Author: Ally Moates

How To Cope With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is physically and psychologically stressful and its constant discomfort can lead to anger and frustration with yourself and your loved ones. Chronic pain is unrelieved pain that lasts for longer than three months. This often occurs when the pain mechanism in the body no longer works correctly or when certain diseases that are associated with pain become chronic for unknown reasons.

Quite often this chronic pain can almost be invisible to those around you and people might say that you ‘don’t look sick’ but usually those with chronic pain become adept at masking their suffering.

Several medical treatments may be used to alleviate chronic pain, including over-the-counter or prescription medication, physical therapy and less utilised treatments, such as surgery. However, these options are only a few of the pieces necessary to solve the puzzle of chronic pain.

Mental and emotional wellness is equally important — psychological techniques and therapy help build resilience and teach the necessary skills for management of chronic pain.

Some suggestions of ways to cope with Chronic Pain could be;

• Deep breathing and Meditation – Deep breathing and meditation are techniques that can help your body relax, which in turn may ease the pain you’re feeling. The muscles receive these messages from the brain to help them relax.

• Understanding your pain – To effectively treat your pain, your doctor needs to know how you’ve been feeling between visits. Keeping a log or journal of your daily “pain score” will help you track your pain. At the end of each day, note your pain level on the 1 to 10 pain scale. Also, note what activities you did that day.

• Massage can help reduce stress and relieve tension — and is being used by people living with all sorts of chronic pain.

• Get active and engaged – Distracting yourself from your pain by engaging in activities you enjoy will help you highlight the positive aspects of your life. Isolating yourself from others can foster a negative attitude and may increase your perception of your pain. Consider finding a hobby or a pastime that makes you feel good and helps you connect with family, friends or other people via your local community groups or the Internet.

• Hypnotherapy – there are many tried and tested methods of reducing the amount of pain that is experienced and these can be particularly beneficial to long term and chronic sufferers.

“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”—Buddhist proverb. Don’t sit there and suffer – I am here to help.

Alongside Hypnotherapy sessions, I can teach you simple self-hypnosis techniques so that you can do this for yourself, giving you a degree of control over the pain, which is very empowering and will help to enhance your quality of life, restoring your confidence to do the things that you need to do or had given up on.

Get in touch if you’d like more information:

It’s Good to Talk

“Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder.” This is the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of what therapy is and yet if you suggest the idea of therapy or counselling to some and there is often an instant rebuttal or refusal to even entertain the idea.

There is a stigma surrounding counselling or therapy which when taken down to its bare bones is “I don’t need a therapist/counsellor because I am not crazy!” This misconception over the years has led to a lot of people trying desperately to deal with something on their own that they simply can’t also an increase in the number of people who think there is no way out other than that one last resort.

It is simply not true. Did you know that the majority of patients that counsellors and therapists see are simply people dealing with difficult life transitions like divorce, health challenges, relocation, death of a loved one, work stress and family or parenting issues. These are normal, everyday problems that some people find it easier to deal with if they talk through with someone and that someone just happens to be called a counsellor, therapist, psychologist or another name along those lines.

Most people who initiate counselling do not have a serious mental illness. They have life challenges or are going through difficult life-cycle transitions that may be taxing their current ability to cope. This, in turn, may be adversely affecting their well-being and ability to function as well as they would like.

Counselling provides confidential support. This means that everything you discuss with the counsellor is private, between you and the counsellor. Counselling is a process of talking about and working through your personal problems with a trained professional. The counsellor helps you to address your problems in a positive way by helping you to clarify the issues, explore options, develop strategies and increase self-awareness. For some people, just the process of telling their story to a counsellor, and being listened to, is helpful.

So, if you are going through one or more of these challenges at the same time, you’re not alone. The effects are often cumulative, which is generally referred to as a ‘pile-up’ of stressors. Counselling during these times can be extremely helpful in providing both the support and skills to better address these life challenges.

Ultimately, it is an invaluable investment in your emotional, physical and mental health, an act of courage, not weakness, and a gift to those whose lives you touch.

I’m more than happy to help if you are going through something or would like to chat about how counselling may be able to support you.  Contact me, John on 01202 303722.