PAIN IS NOT ALWAYS THE BAD GUY
Pain has an important and valuable role to play in our lives. Pain is the body’s way of getting our attention. It can be a warning signal, a physical protector, an emergency signal; it tells us that something may be wrong. It’s a suggestion to stop and listen to our bodies and find out what’s going on and how we need to respond. Its function is to bring our attention to a physical, emotional, or personal energy situation to give us an opportunity to decide which course of action we could take to help ourselves.
PAIN AS A SYMPTOM AND AS A TRIGGER FOR AN EPISODE
Pain does seem to play a part both as a symptom and as a trigger for episodes for those with FND. The increased stress and tension can cause an episode to begin or worsen.
A gentle review of life situations could show that a simple change in routine may bring relief. For example: If it seems likely that the pain is caused by tension stress or worry then relaxation and mindfulness may be the ideal course of action to bring relief. If it is likely that it’s because of stiffness from inactivity, then the most gentle and simple movements can bring relief. Likewise, if the pain is a threshold pain because of pushing on past tiredness or the need to rest, a sit down with a cup of tea might be all you need to reduce the discomfort.
RESISTANCE = PERSISTENCE
What is chronic pain?
In Your Body Speaks Your Mind
In Your Body Speaks Your Mind, Debbie Shapiro, (1996) suggests asking the pain to tell us what we need to know, to show where we are holding on tight and why. Her book has an interesting section on the Nervous System which includes different ways to deal with pain and explains the messages it might be bringing.
In 1952, Lester Levenson, a physicist from New Jersey, was diagnosed with a plethora of serious and life threatening health problems. His doctors had given up on him and had sent him home to die. However, his love of challenge and determination to explore different approaches to his problems led him to find a method that brought him relief from both the pain and the symptoms and restored his physical health.
He noticed that it was only when he resisted a symptom or emotion that it persisted. If he welcomed and embraced it, dived into it and then became willing to let it go, it would quickly pass. His approach was later developed into the Sedonna Method.
Full Catastrophe Living
In his book, Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat- Zin, (1990) explains that laboratory experiments with acute pain have shown that tuning in to sensations is a more effective way of reducing the level of pain. This way of dealing with pain works by opening ourselves to receiving whatever the pain is saying with the thought that once the message is received its job is done.