Finding balance to heal chronic pain. When you are dealing with chronic pain, life is a balancing act. It is important that you remain “upright and steady”.
This week I spent a day in bed following (for me), a few very big weeks.
June has brought me a lot of joy and it has been very productive. I loved and appreciated everything I was involved in and am very happy I did it all. I realize though, looking back, that I could have done it differently. There are ways to enjoy and do it all that allow for balance to be maintained.
This past month I was involved with some important professional projects, we had visitors staying with us, we took care of our daughter’s dog for a week, we did a hike-in picnic on a scorching hot day, we completed a special project with a friend, planned fall events, and have been preparing for our daughter’s wedding in July. Simply writing all this down had been helpful: I can easily see why I felt so tired and achy!
So I took a day and I stayed in my pyjamas, had a long hot bubble bath, gave myself a facial, and made a comforting anti-inflammatory soup the easy way, using leftover raw vegetables from the picnic. That retreat day was just what I needed.
When you are dealing with chronic pain, life is a constant balancing act
Pain can be the result of one busy day, or it may have accumulated and become chronic over several years due to a very busy lifestyle.
When you are out of balance, life becomes unmanageable.
Overwhelm and fatigue are words I commonly hear from people dealing with chronic pain. If you suffer from chronic pain, then you are familiar with the symptoms of imbalance. Here are some symptoms that you may experience:
- Body fatigue: every step can be an effort
- Mental exhaustion
- Inability to process emotions
- Difficulty making decisions
- Social withdrawal
- Inability to perform even simple everyday tasks
- Lack of self-care
The causes of imbalance are related to the lifestyle choices you are making every day, and for healing to occur, a change may be needed.
The choices you make for yourself, including the amount and type of exercise you do, when you go to bed, what you eat, how you spend your free time, how full your calendar is, can lead to wellness, or they can lead to stress, exhaustion, and a weakened immune system — and of course increased pain and suffering, limited mobility, pain, and stiffness.
Here are 3 ways you can create & maintain balance for yourself
In order to heal, you must regain balance. Making simple changes in your choices can do this. It is about the choices you make from moment to moment.
Eliminating certain activities and increasing time for rest and rejuvenation are most important. You are unique, and so is the way your body responds to the lifestyle you create — to the ‘busyness’ of your life. You do have choices here.
Many of my clients have gained control over their lives with a few simple practices.
Mind, body, and spirit must be considered for equilibrium and a sense of ease and control to be achieved.
1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Take a rest when you can, listen to your body when you exercise, and stop when you feel you have reached your limit. Be wary of practices like monitoring how many steps you take in a day; for example, 10,000 steps may be way too much for you. Eat good foods at the right times. Operating on an empty tank won’t get you very far.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MIND. Get to know your calendar. Write everything down that you are doing — everything! The visual effect of seeing everything you have planned can be an awakening. Make your to-do list with the aim of pacing yourself. If it is written down on a list and put into your calendar, you can relax and know what is coming each day. Read a book, enjoy a cup of tea with a friend, do something you love, like knitting, or develop a hobby if you haven’t got one already.
3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SPIRIT. Schedule time for simply being. Create time for reflection, meditation, prayer (if is appropriate for you), or simply sit in nature.
When you are in balance, you create a sense of peace, ease, and harmony with the world and in yourself. This harmony has a healing effect.
How Jennifer reclaimed her life and healed her chronic pain
Jennifer was suffering from burnout and was struggling with headaches and chronic pain in her upper back and neck. The quality of her life was compromised due to exhaustion, headaches, and overwhelm.
Looking at Jennifer’s lifestyle and health history, I determined that her extremely busy schedule and pressures from her job and family and social obligations were the cause of her pain. This put constant stress on her system, leading to tension in her body. Her headaches were related to her upper back and neck pain. Most of her discomfort was a result of her busy schedule and endless to-do list.
Looking her busy calendar, we managed to find a balance activities that gave her joy, those that she felt obligated to do, and those she could let go of.
I also designed a customized nutrition program that helped her eat a better diet and a very minimal supplement program to address her specific needs, allowing her to rebalance her immune and nervous systems and allow healing to occur.
I taught Jennifer a breathing technique that she could easily do from time to time throughout the day to calm her and help her connect to her heart. This is a powerful practice to support your body coming into balance.
In only a few weeks, Jennifer noticed she had more energy, and she was in much less pain. Soon she was completely pain free and in much better spirits! She now enjoys her time with family and friends and she has discovered that less is more.
I wonder how incredible you could feel in just a few weeks? It could all start with a phone call with me to get a handle on your lifestyle and create balance in your life!