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For those who suffer from chronic pain, self care is critically important. Of course, you need to have it checked out by medical professionals. But it's often tricky to treat effectively, so it's important to have some holistic home-care techniques for it in your back pocket.
You'll find four methods for this further on down this page, but first let's look more closely at the phenomenon of long-term pain.
As the author/teacher Esther Hicks says: "Your body is a pure reflection of the balance of the thoughts that you think."
In my practice, I find this is true. Take the example of someone who is still suffering from an injury that happened years ago. I see this kind of thing all the time.
In one year, nearly every molecule of that person's body has been replaced by different molecules. In other words, the matter part of his body is not the same matter. So how can the chronic physical pain be residing in the PHYSICAL matter of his body?
It has to be something else that creates and/or holds that discomfort or dysfunction in place. At this point, we can't know for sure exactly what that underlying force is: science can't measure it yet. However, from my experience, I believe that the real source of the suffering is energetic — a disturbance in the energy field held there by thoughts and emotions from that long-ago physical or emotional injury.
So to deal with long-term physical suffering, it may not be enough to work on a physical level, although that can be a necessary part of the puzzle.
For lasting resolution, you may also have to take a more holistic approach. Here are some ideas that may help provide relief, including exploring your life's alignment with your higher self, using the power of your consciousness (or mindfulness, if you prefer that term), working with energy (acupressure), and mobilizing the astonishing potential of your breath. These are all wonderful holistic medicine tools for family health care.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to prompt new insights about your physical body, your life or both. See which ones resonate with you, then give yourself some quiet time and space. Drop the question(s) into your awareness, like dropping a pebble into a still pond, and see where the ripples lead or what they tell you about the riddle of your physical discomfort.
If the discomfort is associated with something that happened in the past, such as an injury, invite the area of discomfort to let go of its response to that event. Let go of whatever you are able to let go of in this area, allowing it to become more balanced and more in the present. (Again, don't try--just invite and allow. Don't worry about the amount of change, release, and rebalancing that you are able to reach. Accept what comes, knowing that it's the right amount for now.)
This approach can bring amazing relief for musculoskeletal discomfort, but can help with other types as well.
It can also be valuable to have someone help you with this, keeping their hand gently on the area of your body that hurts and talking you through each of the steps.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very complex, but one or a combination of these four points will help in many cases.
LI4 is one of the most important analgesic points, especially for the head, face and upper body. Excellent for headaches, shoulder and arm pain, toothaches, arthritis, eliminating toxins.
Location: In the web between the thumb and index finger, on the highest point of the bulge formed when they are brought together.
Note: Don't use on pregnant women, because it can cause premature labor, or people already experiencing too much "flow," such as diarrhea or heavy menstrual flow.
This major energy-moving point relieves pain and congestion; clears the energy system; detoxifies; releases pent-up or stagnant energy; reduces anger, irritability and tension headaches. Best used with LI4 (above). When I use LIV3, people often feel a powerful movement of energy.
Location: On the top of the foot, near the top of the "valley" between the bones leading to the big and second toes.
Again, don't use on pregnant women, because it can cause premature labor, or people already experiencing too much "flow," such as diarrhea or heavy menstrual flow.
This major nourishing point is known primarily for its ability to build vitality, but it's also good for generalized pain relief and any time there's an energy deficiency.
Location: on the outer shin, four fingers width below the bottom of the knee-cap, in the depression just outside the edge of the tibia (front shin bone). You'll feel a muscle flex strongly as you raise your fore-foot off the ground
GB 20 relaxes, releases endorphins, benefits the brain, releases trauma, and is an analgesic, especially for the head and neck. Excellent for headaches, stiff necks, balancing brain hemispheres, stress. One of my personal favorites for headaches.
Location: In the hollows just below the base of the skull, about three finger-widths out from the midline.
In the early stages of this practice, you might feel anxious after just a few cycles of breath.(I did.) If so, stop and briefly try again later. The anxiety will go away with practice.
If you feel light-headed, just sit quietly till the feeling subsides.
It may take several months to establish new, healthier breathing habits, but over time, you should feel better.
I hope some of these chronic pain self care ideas provide you some helpful tools for yourself, your loved ones or clients. Often there's no one single antidote, rather we have to combine a number of techniques to feel better.
Wishing you the very highest good, Nancy
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