If you suffer from chronic pain and the experience of depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, decreased social activity, and relationship stress that sometimes accompany it, I want you to know that there is a medicine cabinet inside of you that you can open through movement, mindfulness, and social engagement activities.
At a time when you might be experiencing hopelessness and constant discomfort in the face of chronic pain, know that it is possible to befriend your body and recognize that chronic pain is your system’s attempt to keep you safe. Although it seems like your body is sometimes your enemy, it is actually just attempting to keep you safe in its mixed up kind of way. Your body can actually become your most valuable ally in your healing process instead of relentlessly blocking your forward progress. Let’s start making friends with that body of ours again!
A 2011 report issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) calls PAIN a “public Health Crisis”, and states that more people are suffering from chronic pain than from diabetes, cancer, and heart disease combined. In fact, after conducting a survey in Canada, it was discovered that 1 in 5 Canadians suffers from Chronic Pain so you are not alone!
The hard work is that while there are many methods being developed to reduce suffering from chronic pain, the key puzzle piece is Your contribution – the responses that you bring to your own healing process. Okay, so now I am asking you to work harder at a time when you probably feel exhausted most of the time! And it is probably hard to concentrate when your system keeps pain in your way!
While there are many methods being developed to reduce suffering from chronic pain, the key puzzle piece is your contribution – the responses that you bring to your own healing process. An important predictor of your success is you – your willingness to experiment until you determine what really does help you to begin and continue on your unique healing journey. I encourage you to practice openness of mind, heart, and spirit so that you can honour the expert in you and learn how to befriend the natural resources of your body.
This is the first of a series of blog posts that I hope you will find useful as you navigate your own personal pathway to recovery from chronic pain. I offer you a guided meditation developed by PAIN BC and adjusted to be trauma informed for you to begin your experimenting and maybe tap into that medicine cabinet within you.
Please know that if you have read this far, you are already contributing to your wellness on this journey. With compassion, I find it necessary to let you know that I honour that your experience of pain is very real and I offer this breathing practice as one means for experimenting with befriending your body.
I would like to honour information shared by PAIN BC and from Freedom from Pain by Maggie Philips