Chronic pain can be devastating physically as slowly it strips all inner and outer strength from a person. If that were not bad enough, the emotional and mental torture isolates a person and rips hope from their very soul. Recuperating from chronic pain can really be possible. Do not loose hope.
The body's own power to heal itself is miraculous. What is healing really? The perception of how pain feels is part that needs to change to heal. However, regardless of what mechanism a person uses to change their perception it is not an overnight matter. The human brain is the place that starts chronic pain; therefore, the human brain can also stop it.
The first thing that must be understood is that pain and suffering are two vastly different things. Pain is a physical sensation; whereas, suffering is a reaction to the pain. Eliminating the suffering will by definition enable a person to lessen the effects of the physical affects. When a person has chronic disabling pain, eliminating the concurrent suffering (the mental aspects) can actually diminish the results of it.
The first myth that must be dispelled is that it is all in your mind. The reality is that chronic pain is in the brain not in the mind. They are two different parts of the human.
To eliminate the suffering (the mind part) there are many different options that are available to assist a person.
1. Nutritional therapy
2. Physical / occupational therapy
3. Mental and spiritual pain control
4. Last resort medication
Let's talk about the nutritional therapy. Some nutrients actually relieve inflammation. Inflammation is one of the most common causes of pain. There are nutrients that build serotonin which helps block the pain. Some nutrients help the health of your brain and nerves. Conversely, there are some pitfalls that nutritionally people fall into that can actually cause pain.
EPA is a nutrient that is found in fish. It actually comes from a type of seaweed and algae. When fish eat the seaweed and algae and the fish is consumed by people, it is metabolized. The best sources are salmon, tuna and sardines. If at all possible, a person suffering from chronic pain should consume 2-5 servings of these fish each week.
ALA is a fatty acid found in green vegetables. Especially high content are wheat grass and alfalfa. These greens have a strong anti inflammatory effect.
The typical wrong fat is animal fat and common cooking oils. These types of fat create an acid which for people who have this is like taking poison. When you reduce your fat intake not only will you decrease the inflammation but you liver function will improve and you will have better blood circulation. Both of these benefits will reduce the long term degenerative part of chronic pain.
Some other nutrients that are beneficial in decreasing inflammation are:
1. Turmeric – This common spice may actually be the single most powerful natural anti inflammatory known. It has been used for centuries in Eastern countries.
2. Boswellin – Another ancient remedy. Here in the US we make frankincense out of it. It can be found in any health food store.
3. Ginger – Asians have used ginger as an anti inflammatory cure for thousands of years. It is thought that the dried version is more powerful than the fresh ginger.
4. Antioxidants – Antioxidant vitamins are seen everywhere in the market place as something everyone should include in their everyday life. This is even more important if you have chronic pain. There is scientific evidence that Vitamins C, A, E, and Selenium are powerful anti inflammatory nutrients that are a must in any nutritional therapy.
The most important of all the nutrients that a sufferer must have in their daily diet is Serotonin. Serotonin actually raises your pain threshold level. Serotonin actually reduces the amount of "Substance P" in a person's system which carries pain. Serotonin blocks "Substance P" in your spinal cord. Logically, if the pain carrying substance P never reaches your brain, you do not feel pain. Remember, pain is in your brain not in your mind.
Serotonin works within the brain as well. The thalamus is the pain receiver in your brain. The higher the level of Serotonin in the thalamus, the lower the perception of pain you feel. It is a way to counterattack your pain.
Serotonin also is scientifically proven to elevate your mood. With chronic pain, depression and fear are something every person battles. Elevating your mood will help alleviate the depression and fear allowing you to fight the pain perception with your brain rather than focusing on depression and fear.
Further, your brain be weakened by the constant battle with the pain flooding it, so sleep becomes increasingly more and more difficult. Increasing your Serotonin will actually help regulate a person's sleep cycle. The more sleep and rest your brain obtains, the more power it has to battle the pain signals. Lastly, Serotonin can help with blood vessel flexibility causing less irritation and thus pain in a chronic pain sufferer.
A persons brain does more than just think, it governs directly and indirectly every process in your body. Starting with nutritional therapy to help your brain fight back is the first step in taking back control of your life. When you combine nutritional therapy with the other three pain fighting therapies, remarkable success can be had in taking and keeping control of your life once more.