Managing Chronic pain
by Nymph Kellerman
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We tend to disregard the role the mind plays in healing the physical body, even though we admit to the existence of psychosomatic sickness. This prevents us from speeding up the development of our psychosomatic health, that is, health of the body that stems from health of the mind.
Although pain is not a psychosomatic illness, I know from personal experience that meditation or any form of deep relaxation can relieve pain to a very large extent. Years ago, I was in a car accident and apart from a broken nose I was without the proverbial scratch. However, many years later it caught up with me in the form of aggressive neck pain. MRI scans showed severe and advanced degenerative disc disease in the cervical spine. Discectomies and fusions were done at levels C4-C5-C6 during the first neurosugery, and another discectomy and fusion at level C6-C7 during a follow-up surgery. Severe discomfort and chronic pain accompanied by a lack of energy, were the predictions for my life ahead. I was advised to adjust my daily activities to suit my neck pathology and symptoms. I was to take adequate periods of bed rest during the day, which would help in the battle against this very aggressive pain.
I rejected the life that was portrayed to me and started my study on breath. I was already a deep breather because of many years' training as a singer and I have practised self-hypnosis in a fight against stage fright. All I needed was additional knowledge on the physical and emotional benefits of deep breathing and deep relaxation. And so my very fulfilling and stimulating exploration on meditation, which eventually led to my life in mysticism, was activated. It was the genesis of my deeper spiritual life. Little did I know that I was involving myself in a major investigation that would take ten years before I would be ready to even think about sharing it with somebody. This was the nativity of Prime Breathing as I present it at seminar-workshops today.
Pain does not have to overwhelm you and it does not have to rule your life. You only need to get to the crucial recognition that you still have choices and that you can make your decisions according to the choices you have. It is all about decision-making.
In general, we think of two archetypes of pain. Acute pain and chronic pain. Chronic pain can be divided into chronic malignant pain and chronic non-malignant pain. The latter is probably the most difficult to be tolerated by the patient and to be acted on by the doctor. Acute pain is easier to identify as it is of a short period of time only, and is usually relieved when medication is taken. Chronic pain on the other hand, is of a duration longer than three months and there is often no clear cause for the pain.
Although pain is physically perceived, the patient also experiences it on a mental- and emotional level. He becomes anxious and depressed and his life becomes a fearful excursion. On good days when he has less pain, he remains
anxious and fears the return of the pain. He is concerned about a future with even more pain. His self-confidence breaks down and he becomes hopeless and helpless. He becomes more and more turned inward and his professional and social relationships suffer as a result of it all. Pain cannot be shared, a reality that transforms him into a typical loner.
Pain is not so much associated with the spine or the periphery of the nervous system, but rather with the brain itself. It appears that pain has something to do with the imbalance arising from a pattern of nerve impulses. This pattern arises from the fact that there are three pathways through the spine to the brain and that it is likely that pain is created by all three .
We understand what pain is not, but we need to understand a lot more about what pain really is………
The report “How to control Chronic pain” gives you the alternative to pain-killers and is a tool to successful self-healing. It gives an overview of what happens in the brain that makes it such a highly successful tool for self-healing, and discusses the use of music as an aid in the healing processes. The breathing technique works just as fine by itself and can be used in any place at any time.
ABOUT the author:
Nymph was born in Cape Town. She studied music at the university of Port Elizabeth, and completed her L.T.C.L. in 1972. In the late seventies she obtained a B.A. Psychology and Philosophy at the University of South Africa (UNISA), as well as a Licentiate in Drama at the same university.
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