Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. As many as 30 million Americans endure chronic pain from any number of causes. Since it is – for the most part – invisible, most people don’t understand it or believe it’s real.
If you’re just beginning your search about chronic pain, the information you’ll find here is general in nature, but offers a good starting point.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
It can be anything from a dull ache to excruciating agony and can be anywhere in your body. Chronic pain may stem from an initial injury, lower back injury, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes, nerve damage or from a long-term illness.
The pain is relentless and could be a dull ache, burning, knifing or gnawing sensation. Normally, the initial pain sends a message to your brain that something is wrong. Eventually, you heal and the pain subsides.
With chronic pain, those sensors keep sending messages to your brain and when it lasts longer than 12 weeks, can affect your ability to do your job as well as affect your relationships with family and friends.
Along with chronic pain, you may have brain fog, mood swings, depression, exhaustion and no energy to live your daily life. Chronic pain is the reason the opioid crisis is worse than ever.
Besides Opioids, What Helps Chronic Pain?
According to PyschologyToday.com, there are some ways to help manage your chronic pain.
Chronic pain can also lead to chronic pain syndrome, where symptoms go beyond the pain itself, and lead to the development of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, among others. There are ways to manage the symptoms of chronic pain syndrome.
A good first step is learning to breathe correctly—deep breathing from the core is always better than taking shallow breaths. Deep breathing and a meditation practice can help reduce any symptoms of stress that may be exacerbating pain.
To further manage pain, it also helps to not smoke, limit alcohol, practice good sleep hygiene, and eat healthfully, and exercise some self-compassion.
When it comes to meditation, I absolutely stink. Can’t do it no matter how hard I try. But here’s what I can do and maybe it’ll work for you. Sit quietly and count your breath. Breathe in deeply on count one and breathe out on count two. Can you do that one more time? Then can you do that a third time? With practice, you might be able to reach a couple of minutes. That’s where I’m at right now.
I believe that self-compassion is paramount with chronic pain. I have clients who live with daily severe chronic pain and one of the most frequent things I hear is “I hate my body for betraying me”.
Please – I’m begging you – listen to me – your body hasn’t betrayed you. And I know it sounds a bit woo woo, but the very cells in your body KNOW when you’re beating yourself up from something you can’t control. Be kind to yourself.
Some alternative therapies that are helpful:
- Acupuncture – from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Uses extremely thin needles to interrupt and balance your life flow energy or chi along your body’s meridians.
- Reflexology – enhances your overall well being and can be useful in combating stress from chronic pain.
- Massage – A good massage therapist can soothe your hurting body especially when using PainGenix Fast Acting Natural Pain Balm during the treatment.
How Does Aromatherapy Help Chronic Pain?
One of the best things about my holistic aromatherapy practice is that it’s totally plant-based. Why does that matter? Essential oils have the power to affect your physical and emotional well being. Here’s a wonderful explanation from the NAHA.org (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) website:
As a holistic practice, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active method to employ during acute and chronic stages of illness or ‘dis’-ease.
It is a natural, non-invasive modality designed to affect the whole person not just the symptom or disease and to assist the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself by the correct use of essential oils.
Because true holistic aromatherapy is plant-based (never synthetic), it’s much gentler on your liver and kidneys which must process everything you put on or in your body. And all pain has two things in common: it hurts and there’s inflammation. Essential oils have the power to effectively address both of these issues without the toxic side effects.
During my case studies at aromatherapy school, I created some products to help you manage chronic pain:
- Flexatoid Cream for Rheumatoid Arthritis – there are some powerful analgesics in this blend as well as essential oils to address the depression.
- PainGenix Fast Acting Natural Pain Balm – there are some different analgesic oils in this blend and it’s a balm vs. a lotion.
- Stress Support Aromatherapy Roller Ball – this blend acts as a tonic for your body due to the stress of chronic pain.
- Anxiety Ease Aromatherapy Roller Ball – many times chronic pain makes you feel anxious and scattered. This blend helps balance you.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issue.