Monday, April 13, 2009

Quote “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be."

This Karen Raven quote holds true for people with chronic pain.

Life, as they say, is not a rehearsal. We get one go at it. The choices we make direct out path in life. I choose happiness.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain killers, and produces a general sense of well-being. The threshold of pain is raised during and for a short period of time after laughter.

Laughter also engages various parts of the brain. Perhaps this is one reason people often find that a good dose of laughter can be followed by a burst of creativity.

We know that by making positive affirmations pain perception can be reduced by up to an amazing two thirds.
(Conversely, you can actually increase pain perception by focusing on negative aspects and fearing your pain.)

These findings make perfect sense to me. I know when I talk about how I'm feeling, I feel worse. When I'm having fun I feel better. Now I know I can actually change the inputs which bring about a change in the brain, I'll be more aware of how I think and feel. I'll also be dedicating more time to "actively seeking happiness" and strive to see "the glass half full."

I encourage you to expand your knowledge, reach to grow. Only by seeking information can you go forward. By looking the way will become clear. I encourage you to dare to dream of a better life. "As much as I dream can I be".

Go to "crps/rsd related articles" to the left of this blog and click on the direct link to the article, "Natural Born Pain killers" in that explains the research behind this thinking.


Alessea said...

Hi there Jeisea
I do just use a mirror, I have a wall mirror I take down and use at home and where I live for uni I have a dress mirror I use. Its just they are too big and heavy to carry round when I am out during the day. How do you use the mirror when you are having exact mirrored symptoms in the opposite limb? I have exact same pattern of pain etc in my 'good' foot and I dont know how I can use the mirror when both feel the same... do you have any ideas? I cant contact my physio as she is on holiday just now and I cant even tell her what is going on.

Sorry about the long message :)

jeisea said...

Hi Felicia

Having pain on both sides or in both limbs or centrally as in your back are problems for mirror therapy. You need one good or less painful side.

Mirror therapy retrains the brain with the "it's ok" message. There are other ways of doing this. Mirror therapy is quick and very effective, non drug and basicall free of cost. However other things do work if they take longer. Normal movement is one way of doing this. With CRPS we get a very strong brain message not to move and to protect the painful part. Mindful, normal movement, touch, pressure, massage all reinforce the message that it is ok to move, that it is ok to touch. Laser acupuncture relaxes muscle spasm and is very calming. Visualizing the painful part as moving in a normal and painfree way also helps. Self hypnosis and meditation also calm, relax muscle spasm and reinforce the "ok" message. I don't know where you live but Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture was devised by a Japanese Neurologist to treat neurolocic/neuropathic problems eg stroke and Parkinsons disease and MS. It works for migraine and in my case has been rmarkable for stopping pain/inflammation and other symptoms. It is very calming and appears to balance the autonomic nervous system.

When I first heard about mirror therapy I couldn't try it because I had pain everywhere. I had to wait for a window of opportunity when one side was less painful that the other. Then I began.

I hope things settle for you soon. Please just ask if you think I can help.

Belle said...

A great post here Jeisea.

I too find that when I dwell on the chronic pains of CRPS/RSD that my pain levels remain elevated but when I get my mind going in another direction of having some fun-- well I'm both mentally and physically feeling better.

Thanks for sharing this reminder for all of us.
Hugz, Belle

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