Sunday, May 31, 2009

From Pain to possibilities - Neurotopian

How to Cope with Pain had a link to Neurotopian in the latest blog carnival.http://www.howtocopewithpain.org/blog/

Matthias Weinberger is a Physiotherapist extraordinaire in my opinion. He's passionate about the new science of pain management and promotes awareness and educates in this brilliant blog. Matthias is also a very talented photographic artist. I encourage you to bookmark his site and visit often. I go back and read his posts several times as there is so much good sense in them.
http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/

Neurotropian blog has a series of invaluable posts about
"mirror therapy". I recommend you watch the video of Ramachandran before Mirror Box Therapy Part I.

  • Mirror Box Therapy Part I describes how easily the brain can be changed by vision. Click on rotating spiral to show you how. He presents the science of "Somatosensory maps being re-modeled so that the pain is gone (forever)" because the brain is restructured. Please note that from my observation, if pain returns as soon as you stop mirror therapy, there may be an ongoing pathology or mechanical problem which needs addressing. Note the fantastic results with Iraq veterans in Walter Reid trials.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/11/mirror-box-therapy-part-i.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part III talks about the virtual body in the brain and distortion of images. In my case if I've had pain for a long time my image of my body part becomes distorted eg I become convinced that my leg is swollen. Measuring shows me that it's not but in my mind it is. Mirror therapy stops the pain and returns the image in my brain to normal. Again this section is interesting and explained in such a way that it is easy to understand.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/11/mirror-box-therapy-part-iii.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part IV specifically talks about CRPS and mentions the limb laterality left/right recognition problem. This is the best explanation I've found about this. In previous posts I talked about Noi Group's Recognize program. I think the cards they now have would have been much better for me as I have a big problem with recognizing left and right hands. This post is devoted to feedback from the body to the brain and is most important. I recommend you take time and read this section.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/12/mirror-box-therapy-part-iv.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part VI - as the expression goes "from pain to possibilities". This section is just fascinating. Read it and bookmark "Neurotopian" in your favourites. I'll be checking regularly and hope at some point there will be the opportunity to get updates by email as you can with Blogger.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/12/mirror-box-therapy-part-vi.html

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A very interesting comment by "Jane".

Jane Commented on my recent post

http://crps-rsd-a-better-life.blogspot.com/2009/05/scientists-have-discovered-that-you-can.html

"Hi, My name is Jane. I have suffered CRPS for 18 months now. Medication is not an option for me. I have tried the mirror box type of therapy, but whilst doing exercises, I was reminded of my limb, so it was counter productive in a way. Then one day one of our mirrors fell and the frame broke. My husband put the mirror in the corner which is next to another mirror on the same corner of the other wall creating a mirrored corner. When you stand central to both these mirrors, your left reflection is actually your right side, therefore confusing what you are actually doing and seeing. I haven't had relief as yet, but I have noticed how I stand lopsided, when lifting my arms I feel my affected limb is as high as the unaffected limb, but its not, so I am learning over again to stand straight.
Because it is on a larger scale, I concentrate on my entire body, it is like a diversion. One other of a few techniques I use to deal with the pain.
I suppose its what ever works, hey!!"

jeisea said...

Hi Jane

That's fascinating. I've used a hinged double makeup mirror to treat pain in the side of my face. It worked very well. What you describe is different. You may have hit on something significant. Please let me know what happens if you continue.

I wonder what your technique was when you did the original mirror therapy. I do it for a very short time, sometimes only 10 seconds, but do it several times a day. I also change the inputs eg I might have music on or be eating or have a fan going. Adding extras keeps the exercise fresh. New research suggests that to create new neural pathways the experience needs to be new. Adding in something that activates the different senses, I think, is a good idea. If you have time to watch, the series of 6 videos I recently posted explains this a bit.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 5 of 6)

Exercise creates new brain cells. Age related memory seen as a weakening between cells. I think that reasearch should stick with brain retrain rather than looking at drugs as this video mentions. Lets face it. The money is in the sale of drugs. However the savings to public purse from drug free methods is massive.
The knowledge that some emotions are good for health. Some are very bad for health. Armed with this knowledge is power to do something about it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 4 of 6)

The brain ages like your muscles age. Taking on something new will stimulate the brain and build new neural pathways. Used for stroke rehabilitation. Old ideas about the brain have been thrown out the window. Swedish scientists discovered that the brain makes new cells throughout life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 3 of 6)

Exploring how computer brains can make your brain work better. Speeding up the way the brain processes. The brain is a learning machine. A brain that processes sounds faster might be a more active brain. This video is an inspiration.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 2 of 6)

Scientists need the Buddhist scholars to help with their brain science research. About the book -Train your Mind, Change Your Brain.

Dan Rather Reports - Mind Science (Part 1 of 6)

An interesting report about brain plasticity and the effect of meditation in transforming the brain in beneficial ways. Neuro-plasticity is the brain's capacity to change.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More evidence of the importance of controlling stress and the need to retrain the brain which changes with chronic pain.

Neuron, November 2008 reported abnormal Gray-White Matter interactions have been noted in emotional and autonomic regions of the brain in patients with chronic Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
http://www.cell.com/neuron/abstract/S0896-6273(08)00748-4

Saturday, May 23, 2009

ESC 1987 Winner * 20 Ireland * Hold Me Now *

Australian singing for Ireland. Johnny Logan has won Eurovision twice and written the song for another winner.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Putting research into practice.

Don't worry! Easier said than done but it's well known that stress makes all pain worse. I've found that I have to make myself let go of things that I would normally worry or be annoyed about. Not the major stuff, just the little day to day things that can get me down or make me cranky. Making a conscious decision not to dwell on things takes an effort especially when I feel justified in being upset or anxious. But feeling this way just makes me stressed and stress ramps up pain so in the end I suffer and the suffering isn't worth it.

Be happy! I make a conscious effort to seek happiness. I watch funny TV, pat my dog, love my husband, laugh with my children on the phone, ride my bike, walk along the beach wading in the water, laugh with a neighbour, share a cuppa. I also choose to look for positives in situations but I think I should avoid the news which tends to focus on gloom and doom. Endorphins are raised when we're happy. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a depressing condition and it takes a real effort to focus on the positives in life. I have to avoid beeing sucked down with pain and keep a conscious determination to rise above it. Life is for living. We get one go at it and I don't intend to waste it. The motto of one of the school where I 've taught was "LIVE LIFE TO THE FULL!" I plan to do just that.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scientists have discovered that you can change your brain by what you imagine not just by actions.

Many times I've mentioned "the new science of pain". I written about how the brain changes with pain. It's been shown by imaging that imagined movements or seeing movements activate the same brain pathways as if actually doing the activity, "monkey see, monkey do". From this discovery mirror therapy was developed.

It's also known that if we think negatively about our pain (this is the worst pain ever), our brain changes in an unhelpful way, just as it changes in a beneficial way when we think positively about our pain (I can cope with this).

So scientists have discovered that you can change your brain by what you imagine not just by actions. You can benefit by practicing feeling happy. The left frontal cortex, known as the seat of happiness, will be activated. Just by practicing, or imagining feeling happy, you can create the pathways to happiness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Retraining the brain - CBS News reported on drug free methods to restore mental capabilities.

Today I'd like to remind you about a 2006 CBS News story, Retraining the brain -Doctors Test Drug -Free Methods To Restore Lost Mental Capabilities.

Please note that the CI therapy mentioned was designed by Dr. Edward Taub at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Taub says treatments that retrain the brain have been proven useful in treating strokes, brain injuries, even helping recovery from hip replacement. "There are treatments for lots and lots of conditions that are not part of mainstream treatments, but are effective," Taub says.

The article finishes,
"As science learns more about the brain's capacity to rewire itself, instead of using drugs, doctors may increasingly try teaching old brains new tricks."

Please click on this blog title to go to the CBS News report. Although not specifically about chronic pain, it shows that the US is clearly taking up the challenge and using the techniques of retraining the brain based on the knowledge of brain plasticity well worth the read.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/01/15/sunday/main1209916.shtml

Since this article researchers in Australia have discovered that dementia can be seen a a loss of neural activity. Now we know how to retrain the brain to build new neural pathways, the future is looking brighter for all.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Brain is Harmed By Chronic Pain.

Medical News Today which is featured on the left of this blog, has an article The Brain is Harmed By Chronic Pain. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/96328.php?nfid=51982

Dr Lorimer Moseley and others have shown that chronic pain harms cortical areas of the brain which have no relation to pain and up till now it was not known how this happens. Doctors Baliki, Geha, Apkarian and Chialvo from the Feinberg School of Medicine suggest that long term pain alters the balance of areas of activity in the brain. Imaging studies have shown that some areas of the brain are more active at rest and less active when the person is active. This is known as the default mode network (DMN). These (DMN) areas decrease in activity when a task is being performed. This research was conducted with chronic back pain patients. It showed that the default mode network ,during task performance by chronic back pain patients, had "reduced deactivation in several key (DMN) regions." (The Journal of Neuroscience, February 6, 2008). these findings indicate that chronic pain has an impact on overall brain function and not just function involving pain.

Dr Chialvo explains this failure of the brain to "deactivate" in the Medical News Now article by saying, "in people with chronic pain, a front region of the cortex mostly associated with emotion "never shuts up." The relentlessness of chronic pain is thought to be harmful to the brain. It is also explains what is now known about chronic pain's tendency to become spontaneous (in the absence of input).

These findings, to my mind, lend weight to the need to stop the relentless pain and the absolute imperative of using brain retraining methods to stop the spontaneous message of pain. Remember only the brain can decide we have pain.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Creativity is an importing part of who I am.

Today I gave my good friend and neighbour this, one of my favourite bags. There is great pleasure in giving and making people happy.

As part of my journey I've had to redefine who I am - my ikigai. I'm not the person I was before falling down 13 stairs in 1998. One of the hardest things for me was to accept I can no longer do fine art. My right wrist is permanently stiff with limited movement. I have difficulty holding a pencil to draw a line. Now I've discovered I can use a sewing machine and have had great joy making bags for family and friends. Today I plan to finish two more, one for a friend who is a singer with a band, the other, a smaller one for a friend who is ill. The first is wild with sequins skulls and roses, the second more refined.

Ikigai - put simply "a reason for living".

How to Cope With Pain has chosen this post as part of its blog carneval for this month. Click here to see what else is on offer.
http://www.howtocopewithpain.org/blog/896/pain-blog-carnival-may-2009/

Today I want to tell you about an important Japanese concept ikigai.

If ikigai were translated from Japanese into English, it could be "reason(s) for living", "self-actualization", "meaning or purpose of life" and "motivation for living".

Ikigai is culturally defined in the society of Japan as describing subjective well-being. It is considered to be related to life-satisfaction, self-esteem, morale, happiness as well as giving meaning to one's life.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in the process of writing his new book"Chasing Life" discovered that the way you think affects the way you feel.

If you have a prolonged negative way of thinking about illness these thoughts will manifest into existence. Think bad. Feel bad.
If you think of how good your health is, you will feel better. Think well. Feel better.

Life is full of challenges, when faced with a chronic illness or injury, you can either focus on lack and feel blame, or learn from your situation. You can be a victim or a victor. When you choose to be a victor, you increase your fulfillment.

Japanese researchers found that chronic pain patients with higher ikigai scores tended to be optimistic and to have positive attitudes, while patients with lower scores tended to be introverted and pessimistic and to have more physical disabilities due to pain.

Japanese believe that the people who live the longest have a very strong ikigai.
On waking each day, they focus on what is their sense of purpose for that day.

"Why are you here? What are you going to do? How are you going to better the world in some way?"

ikigai must change for sufferers of life changing conditions such as CRPS/RSD. The fundamental knowledge of what defines you and how you value yourself takes a radical shift. Faced, in many cases, with no longer working in your chosen job, being cared for instead of carers leave many of us floundering in search of a new identity, a new sense of purpose, a modified ikigai.

I'm still traveling this journey to define my ikigai but for now I'll think and speak mindfully, positively and concentrate on becoming the victor instead of the victim.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Neurotropian blog has a series of invaluable posts about "mirror therapy

How to Cope with Pain had a link to Neurotopian in the latest blog carnival.http://www.howtocopewithpain.org/blog/

Matthias Weinberger is a Physiotherapist extraordinaire in my opinion. He's passionate about the new science of pain management and promotes awareness and educates in this brilliant blog. Matthias is also a very talented photographic artist. I encourage you to bookmark his site and visit often. I go back and read his posts several times as there is so much good sense in them.
http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/

Neurotropian blog has a series of invaluable posts about
"mirror therapy". I recommend you watch the video of Ramachandran before Mirror Box Therapy Part I.

  • Mirror Box Therapy Part I describes how easily the brain can be changed by vision. Click on rotating spiral to show you how. He presents the science of "Somatosensory maps being re-modeled so that the pain is gone (forever)" because the brain is restructured. Please note that from my observation, if pain returns as soon as you stop mirror therapy, there may be an ongoing pathology or mechanical problem which needs addressing. Note the fantastic results with Iraq veterans in Walter Reid trials.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/11/mirror-box-therapy-part-i.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part III talks about the virtual body in the brain and distortion of images. In my case if I've had pain for a long time my image of my body part becomes distorted eg I become convinced that my leg is swollen. Measuring shows me that it's not but in my mind it is. Mirror therapy stops the pain and returns the image in my brain to normal. Again this section is interesting and explained in such a way that it is easy to understand.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/11/mirror-box-therapy-part-iii.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part IV specifically talks about CRPS and mentions the limb laterality left/right recognition problem. This is the best explanation I've found about this. In previous posts I talked about Noi Group's Recognize program. I think the cards they now have would have been much better for me as I have a big problem with recognizing left and right hands. This post is devoted to feedback from the body to the brain and is most important. I recommend you take time and read this section.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/12/mirror-box-therapy-part-iv.html
  • Mirror Box Therapy Part VI - as the expression goes "from pain to possibilities". This section is just fascinating. Read it and bookmark "Neurotopian" in your favourites. I'll be checking regularly and hope at some point there will be the opportunity to get updates by email as you can with Blogger.
  • http://neurotopian.blogspot.com/2007/12/mirror-box-therapy-part-vi.html

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The success of Mirror Therapy is not a just a case of mind over matter but a measurable change in neural activity.

© 2006 Rothgangel et al; licensee . This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.

"Mirror therapy or Mirror Visual Feedback (MVF) has shown positive effects in several diseases, as phantom pain, stroke, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
During movement observation using MVF a significant increase in cerebral blood flow was observed in the ventral premotor cortex and, activation in the visual cortex was lateralized opposite to the seen hand.This led to the conclusion that MVF seems to recruit the mirror neuron system more than normal movement observation and can facilitate motor recovery. In addition, MVF possibly can modify the body scheme located in the visual cortex."

These cells or "mirror neurons" were discovered around 1990 in the laboratory of Giacomo Rizzolatti, a neuroscientist at the University of Parma, Italy. Researchers in the laboratory had been studying brain activity in macaque monkeys.
The monkey brain contains a special class of cells, called mirror neurons, that fire when the animal sees or hears an action and when the animal carries out the same action on its own. Monkey see, monkey do.

The human brain has multiple mirror neuron systems that specialize in carrying out and understanding not just the actions of others but their intentions, the social meaning of their behavior and their emotions and pain. Have you ever "felt" it when you saw someone take a rough tackle in football?

It is this aspect of motor neuron activity that is thought to come into play when mirror therapy is used to treat pain and symptoms in CRPS.

The success of Mirror Therapy is not a just a case of mind over matter but a measurable change in neural activity.

The discovery of mirror neurons is revolutionising understanding of how the mind works.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My experience with Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture

The first time I had Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA) was November 2007. I've been having Laser Acupuncture for a couple of months. This was releasing muscle spasm, easing symptoms and was calming. However on this visit I'd had a headache for three weeks. I take Vitamin B2 to prevent migraine so this was breakthrough headache, not as bad as acute migraine. My GP was decisive and said that Yamamoto Acupuncture would be best. I was very nervous as I'd heard needles are not advised for people with CRPS. My scalp on the headache side was hypersensitive as was the whole side of my head. He placed one needle on the non painful side and I felt nothing as he inserted the needle, but it was a different story on the headache side. I really felt the needles on that side and was concerned that the pain caused might have made things worse.

This was not the case and withing 30 minutes the headache had gone and did not return.

My next experience with Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture was about four weeks ago. I'd made two small cards which involved cutting and fine motor work with my hands. I have a stiff and thick right wrist from the wrist fracture which led to CRPS. I have limited movement in my wrist because of the severity of the fracture which resulted in permanent disability. Fine motor activity appears to cause irritation to the nerves of my right hand/wrist. This is what happened in this case. I had difficulty closing a fist, holding things, squeezing a peg etc. My nerves were firing and my feeling changed in my fingers and hand. The pain traveled quickly to my elbow. Soon my shoulder became painful. Very quickly old pains returned. You may remember I've mentioned before that sometimes old pains suddenly return. By the time I went to the doctor I was in a great deal of pain in my right wrist, elbow, shoulder, right leg, foot and left shoulder, back and my chest. My doctor said it was inflammation and that the median and radial nerves were involved and issues stemmed from C1 to C7 in my back. Not being a medical person, I wasn't sure I understood what he meant but I was prepared to trust his recommendation to use YNSA . I'd read about its use and knew it works for neurological problems.

Although I noticed relaxation immediately, I had no miracle cure. However later that evening I was able to hold things with less pain. By the time I saw the doctor a few days later I had noticeable improvement in my hand but that was not all. The old remembered pains had retreated. Imagine hurting from head to foot and then the pain retreating back first form the extremities. I've been having two treatments a week. Between each treatment I seem to do something which irritates the wrist again so I get better and then slide back a bit. Right now all of the old pains have gone. My hand is painful when I do certain things with it eg turn on a tap. I've irritated the nerves in my hand today by using a pair of scissors. This will always be a problem due to the nature of my injury. The CRPS involvment is the ongoing pain and symptoms and spread of pain to other areas and resurfacing of old pain. The CRPS symptoms have stopped!!!

Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture is affective for treating CRPS pain and symptoms. I have also been using mirror therapy, controlled breathing, and a range of other things from my list. Each seems to support the others.

But there's more!!!!

Shortly after this treatment I went to the City. I walked up a hill and was surprised at having no tachycardia, shortness of breath and crushing chest pain. I walked up two long flights of stairs. Usually I struggle. Again not tachycardia etc.

Later that day a poor gentleman was hit by a taxi right in front of us. I saw him fly through the air and we were first on the scene to call for help and administer aid. I had no adrenaline rush, no symptoms, no sweating, feeling feint etc. I was calm. This is how I used to be before CRPS. Those who have followed my journey will know I cannot take medicines because of cardiac complications from a hyper sensitive sympathetic nervous system. Suddenly I have no sympathetic nervous system response. In fact I was very calm.

When we came home I checked my blood pressure. It was normal. I stood up suddenly and took it again. No difference. Usually my blood pressure drops about 20 points when I stand from sitting. My blood pressure appears to be normal and no wild swings.

"This weekend I again walked up hills and stairs with no problem. At present my blood pressure and cardiac response have appeared to be normal for a week and a half. This is nothing short of amazing."

What this means is that right now my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems seem to be responding normally. I had come to think this would never be the case and adjusted my lifestyle accordingly. I was not expecting this to happen. The only thing that I am doing differently is Yamamoto Acupuncture. I am continuing treatment and will post again soon about how this is going for me.
This is what I wrote 3 March 2008. I was feeling so well I went fishing with my husband and had an accident in which I ruptured my cruciate ligaments and broke the menisci. All my symptoms immediately returned.

I've now had a knee arthroscopy and am on the mend. Shortly I'll be having Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture again in the hope that my symptoms again will return to normal. I'll post about how this goes. My fingers are firmly crossed!

YNSA seems to be a therapeutic method capable of erasing pain memories rapidly and sustainably.

"Medical Acupuncture", a Journal by Physicians for Physicians in Vol 15#1 has a report on Affectiveness of New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA) for relief of Pain of the Locomotor System: an Open, Prospective Topometrically Controlled Study by Thomas Schockert, MDPublish Post
Professor G√ľnter Schumpe, MD
Claudia Nicolay, MS.

What is remarkable about this study and gives credibility is that it "was performed purely for scientific reasons and did not receive financial funding from any source".

This study was undertaken because it has been observed that immediately after Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture (YNSA) treatments, many patients experienced long term absence of symptoms.The trial examined results after a single treatment with the aim to examine the speed of relief and length of time the relief lasted.

"YNSA seems to be a therapeutic method capable of erasing pain memories rapidly and sustainably."
"New research findings on so-called pain memory (the new science of pain I have mentioned before), which is generally established in patients with chronic pain, provide reasons why a single, short-term application of YNSA can effect elimination of symptoms lasting (in this trial) up to 382 days."

Click on this link for for the Medical Journal report.
http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:ZwhxHkpyj84J:www.medicalacupuncture.org/aama_marf/journal/vol15_1/vol_15_num_1_article_5.html+yamamoto+acupuncture&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=au

In the next post I will tell you how effective Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture has been for me.

Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture is used for the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome of the upper and lower extremity.

To the left of this blog I've created a section for links to research. At present there are links relating to Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture. Today I'm adding a link to a website ynsacupuncture http://www.ynsacupuncture.com/index.html
This site offers a clear description of Yamamoto New Scalp Acupuncture and how it compares and is different from Chinese Scalp Acupuncture.

Of specific interest are these two pages which mention points used for the treatment of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
For the upper extremity
http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:na0vNhk1qmcJ:www.ynsacupuncture.com/ynsa_theory/ynsa_basic_points/ynsa_zone_c.html+crps+YNSA&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

For the lower extremity
http://www.ynsacupuncture.com/ynsa_theory/ynsa_basic_points/ynsa_zone_c.html

If you are interested in this treatment I encourage you to read the research and case studies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I mindfully meditate on waves at my local beach. This is calming and eases pain.

RSD is Twisted - by Kimberly Nic. Thanks to redbubble.com

This is a link to an Australian artist, Kimberly Nic's representation of RSD - a self portrait. If you click on her profile you'll find redbubble has a great display of Kimberly's art which she creates despite the pain and disability of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
http://www.redbubble.com/people/kimberlynic/art/1574865-1-rsd-its-twisted

Monday, May 11, 2009

Handcrafted with love - Belle's blog about "creating from the heart - despite living with CRPS"

Belle says, "Life isn't about finding yourself. It's about creating yourself." She believes in looking at your blessings and has dedicated herself to promoting awareness of the debilitating condition, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. I encourage you to visit Belle's blog Handcrafted with love, "grab a coffee and stay a while."http://handcrafted-with-love.blogspot.com/

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Creativity - focusing on pleasure despite pain.

"An antidote to pain can be found in pleasure. Pleasure can serve as a distraction from pain, and with concentration, can replace pain. Pleasure can take the form of the physical, the social and loving, the creative, the philosophical, and the spiritually experiential,"according to http://www.swamiveda.org/pain_conference.html

Marti Hand has a blog dedicated to CREATIVITY IN HEALING.http://martihand.wordpress.com/ Her blog encourages readers to

Activate the body’s self-healing properties by exploring the relationship between art making and self-care.

I believe in the power of creativity as a distraction to help cope with pain, but more importantly, I believe that the pleasure and satisfaction derived from creative pursuits has far greater benefits. We know that when we think positively the brain changes in a way that is helpful. We know that the brain changes with chronic pain. Recent Australian research has indicated that creating neural pathways by doing new and different and creative things can help prevent neural loss.

A friend of my daughter's saw a bag I'd made her for Christmas and asked me to make some bags for a recent craft fair. It took a long time but I eventually made 20 bags. I made a blog a few weeks ago about this. I'll close this blog soon but though I would share what I made.
http://crafttfish.blogspot.com/


I'd like to make a link list of people who have chronic pain syndromes and, despite pain and disability are making time to create. I'll post soon about Belle of
http://hope4crpsrsd.ning.com/

Please leave a comment to share what you do. I you have a blog or website then I would love to add it to my "Creating despite pain" link list in the hopes of inspiring others.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

On a personal note

Those who visit regularly or who subscribe to my posts by email will realize I haven't posted recently.
I'll be posting again now and will focus on research and on what we do despite the pain.

CRPS/RSD A Better Life has been good for me because it's helped me in bad times, given me the feeling that I can do something for myself and introduced me to some wonderful people. Thank you to all who read my blog.
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