September 25, 2020 at 10:08 am #15654Bailey VincentKeymaster
To conclude my week of pain-heavy talk (can you tell I’m mentally prepping for surgery?), I was wondering what everyone’s non-medication related tactics are for dealing with aches.
What do you do for pain when you can’t take meds?
For example, are you a heating pad person? A CBD oil fan? A grin-and-bear it type? I would say that, for the most part, I am a “lay down and hold still” type of person when it comes to acute pain, and (especially when I’m training for dance) I love heating pads, ice packs, baths, and Tiger Balm.
Dancers live with low-grade soreness basically all the time since we’re always building muscle and pulling things, but that ability to accept pain and tune it out can be troublesome when it comes to listening to our bodies. Sometimes, I think CF patients are much the same. We are so used to “something not feeling right,” that we under-react in order to not look reactionary.
How much “normal” soreness do you deal with on a daily basis, and how do you treat it?
September 26, 2020 at 10:22 am #15656Paul met DebbieParticipant
There are two things to consider here: one is practical, the other is mental.
I think when in pain, we all try to minimize pain by adapting what we do and how we do it. Working around the pain in other words. Depending on the sort of pain, medication or any of the other hacks you mention is valid. Sometimes, no action is a good option also. It is a practical thing.
Another thing I would like to mention in this regard is avoiding to get too tired. When tired, every trouble is more pronounced and harder to endure. So (extra) rest and when possible (extra) sleep is also good tactics for me. If I keep the energy level up, there is also more space for light activities that distract attention from the pain. The mind is easily distracted, take advantage of that. Don’t try to “break through the pain”, it will only deplete your energy and the pain will be waiting for you at the end of your campaign. Treat pain with respect but without fear or resentment. It’s your body talking to you – listen with compassion and patience.
Reacting to pain is natural and not the problem I think. Over-reacting/under-reacting will correct itself in practice. Don’t worry about that, follow your inclination and learn from doing. The important thing to be aware of though, is the intention you have when reacting. It is a mental thing.
First and foremost we should accept the situation we are in, including the pain. We should drop our resistance to what is. Not resisting pain means, to accept the pain as if we have chosen it. As if it were the normal situation. Imagine being born this way and not knowing better. If no one had told you this was pain and bad, you would not have that idea about it either and it would not trouble you mentally. It will not make the pain go away, you would still be moaning and hopping around, but it will make things easier. Acceptance does not mean passivity or defeat however. It means: don’t make the pain personal. This is how animals treat pain. There is much to be learned there. Treat it matter-of-factly, don’t make stories about it in your mind that are based on the triangle “I – pain – time”. Don’t judge the pain or your reaction to it. Don’t compare the pain. Don’t complain about it. Avoid talking or thinking about it as much as you can. Correct yourself (focus on breathing, sing a little song, do whatever destroys the line of thinking you are caught in) if you become aware of the mind doing this anyway (it’s a habit, but habits can change). Perhaps even avoid calling it pain all together. Simply treat it as “that what/how the body feels”. Like any other sensation, hunger, thirst, fatigue, warmth, cold. Pain is some tension in the body. Don’t make it more relevant.
In other words: you can’t avoid pain, but you can avoid or end the mental suffering that can arise from it by training your mind not to react. Tell your mind to mind its own business, to keep out. Time and time again. Try to only react to the pain with your body and in a practical manner – it is a bodily thing, treat it like that exclusively. Try not to attach any feeling, word, story or thought to it. If you have to express the pain, have a little moaning-session. Or a big one. No words/thoughts. Avoid the suffering. You might not be in control of the pain, but the suffering is your domain entirely! Be in charge of your mind! This is an opportunity to become more aware of your mind and teach it to behave. Don’t be too hard on your mind however, treat it like a little child with bad habits and ideas. Correct it gently and put it on the right track. It will learn. Talk to yourself gently.
This mental neutrality will make you and your loved ones feel better already. And coming from that “neutral” intention, things you do or avoid to lessen the sensation of pain are much more likely to bear fruit and be original, natural, well-timed and – dosed.
Do it and surprise yourself!
September 28, 2020 at 9:31 am #15659Jenny LivingstonKeymaster
I absolutely love Tiger Balm and heating pads, too!
I’m a huge fan of listening to guided meditations to work through pain. At the very least, I frequently fall asleep while listening to them… and (for me) sleep can be a great way of coping with pain as well.
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