September is National Pain Awareness Month. Living with pain can be a challenging journey. It requires self-love, patience, and the willingness to keep pressing on. Our bodies use pain as a means of communication. This can be as simple as “hot!” when we touch a hot cup of tea, or as complex as learning to lie down when living with chronic migraines. Discomfort always happens for a reason. By seeking out the lesson behind each episode, we can challenge ourselves to better health.
Am I Going Too Fast?
It seems like we exist in a constant state of acceleration. This takes a serious toll on our bodies. Often, the only recourse is for something to go wrong in order for us to slow down. Learn to listen to the signals coming from your body and acknowledge the wisdom that comes from within. See if you notice a pattern when it shows up in your life. Chronic pain usually reoccurs in times of great stress. This is often because we’ve ignored other signals from our bodies. Acupuncture is a beautiful way to both address the pain you’re having and to take a few minutes to reconnect with your spirit. It also allows energy to flow naturally to restore balance in your body. Learn to incorporate self-care into your day in the form of meditation, hydration, wholesome food, restful sleep, and helpful herbs and supplements as appropriate. If you’re not sure which supplements are right for you, explore my free e-book, Supplement Smart: What to Look for When Buying Supplements and How to Know What is Good!
Is My Lifestyle Adding to My Pain?
There are many daily habits that can increase pain levels. Many people experience discomfort associated with diet. Sugar, grains, nightshades and highly processed foods can be especially problematic for some. Pay attention to how your body reacts to these foods. Keep a food journal, and also try omitting anything that seems to add to your pain. There are several helpful herbs that can assist in alleviating discomfort. Turmeric has been highly praised lately for its healing properties. White willow bark and boswellia are also celebrated for their pain-relieving properties. Our supplement of the month, Inflamma-blox is a combination of many beneficial herbs and helps support the natural inflammatory response. This formula has helped some of my patients feel better when they have pain – it has an unusual set of herbs that a lot of other formulas don’t have including skullcap and bee propolis. Both of these herbs have unique anti-inflammatory properties that make them more effective in helping pain
Am I Losing Hope?
Whether you’re experiencing acute pain or have had mild pain for some time, finding the patience to endure can be difficult. Anger, sadness, and despair are very normal responses. Remember that your emotional health is also part of your pain system! Depression and hopelessness can both play a major role in your pain flares. Much like the hero’s journey, you will encounter obstacles along the way. Each challenge is an opportunity to go deeper inside yourself. Your pain system is part of your body, and you can jumpstart your healing by holding onto the hope that you will feel better. Take the time to research different treatments. Partner with healthcare providers who can connect you to resources. When you feel discouraged, be extra patient with yourself. Know that your body may not appear to be changing, however, your spirit is expanding with each new challenge. Even if you’ve tried a modality that didn’t appear to work, it contributed something to your healing process.
The Hero’s Journey
If pain has entered your life, it has a purpose. Allow your body to send its message and never give up on finding the healing you need. I’ve met many people who learned so much from their healing process that they became healers themselves and helped others heal from what they had. In many traditional cultures, the healer is called by a physical crisis. That’s the heroic healing journey. Allow your body to send its message, and accept that you may need to adjust your schedule, take better care of your physical self, and make peace with any negative emotions. This is an opportunity to love yourself and honor your body. Instead of pressing through pain and treating it like an inconvenience, embrace the lesson and the opportunity to heal.