11 Techniques To Combat and Handle Chronic Pain
The coping technique that deals with the deep breathing technique should be performed as follows:
- Put yourself in a relaxed position in a dark room. Close your eyes or focus on one particular point.
- Slow down your breathing as time passes. Use your chest to breathe in deeply. If you find yourself distracted after a certain while due to the pain, try focusing on a word. For instance, try focusing on the word “relax” while you’re breathing. Focus on the phrase “re” as you breathe in and “lax” as you breathe out.
- Continue this for about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can move on to the imagery techniques which would help you one step further with the pain relieving process.
There are eleven specific imagery techniques which can help you relieve some of the pain that you’re experiencing. These include:
1. Altered Focus
This is one of the favorite techniques of the experts. It trains the mind to alter the focus away from the pain. For instance, if you are experiencing lower back pain, focusing the sensations on any other body part like your hand warming up can move your mind’s focus on the same. This technique is proof that mind can alter sensations in your body.
Just as the name suggests, this process practices dissociating the painful body part from the rest of your body. Imagine if your body and mind were separate entities. This would help in dissociating the pain experienced.
Try envisioning a non-painful part of your body and feeling its sensation. For instance, feel your hand’s altered sensations like warmth, cold, and then place your hand on the painful area. Envision transferring the pleasant, altered sensations on to the painful area. This can go a long way in helping relieve some of the pain.
Using your mind eye’s project yourself in the past or future when you are free of pain and try experiencing the feeling in the present moment. Then instruct yourself to picture this imagined pain-free experience to be true. You would notice the difference almost immediately.
5. Symbolic Imagery
Attach your pain to a symbol or an object. For instance, let your pain be symbolized by a loud, irritating, bright bulb. Then, try changing the characteristics of the object like dimming the light, reducing the noise, thus reducing the pain’s intensity.
Focus your attention to a pleasant place where you would like to go- like the mountains or beaches. Try imagining yourself in a serene and peaceful environment where you feel relaxed and carefree. This would help you in reducing the pain intensity and feel lesser pain.
Silent counting is an useful tool when it comes to taking your mind off pain. You can count anything from breaths, to the holes in the ceiling, or even conjure up a mental image of anything (like sheep) and count them as well.
8. Pain Movement
Try moving your chronic pain from one part to another where it is easier to cope with. For instance, move the chronic pain you’re experiencing in your back to your hand or even out of your hand into the air. The whole procedure will take immense amount of practice to master; however, once done, it can help in relieving a whole lot of pain.
9. Sensory Splitting
This technique involves splitting the sensations like pain, burning, pins and needles into separate parts. For instance, if you feel a hot burning sensation with pain in your legs, try focusing on the hot part and not on the pain part. This would numb down the pain in your mind’s eye and you would just feel the warmth affecting the area.
10. Mental Anesthesia
This process involves picturing yourself being injected with an anesthetic. For instance, if you’re suffering from lower back pain, you would need to imagine yourself being injected on the lower back with an anesthetic which would soon begin its numbing effect and you would be unable to feel any pain. Similarly, if the pain is less intense, imagine the affected area being treated with an ice pack.
11. Mental Analgesia
This process builds on the previous process which was mental anesthesia. In this technique, you will picture yourself being injected with heavy pain-killers such as morphine into the painful area. Alternatively, you can picture your brain releasing endorphins which are naturally occurring pain relievers produced in the body. This can then be flowed to the painful parts of the body. The best part about imagining a naturally occurring chemical being released into the affected area is that it can often really be released and thus, the pain can be relieved.
Some of these methods are best learned under a professional expert while you also get help from experts like Dr. Aaron Richardet. Various pain relieving techniques require professional guidance and care. It is advised that you work on the techniques for about 30 minutes, 3 times a week. This would ensure that you get control over the techniques quickly and can start using it effectively to reduce pain while practicing chiropractic care. You can then start to use the techniques while doing everyday activities like walking, running, talking etc. With enough practice and guidance from professional experts, you will be able to control chronic pain using just the power of your mind.