to let go of pain especially for those who suffer with back pain. You will want to take a class with a person who understands how to modify the poses for you to keep yourself benefitting from this practice. The poses help to gain muscle tone, taking stress off the weaker muscles, while helping to let go of inflammation, oxidative stress, blood lipids, while boosting serotonin in your brain relieving depression and anxiety.
- Pilates which is another form of exercise that can be found in most health clubs is also great for back pain in particular. Again you want to take a class with an instructor who knows how to modify the positions so you are benefiting from the practice. Pilates is mainly used to strengthen your “core” muscles – those that are in your stomach area. When they get atrophied and then worsening the situation by having a layer of fat, the back may be too weak to support the body causing pain.
- Progressive relaxation is great to do as it allows you to learn the difference between tension and relaxation. It is simple to do. Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Starting with your feet, tense all the muscles for a couple of seconds and then relax them. Next tense your calves for a few seconds and then release them. Continue in this fashion until you have tensed and relaxed every muscle in your body.
- Tai Chi – an ancient martial art that is used to keep flexibility and mindfulness. It is really a meditation with motion. Keeping your mind focused on the movements while deep breathing will result in your being relaxed releasing the pain, while building up your muscles and your flexibility. The gentle smooth movements releases the neurotransmitters of the brain, bringing on a sense of well-being and letting go of anxiety and depressed feelings. Again, you want to have someone teach you how to do Tai Chi who knows how to adapt the movement to help you.
- Music to Calm your Soul – Music triggers the nucleus accumbens, which is where dopamine, the “feel good” chemical is released. The amygdala which processes your emotions and the pre-frontal cortex which allows for abstract thinking to occur are also put into action. Research has proven that listening to soothing music will decrease anxiety, lower cortisol levels by those undergoing surgery better than anti-anxiety medication.
No matter what you are doing or where you are, one of these methods or more could be put into force to help you to alleviate your pain. However, as I stated in the beginning of this weblog; if you are experiencing pain for more than a few days, or if the pain your are feeling is of an acute nature, you best have it checked out by a medical doctor so the under lying condition that is creating the pain can be treated. The last thing anyone would want to do is to ignore the body’s method of letting one know that there is a potentially life threatening situation there. So, get it checked out and treated. Then you can use the methods above to help you minimize the discomfort that you are feeling in a safer manner than any medication out there.
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