Updated: Oct 5, 2019
1. Having a medical professional tell you “We can find nothing wrong.” Is NOT the same as “there is nothing wrong.” Keep advocating for yourself until you find relief.
2. Emotional and physical trauma play a crucial role in the body-mind experience of chronic illness and pain.
3. One of the biggest lessons is learning to ask for help and/or just allow things to remain undone or half-done.
4. A holistic mind-body approach is essential to address the physical (pain), mental (anxiety/depression), emotional (self-esteem) and spiritual (hopelessness) components of chronic illness and pain.
5. Few things are as boring as someone always moaning about their illnesses or pains; few things are as frustrating as trying to explain it without sounding boorish.
6. During flare-ups of prolonged or severe pain a combination of alternative and traditional Western medical approaches become vital for maximum relief.
7. Your diet and water intake can substantially improve or worsen pain and many other symptoms.
8. Learning to savor good days rather than falling into the trap of overdoing it, can prevent the seesaw of good to bad days.
9. Overdoing it and/or weaning down from medications can result in break-through pain and feeling defeated. Instead, to feel empowered learn the balancing act of pacing and gently testing the edge of your limits and learning.
10. It is vital to learn how to allow and to breathe into pain. It’s too exhausting to be at war with your body 24/7 which literally worsens symptoms. This is not the same as mentally ruminating or hyper-focusing on pain.
11. Meditation and gentle yoga are overwhelmingly proven to reverse the effects of chronic pain in the brain by changing how you react and respond to pain.
12. Just as it gets old to live in chronic pain, it’s challenging for family and friends to be supportive 24/7. Learn to be gracious when reminded to slow down and remember...when cranky from pain, see the urge to snap at someone as cue to breathe and stretch, to put your feet up and/or to take your meds.
13. Releasing 'your story' and clearing the subconscious mind while bolstering self-esteem are as crucial to quality of life as physical pain management medications and techniques.
14. Cellular and/or muscle memory and subconscious traumatic memories often create body armoring or tension that results in muscle spasm, rigidity and pain.
15: There is no “one size fits all” approach! Each person needs an individual and holistic (mind-body) plan and the plan must evolve over time.