3 Questions People With Pain Really Need To Ask!

How have I been sleeping?

Ask yourself: Why are we full of excuses to miss out on sleep? Why is it that when we push ourselves or are pushed to the limit, where the first thing we do is skimp on the one simple, 100% free remedy that can help us most? As I’ve written about previously and always teach my patients: Sleep is your body’s most important, efficient and effective process to detox and replenish your energy stores, recover and restore your body’s health. However, somehow and very commonly, we seem to easily find many reasons to justify missing out. We don’t give ourselves permission to rest, recuperate, and revive our body, health & lives. Why would we give up this one free, beneficial and resourceful remedy?

Going through that check-list in your mind, finishing that report or that ironing at the expense of just two or three hours of sleep can trigger the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that increase pain-causing inflammation in your entire system and increase cortisol levels with an irregular sleep pattern, pushing your body into adrenal overdrive, causing fatigue, lethargy, poor memory and concentration and a negative feedback of chemicals being released into your body that cause chaos and are detrimental to your health.

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For example, losing this little sleep can increase your blood pressure and blood sugar, both of which can also heighten inflammation, and can increase your risk for metabolic syndrome, even if you show no signs of disease. Studies have shown that missing a few hours a night, a healthy young person’s fat cells are 30% less sensitive to insulin, meaning, you would technically become diabetic. Therefore, sleep is important to regulate your body’s internal systems!

Have you noticed poor sleep habits are making your looked aged? In short, here’s why: researchers summarised that subsequent to lack or poor quality of sleep, metabolically ages you 10 to 20 years. So instead of wasting money on chemical cosmetic products to reduce your fine lines or dark circles, simply look at improving your sleep pattern.

But don’t fear because luckily, this effect can be reversed with an equal number of solid nights of sleep. When it comes to sleep, quantity really is quality. Try to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep at night, avoid skimping and give yourself permission to truly rest and heal from your day; and take a 20 to 30 minute nap during the day, if at all possible. Studies have shown this to be beneficial for your organs including your brain, heart and liver!

 Have I been escaping with eating, drinking, drugs, shopping, TV, sex?

How do you spend your day? What are you focused on at work? Where is your attention at home? How much time and energy do spend on you, for you or by yourself? These are questions we should ask ourselves when we’ve spent the whole week catering to other people’s needs because as a result, we often resort to subconsciously escaping to avoid thinking about what’s really causing our physical and emotional pain.

The problem with depriving ourselves of feeling and being aware, is that, while trying to make ourselves feel better, we end up giving ourselves even worse problems with addiction, extra pounds, unsustainable debt, and many others problems that can spiral out of control and become harder to change. It’s these issues that can have a greater impact on your life including work, relationships, love, sex, fulfilment, true satisfaction and passion for life.

Instead, we wrap ourselves in the fogginess of our numbing “go-too” vices and forget that we need to nurture ourselves to move through our pain with love and attentive care, to really figure out what is the root cause of our pain and to compassionately work through this to a stronger and healthier us.

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A recommendation I suggest to my patients is to create a “me-space” at home, an undisturbed, safe and peaceful place, where you can go to be recharged and re-connect with yourself from a stressful or tiring day. I also suggest making a list of self-nurturing activities that you can turn to for support whenever you feel yourself reaching for a drink, a smoke, a chocolate, a meaningless fling or sexual encounter. I find that a 20-minute soak in a hot bath with 2 cups of Epsom salts or Lavender Sea salts, 4-6 drops of black pepper oil or lavender oil, and a cold flannel over the eyes usually works well for a relaxing and calming effect.

 What am I saying to myself?

Have you ever stopped to think about what conversations you’re having with yourself throughout the day? Most people will say no, which can work against us when we’re in physical and emotional overwhelm. Here’s why: When we’re on the go constantly, we sometimes don’t even stop to question the content of our own thoughts, let alone change them. And our self-conversations have tremendous power when it comes to soothing or intensifying our pain. Our thoughts create neurochemical waves in the brain that can directly halt our pain or make it worse. This effect is even more pronounced among those of us with chronic pain. Studies have shown evidence where patients experiencing chronic pain, swapped negative thoughts for positive ones, resulting in significant reduction in pain levels.

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Believe it: We have the power and strength to relieve our pain simply by changing our thoughts and the conversations we have with ourselves.

I strongly advocate personalised positive affirmations to my patients who are struggling with physical, emotional or mindful blocks. A great way to start off the day is by giving thanks with gratitude before the day begins. Then look in the mirror and repeat 3 times: “I believe in myself. Every cell in my body is healthy. I am getting stronger every day. I feel more powerful, more positive, and pain free.” Although it may seem uncomfortable or awkward to begin with, remember that you’re creating new pathways in your brain to resist pain and to invite peace and reduced pain.

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You deserve to spend time nurturing yourself, and making yourself a priority, and you should start with your thoughts. This practice alone could be the most powerful shift you make toward a pain-free and positive life.

If you yourself or anyone you know have been wondering about these questions and experience pain in a way that has become frustrating and destructive to your body, your self-esteem and emotions, your relationships and your life, please contact me at info@mkdosteopathy.com.

I would love to hear from you and learn about your story and struggles; so I can support you to make changes in freeing yourself from pain to regain control and power of your body, and not let pain run you and your life.

I look forward to serving you!

Wishing you good health and all my best,

Manjot 🙂

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Pain – My Top FAQs From My Patients!

Pain is a signal, a warning from the body that something is not quite right. You might think you got that kink in your neck from the car accident from sleeping funny during the night; or the slow burn in your lower back from sitting all day in front of the computer. But when you look into that pain you slowly uncover something even bigger: The truth about your life, your relationships, your work, and your state of mind.

All pain, every single kind, is both physical and emotional. And all pain, when you learn how to face it, understand it, and let it go, can help clear your path to a better life.

Here are some common questions Manjot hears regarding pain management from her patients.

What role do emotions play in pain?

 All emotions are normal. They’re neither good nor bad—they simply are.

Problems don’t start because of emotions themselves. The trouble comes in when you don’t express them, release them or deal with them. Then layers of buried emotion or emotional traumas build up like scar tissue, causing adhesions in your fascia, the layer of tissue that envelops and stretches around all your muscles and organs. The function of fascia is for this fluid and flexible tissue to allow your body to move with pain-free natural freedom. These festering, unprocessed, unreleased emotions clog up your circulation, fluidity and generally create disharmony within your body. Once you actually really see and feel it, and can pinpoint where the pain is actually coming from, you can consciously begin to increase the flow of your body’s natural painkillers and anti-inflammatory chemicals to help you release the pain and start to heal.

We experience all of our feelings, thoughts, actions and reactions through connections between our nervous system and our muscular-skeletal system. Check out all the parts of the brain that intersect together with the musculoskeletal system when we experience strong emotions:

  • The limbic system: the site of our instinctual emotional reactions
  • The hypothalamus: which connects up with the endocrine system and the gut organs
  • The amygdala: where we process sensory information into memory and learning
  • The cortex: where we regulate emotion

Every emotion we experience leaves a trace throughout these areas of the brain. Those same exact feelings can be re-triggered by anything we experience, whether in the real world, through our senses, or purely in our own minds. When we experience the same thought patterns, they form neuropaths in our brains, so if the same route is always taken to deal with a negative emotion; this can be dysfunctional and lead to further problems in our mind, body and life.

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What role does sleep play in pain management?

Sleep is the most regenerative, restorative; automatic biological process humans have—so why on earth do we skimp? Many people pretend they can get by on 5 or 6 hours a night – but nothing could be further from the truth. We need at least 7 hours of solid sleep a night in order to stay out of sleep deficit. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to horrible consequences: memory loss (and eventually brain damage); excess pounds; increased insulin; increased hunger and stress hormone levels; increased blood pressure; and decreased immunity. Without enough high quality sleep, your body does not have time to rest and regenerate, and your tissues age, literally, overnight. But improving sleep may nudge you out of negative feedback all by itself. A study of patients with chronic sleep deficits found that just one month of improved sleep significantly reduced their levels of tumour necrosis factor and C-reactive protein, both markers for systemic inflammation in the body.

How do I locate where my pain is really coming from?

Consider these common areas of pain, and their potential physical and emotional sources:

Site of Pain Possible Physical Cause Possible Emotional Cause
Low back pain (in women) Ovaries, pelvic disorder,

kidney stones,

adrenal fatigue, post-pregnancy recovery, endometriosis,

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome,

muscular-skeletal involvement

Loss of power; buried emotions,

lack of emotional support, feeling unloved,

holding back love, guilt, stuck in the past,

“get off my back”, fear of money,

lack of financial support

Low back pain (in men) Sciatica, prostate or

kidney stones, colon conditions

Anger issues; stress of unsatisfying job/home life
Acute mid-back pain/shoulder level Poor circulation,

liver condition, anemia,

low blood pressure,

lung conditions

Feeling anxious; palpitations; difficulty sleeping;

fear of the future

Hip pain Arthritis, infection, hernia,

low-back-pain

Fear of going forward in major decision,

Nothing to move forward to

Knee pain Joint involvement, cyst,

deep vein thrombosis

(poor circulation), arthritis

Stubborn pride and ego,

Inability to bend, fear, inflexibility,

won’t give in

Ankle & Foot pain Ligament sprain, arthritis, gout Inflexibility and guilt.

Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure,

Lack of joy in meeting new experiences

(bunions)

Stiffness Arthritis,

neurological conditions,

poor nutrition

Rigid, stiff thinking, inflexibility in life

 

Our body movement is reflective of our inner world. It’s important to understand how live inside your body, to keep your body aligned and work towards living pain-free. This allows you to become conscious in your body while instinctively bringing awareness to your life. This is when your body and mind connect. In my experience I see this automatically benefit the lives of my patients by helping them make decisions that are in their best interest of their health, from choosing better foods to choosing a career that suits them better because a clearer mind helps you to expend less energy everyday and sue that energy to towards a body and life that you love!

What are some common ways that people hide from their pain?

Consider the ways you might be hiding from your pain:

Do you eat your emotions?

Do you drink them?

Do you spend all day working, working, working – never taking time to take care of yourself or your body, to rest and replenish?

Do you spend the night awake, staring at the ceiling—and then use caffeine to get through the next day?

Do you use your phone as a shield from the world—constantly checking email, Facebook, Twitter? Does it feel like a crutch? An addiction? A lifeline?

Do you stay away from the gym or the yoga class, blaming your bad back or your injured shoulder—when you know that movement and exercise is actually exactly what you need?

Do you feel shame about your body and hide yourself inside, away from the sun and the fresh air?

Do you deny yourself the joy and the pleasure of being alive—and you’re not even sure why?

If you yourself or anyone you know experiences pain in a way that has become frustrating and destructive to your body, your self-esteem and emotions, your relationships and your life, please contact me at info@mkdosteopathy.com.

I would love to hear from you and learn about your story and struggles; so I can support you to make changes in freeing yourself from pain to regain control and power of your body, and not let pain run you and your life.

I look forward to serving you!

Wishing you good health and all my best,

Manjot 🙂

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