|Responding to Chronic Pain
If the heart of fibromyalgia (and chronic pain) is pain amplification
or pain sensitisation then reversal of this state is the
path to healing. Pain sensitisation is a lowering of the pain
recovery involves raising the pain threshold
back to a normal level. Normal activity and pressure
to the body will no longer cause pain and tenderness.
Unfortunately, though, many people with fibromyalgia/chronic
pain end up in a trap. As the pain sensitisation develops
they start to protect themselves. It
is almost as though they wrap themselves in cotton
wool shutting themselves off from the world in an attempt
the pain. Their activity is reduced, as
well as their contact with people. They tend to
withdraw physically and emotionally. Sadly this pattern of withdrawal
from life does little to solve the problem.
Frustration, despair, and helplessness become regular
visitors feeding the pain amplification state. This is
very normal reaction for people who are accustomed
to doing a lot in life and expecting a great deal
of themselves. To lose their independence and to be restricted
in their activities causes a great deal of
anguish. Unfortunately, fighting these limitations
only leads to further pain and anguish. However, it is possible
reach a level of acceptance of the situation
but at the same time know that it is not permanent.
Accepting how it is now can be the start of the healing process.
are often surprised at how quickly
things start to change when they do start to "accept how it is now".
The pain bothers them less, they find activities they can enjoy, and find
unexpected solutions to what seemed like insoluble problems.
The focus of this self-management program
is reversal of the pain sensitisation syndrome. Everything
in the program directly or indirectly assists this
process and the bottom line is feeling good. Many
people believe that the only way that
they can feel good, is to be as they were
before injury or before the pain began. Being willing to change,
is perhaps the most important step you can take.
program can involve substantial changes in
your lifestyle including learning to relax, exercising regularly,
eating well and learning to be positive
and accepting. The key to success is commitment. Those
who persevere and learn to be patient, get results.
It would be easy to reverse
the pain sensitisation state if you adopted these changes immediately,
but most people take time to integrate
into their lives. Sometimes the path out
of pain involves looking at yourself and your lifestyle closely.
This can be quite confronting and many people
feel reluctant to do this at first. However, this
is all just part of a process and
if you are prepared to take the first step,
you can be rewarded for your courage and insights. The pain
sensitisation state is reversible. Top of Page
In this age of
increasing reliance on sophisticated technology it can be easy
to forget that people have a remarkable capacity
to heal themselves. The key to self-healing is creating an
environment to facilitate healing and reawaken this healing
potential in the person experiencing pain. This program is
designed to help you reawaken your healing potential. Health
Care Practitioners can support this process as they treat you,
asking questions and inviting you to take responsibility. In
this way you can benefit from their particular skills and be
supported in developing your self-management program. The diagram
below represents the components of this self-management program.
In the centre of the diagram are the core
components: relaxation/meditation and exercise/movement. Some
people in pain recover once they have learnt these
and keep using them in their daily life.
Other people need to explore more deeply, asking themselves questions
like "Why this?" and "Why now?" More profound
healing comes when people explore questions like
"Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" that
address purpose and meaning in life. However,
everyone in chronic pain will need to explore
their attitudes to the pain, the self-management
program, and their
Many people believe that they are doing all that they can because
they have been to yoga, done a course in meditation, had some Feldenkrais
lessons or been given
exercises by the physiotherapist. However,
it is only when you put it all together in a
daily program, that you
can be effective in reversing a chronic pain syndrome.
This self-management program provides an integrated
approach, addressing mind, body, emotions and spirit. It is a 6-day
program because it takes at least 6
days to learn the skills. However, the course
is only the beginning, and many people need to have individual
sessions, after the course, to address their personal
concerns about their situation and the program.
Self-Management takes a great deal of skill and the more skilful
you become the greater the chance you have
of recovering. You can read more about what is
involved by looking at A Prescription for
to Self-Management describes some of the obstacles
to getting your program up and running. I have
included a few more comments, below, about each aspect of the program
and about the reasons for seeking psychotherapy
Relaxation and Meditation
There are many
different ways to practice relaxation and meditation. It is important
to find a method which
suits you and your lifestyle. I have
found that mindfulness
meditation is most helpful
for people with chronic pain syndromes because of the focus on
the present, and increasing awareness of thoughts,
feelings and behaviour. Awareness is a powerful
tool in life, and for healing. It is often best to start with muscle
relaxation techniques and later move on
to breathing techniques. Some people find visualization
useful and others find that visualization doesn't come naturally. Try some different approaches and
then use your chosen approach regularly because it is the regular practice which
will give you results. Tapes can be helpful, particularly at the start, but you
will need to learn how to relax without a tape.
Learning to relax is essential to recovery but
it is probably the most difficult skill, for people in pain, to
learn. When tension and activity have become habitual
it can be challenging to stop and relax. Here
are some of the reasons why people are reluctant to practice relaxation.
- Some people are scared of what will happen if they stop;
- Some say it hurts more when they sit still;
- Some fear the loss of control when they start to let go;
- Some feel bored by doing nothing;
- Some become anxious when they try to relax;
- Some people feel guilty when they relax;
- Some people feel that they are wasting time or,
- Some feel that there is not enough time to practice relaxation.
Working with your obstacles to practising relaxation, will
help you find your path out of pain.
Exercise and Movement
Similarly there are
obstacles to doing an exercise/movement program. The most common
that it hurts to move or the pain gets worse after exercise
activity. This can become
a trap because you need to move to find a path out of chronic
pain. It is how you move, and which exercises and movements you
which will determine how
successful you are with this aspect of the program.
You can read more about
the components of a daily exercise program in Components
of your Daily Routine.
When I say attitude I
include, attitudes to the pain, to the self-management program,
and to your life generally. You can read more about developing
helpful attitudes to pain in
Turning Reactions into Responses and in Posters.
can learn to recognize
your reactions and change them into responses, you have a very
powerful tool to help you on your journey out of pain. Beliefs
or Heal explains the impact
of your thoughts.
It is difficult to recover
from illness or chronic pain when you have no reason to get up
in the morning. But, when you feel useful and you enjoy your
healing is more likely
to happen. Unfortunately, chronic pain can present all sorts
of challenges to finding such work as you may have constraints
you can do. Sometimes people
have to retrain or do alternative duties for a while.
However, research has shown
that people who return to work soon after their injury, do better
than those who have extended periods away from work. It is
seek assistance from rehabilitation
consultants who can design a graduated return to work plan and
ensure that you have the right furniture and equipment
For some people chronic
pain is just a nuisance lurking in the background of their
lives and for others it is devastating; affecting their quality
of life, their relationships, and their capacity to work. It
is useful for anyone with chronic pain, to explore questions
like "Why this?" and "Why now?" to help discover personality
characteristics (see Pain and
Personality) and lifestyle patterns
that could be behind the chronic pain. Skilled therapists can
help you explore these questions and make the necessary changes
to your lifestyle. Therapists
counsellors with experience in
working with chronic illnesses will be
able to help you most. Remember that seeking the assistance of
a psychologist does not mean that your
pain is in your mind. They can help with many aspects of the
you are likely to experience with chronic pain.
People with chronic pain can experience
anxiety, depression, grief, relationship difficulties,
conflict, anger, and fear. Psychologists
and counsellors are trained to assist you with these problems.
It is best to seek assistance
early as these problems will amplify your pain and make your
recovery much more difficult. If you are not getting the
results you want, you may need to do longer term work in
therapy, exploring core beliefs or schemas that may be standing
in the way of your healing.
be a long journey, from many months to years, and therapists
can support you through the process. In addition, many people
with chronic pain
trauma in childhood or later in their lives. Trauma includes
and/or sexual abuse, emotional neglect, accidents, and even
such as (Hakomi and Sensorimotor
can be helpful with
healing the wounds of trauma and this work may be a necessary
of reversing a chronic
pain syndrome. Although it can be hard to accept that there
is a link between early childhood experiences and current pain,
can remain open to
possibility, you could be assisting yourself to find a path
out of your pain. Top of Page
Finding a path out of pain means being willing to identify,
face, and work with the obstacles to self-management.
Each person with chronic pain has their own set of obstacles
and they can find their own solutions. In other words
there is no one path out of pain. People who pass through
the Door of Willingness move beyond attitudes of avoidance,
resistance, helplessness and hopelessness to acceptance,
curiosity, courage and patience. They have let go their
resistance to change and developed curiosity about what
lies beyond the door of willingness. Beyond the "Door
of Willingness" the pain is transformed from something
representing danger and a catastrophe, to opportunity.
Turning Risks and
Obstacles into Opportunities
What seemed like a catastrophe can become an opportunity
when the apparent obstacles to self-management are faced.
Obstacles can become challenges if you are prepared to
go through the door of willingness. You can learn many
useful life skills and find greater health and happiness
through doing this program.
Top of Page
Two common reactions to pain are:
- To stop
when it hurts;
- To ignore it and keep going.
Neither one is a good strategy as they represent 2 ends
of a continuum of responses. Your response
to pain needs to be much more finely tuned. Sometimes
with the second strategy and then turn to the first
can't keep it up. They have to leave work and/or stop most activities
around the house. It is an all
or none response and many people live their
lives reacting in this way forgetting that there is a whole range of responses
in between. They see the world as black or white without shades of grey.
Turning a Reaction Into A Response
is something you do automatically whereas a response is
something you consciously
choose to do. To learn to respond rather than react you first
need to recognise your reactions. The poster Attitudes
to Pain illustrates
people have to chronic pain. As you get to know your reactions
can then make choices about how you would like to respond.
You may need to try out different approaches and determine
what works best
for you. Working
with Your Body and Finding a Balance between
Rest and Activity,
later in this section, gives you many strategies you can
Dancing Or Being In Step With Your Pain
A fixed reaction
is very limited. To be able to move in step with your pain
gives you flexibility. You will need to stay aware to be
able to make
You may need to:
- Slow down
- Pace yourself
- Use less effort
- Do less / Do more
- Plan better
go you fear
the day you can monitor yourself. This means being mindful (see Mindfulness
feeling, sitting, and relating. You can make the appropriate responses as
as you notice any increase in tension or speed.
Let It Be
learn to just let it be; neither reacting nor responding in the sense of
anything. To simply allow your experience to be as it is,
can be very powerful.
It is our reaction to pain which makes it so painful. As you learn to stop
you will find the pain less bothersome and eventually
it will diminish
or even disappear.
Top of Page
- To reduce pain
- by reducing muscle tension
- by focussing on something else
- by changing its character (size, shape, colour, etc.)
- by opening to the pain
- To let your body heal itself
- To reverse the
(i.e. decrease blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle
tension, heart rate, etc.)
- To reduce your anger, anxiety and frustration
- To learn mind control
- stop thoughts
- let go of thoughts
- change thoughts
- To increase your energy
- To increase your tolerance
- To increase your awareness
- of muscle tension
- negative thoughts and feelings
Learning to relax takes:
Top of page
Mindfulness is to be fully present in each moment,
to be aware of whatever it
is you are doing or not doing. Most people live their
lives on automatic pilot just repeating
old habits and patterns without noticing what they are
doing. As they drive
car, eat their meal or talk to someone their mind might
be anywhere except focussed on the driving, eating or talking.
To be mindful
in your day is to bring a meditative attitude to everything
you do. Everyone wins. You can feel
and are more efficient and effective; others will feel
heard when you are
with them. It is a simple concept but it takes a lot of
practice to make it happen in your life. The partner of
mindfulness is forgetfulness.
It can be easy to slip into forgetfulness.
Ways To Stay
Mindful During The Day
Stop and ask yourself:
|How am I moving?
- fast/slow, jerky/smooth, tight/loose, uncoordinated/coordinated,
|How am I breathing?
- shallow/deep, fast/slow, holding/not holding
|How am I speaking?
- fast/slow, high/low, inarticulate/articulate
|How am I writing?
- fast/slow, tense/relaxed, effort fully/effortlessly
|How am I sitting?
- slouched/upright, symmetrical/asymmetrical
|How am I feeling?
- worried/calm, irritated/content, doubtful/confident,
|How am I standing?
- balanced/unbalanced, unaligned/aligned, short/tall,
shoulders up/down, knees locked/soft, jaw tense/relaxed
|How am I relating?
- aggressively/passively/assertively, disconnected/connected,
There are some things you do everyday and these could be
your triggers to remember mindfulness.
out a mindful routine. Some examples are given below.
- Morning quiet time. Be with your self for 5 minutes
or more. Even one minute would help.
Be still and do nothing or watch your breath. A few
would be a good start to the day.
- Breakfast. Eat something
Read the newspaper some other time.
- Traffic lights. Check your breathing and muscle tension.
- Morning break. Take a calm
for some of the time. Be with yourself. Ask yourself
some of the questions above.
- Writing. Ask yourself
call. After a phone call, check in with yourself.
after sitting for a while. How am I walking?
- Sitting at your desk. Stop every hour and tune into
Make sure you do some
stretches several times during your day.
- Talking to
a colleague. How am I
- Returning home. Pause
before you return to the family.
Stop the car in a
quiet street. Top of page
When I ask people how they relax, they
tell me about how they rest or
what they do for recreation. I believe that there is
between rest, recreation
and relaxation. All of them are important for finding
to relax is essential for those who have not done this
or find it difficult to relax.
Rest is about
taking it easy. Deep rest comes when we are free of
and conflicts. We stop planning and doing, and just
bundle. It takes organisation and planning to find the
and place to do this but
rest enables us to restore ourselves and become aware
the pressures and demands which
we accept as normal. Getting away from home makes it
and you might be surprised at just how deep your sleep
when you free yourself in this way. I am often told
at least a week to
unwind before the rest begins. Many of us live at an
pace today. Try taking some time away on your own;
is a very powerful
way to restore your self.
Many people experience guilt
about resting. They feel they must finish
everything before they can rest and, of course, that
- Challenge your conditioning about
the need to be busy all the time.
- Give yourself permission to rest.
- Plan regular rest breaks by marking them in your diary.
- Explore new and beautiful places; nature restores and
- Take some time this week even if it is only half a day
or even an hour.
Recreation enables us to switch off from work, or our
regular duties, by doing
enjoyable and different. Reading, gardening, dining out,
playing sport, going
bushwalking, and handicrafts are common ways of seeking
recreation. Have you
forgotten about recreation? People in pain often forget
the importance of
recreation or believe that the pain prevents them from
having any recreation.
Here are some suggestions:
- Take up an old hobby or interest.
- Try some new hobbies or interests.
- Be adventurous and creative in finding new things to
Relaxation is different to rest because it is an active
process requiring concentration.
Falling asleep with a relaxation tape does not teach you
relax. You may fall asleep in the early stages of learning
to relax because
you are so tired and
need the rest. It is a good idea to practise your relaxation
early in the day
before you get sleepy. There are many ways to relax and
these can be explored
on the "Path out of Pain" course. Relaxation is a prelude to
meditation and allows the meditation to be deeper and more peaceful. Relaxing
the body and quietening
the mind makes it possible to sit and just 'be'. Top of page
- To restore functioning
- To facilitate healing
- It feels good
- It can reduce depression, release anger, and make you
- To increase your mobility
- To increase your strength
- To increase your fitness
- To prevent further injury
- To restore confidence in your body
- To improve sleep
- To create health
- If you are not exercising you are not taking responsibility
for your healing.
- Start with a little and keep increasing it.
- Pain may increase at first because you haven't been moving
- Exercise leads to pain relief in the long-term.
- If you don't use it, you lose it.
Barriers to Overcome
- Fear that you have damaged yourself when the pain increases.
- Belief that rest cures chronic pain.
Top of page
It can be difficult to find
a balance between rest
when you have
chronic pain. It is common for people to do too much or too little. These two
Some people say to themselves "I am not going to let this
me", or "I
am going to do this
anyway in spite of
the pain; there is
no-one else to do it".
They tend to over-do
activity and often
end up aggravating their condition.
Their frustration from being
restricted by the pain
drives them to test themselves
out and do more, not
less. Most people
feel frustrated at some time
and do burn up their
frustration by bursts
of activity. Small bursts
of activity are OK, even
when rest is required
afterwards. It is important
to do some things we
enjoy even if they do
cause a little pain. The
secret is to know when
to stop and this requires
listening very carefully
to what your body is telling
you. Don't throw away
your determined attitude;
it is the determination
which will eventually
get you better. But, at the
same time, keep it under
control. What we are
looking for is the right
balance between rest and
activity. Only you
can find this balance
and you will need to be
finely tuned into
your body to adjust
your level of activity each day. Keep pushing
your limits a little
further each week, but
do it gradually. Don't act
out of frustration; act out of
a good knowledge of your capabilities.
Overdoers do too much; they need to slow down and learn to ask for help.
" Over-use" Syndrome can become "Under-use" Syndrome. This second group of people
tend to react to pain by ceasing activity. They may say to themselves "I must
not do this because it makes the pain worse" and they even anticipate an
in pain before they actually start doing something. They remember what it
was like at
work, or just
after they stopped work, and they measure their capabilities against this
of time. One year, or even two years after the injury, they are terrified
of doing something
which will cause a recurrence of the original
injury. But, their problem is no longer one of 'overuse' but 'under-use'.
their body is not used to activity - the muscles are weak and the joints
are stiff. Perhaps even more important, is the fear they experience. Fear
pain. In addition, the expectation that activity
will cause pain usually results in pain when that activity is undertaken.
The main problem,
under-doers, is to overcome their fear, and expectation that activity will
cause pain. They may even have to increase their tolerance to pain and
afraid of causing some pain. While they react to the pain, saying "I knew
it will take me days to get over it, I
shouldn't have done it", their pain will
A more helpful attitude would be to say "I can handle the
and "I may
done too much, but I am just learning to get the right balance". Over-reacting
to the pain ends up in the person doing less and less. Remember the sayings:
- "You lose what you don't use".
- "You get what you expect".
Some people swing from being an over-doer to being an
under-doer. When they
overdo things, they
become frightened by the pain and stop almost all activity
and, later, they
repeat the same cycle. They need to find the balance point
the middle instead of moving from one extreme to the other.
little; they need
to get going and become more independent.
Top of page
How do you relate to your body when you
are doing daily chores and exercises?
Even the word chore
is often viewed as a negative. Chores have to be done
and generate no pleasure.
Do you get frustrated and disappointed with your body when it
refuses to perform
as it used to prior to the injury or onset of pain? Perhaps you resent the
and the pain you experience when you do your daily
chores and exercises. Perhaps you avoid both for some
or all of these reasons,
or do you carry on regardless
pushing yourself to get it all done? I wonder how your
body feels when
it receives these messages from you. How different it
could be if you found
a way to encourage, coax, and even love your body as you
new ways to move and do things. How would your body respond
to loving messages?
I guess a good
analogy would be teaching a child how to play tennis, ride a
bicycle or read. If you constantly
expressed your frustration and disappointment with their
attempts to learn
skills they would be unlikely to do well or enjoy themselves.
coach (teacher or parent) knows when to be firm and when
to be gentle. Sometimes
more discipline and practice are required but even this message
can be given
in a loving way. There are other times when a break is required or the routine
needs to be eased up for a while.
you notice yourself becoming frustrated, disappointed
or resentful when you
start doing an exercise or daily activity, stop and pause.
you have been saying to yourself. For example:
- It shouldn't
- It shouldn't be like this.
- It is taking too long.
- I will never get finished.
- I wish I could do it the way I used to do it.
- I must stop because I am damaging myself.
- I am going to do it anyway.
- I am scared that I will aggravate the problem.
- I had pain for days last time I did this.
- I can't handle the pain.
Frustration and disappointment are natural reactions
to these limitations particularly
if you are a person
with high expectations of yourself. In fact it is the
expectations that generate
the problem. The desire to be the same as before and maintain
the same frenetic pace
causes the frustration and disappointment. Accepting the
change is part of
healing process; whilst grief persists it is not possible
to move on to a new
Accepting the situation doesn't mean accepting that it will
always be like this, it simply means this
is how it is now.
allows progress to
occur. Struggling to make it different to how it is only leads
to more frustration
When you have noticed your reaction (thoughts and feelings)
you can choose to
ACT rather than REACT. There are many ways you can acknowledge
and change your attitude.
- How do you view
- Is it a chore? or
- Is it something which will assist with your healing?
- Is it something to be got out of the way? or
- Is it something to learn from?
- What can you discover from doing this activity?
- What can you say to yourself?
- This is how it is.
- I have all the time I need.
- I am learning from everything I do.
- It becomes easier as I slow down.
- Accepting this allows me to progress.
- What's the hurry?
- Slow down.
- Go gently.
- Let go.
- Be patient.
- How could it be more pleasurable?
- Be fully present.
- Be curious.
- Be playful.
- Take your time.
- Notice the comfort.
- Create a welcoming environment
(colours, textures, sounds).
- Let go of your demands.
- Notice things you haven't
- How could
you take the pressure off yourself?
- Lower you expectations.
- Take one step at a time.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Appreciate what you can do.
- What qualities could you
- How could you reward yourself?
- Notice the small gains.
- Buy yourself a present when
you have reached a goal.
- Take a bath or spa.
- Buy some flowers.
- Pamper yourself .
- Praise yourself.
Finally, notice the difference when you change your
attitude. Perhaps there
is less pain, or
is the activity easier than you expected? Changing
your attitude will change
the outcome. You could be surprised and delighted
by how simple
it is to let go the
frustration and disappointment when you consciously change you attitude.
Stop and pause when you notice frustration and disappointment
in doing something.
Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
Choose to act not react by
changing your attitude. You can change your perception
and your self-talk. It can become pleasurable as you take the pressure off
and invite in
qualities such as patience, acceptance and love. Remember
to reward yourself.
- Notice the difference.
Do You Believe?
- Life should be pain free.
- Life should not change.
- Pain is to be avoided.
You may notice a big difference if you start to believe
- Being in a body means that we will experience pain (physical
- Life changes constantly.
- What we resist, persists. Avoiding
pain is a recipe for maintaining pain. Top of page
These are the components of the program that I teach.
A similar approach could
be used with exercises
that you have been given.
loosen up with gentle rhythmic movements such as knee
drops, knee circles,
side bends, lift and lower (for the shoulder). Use gentle rhythmic movement
to ease any tension that develops during the day.
Select your releasing movements
to meet your needs, but sometimes do a full
routine of releasing
movements and stretches for the whole body. You might
be surprised at how
good you feel afterwards. ÔNeck and Shoulder Release and
Relief' can be done
at the office or whenever you have
to sit for long periods. You could start your
day with some standing stretches and release
tension at the end of the day with releasing
movements on the floor.
As you learn
the exercises and movement sequences
in this program you can identify your
weak muscles. To strengthen them you
need to hold a position for longer or increase
the number of repetitions of the movement,
or do both, depending on the muscle you
are strengthening. You may need individual
assistance to identify your
muscles need to be activated and strengthened.
During the day activate
the stabilisers (of the shoulder girdle
and/or lumbar spine) as many times as
you can. Remember to stabilise before
you stand up, lift, and turn.
Relief Positions (for opening and
Use one of these for 10-15
minutes every day. You could combine
this with one or more
of your relaxation techniques. You could
also a rolled up towel to facilitate
the opening and release (see ÔNeck and Shoulder
/ Low Back Release and Relief').
- Treat yourself with Respect, Care and Love
- Make every movement loving and healing.
- Move with awareness.
Top of page
It can be confronting to be honest with yourself but this
is the only way that
you can overcome
your obstacles to self-management. Do you recognize any of the following as
reasons you give
for not doing your program?
- No time,
- Too many demands, or
- Unexpected demands or interruptions.
These are excuses: they let you off the hook.
Could it be?
- low motivation
- poor self-discipline
- lack of planning
- blaming others
- low self-esteem
- lack of will-power
- putting others first
- lack of self-responsibility
- fear of getting
- finding it hard work
- and so on...
Be honest with yourself because, then,
you can work directly with the obstacle
and find a way to keep your program going. Try to be:
- Specific and Realistic;
- Committed and Compassionate;
- Disciplined and Organised.
Above all be honest with yourself Top
You may need to set aside more time for your program.
90 mins relaxation and exercise daily (or 6 days a week) may
be necessary over
many months to
the result you want. You may need to do more than this!
- You may need to do more self-exploration.
- Are you really doing the program?
- Be honest with yourself.
- What are the obstacles?
- What lifestyle changes do you need to make?
- Have you made them?
- How are you resisting the changes?
Remember: The results of a lifetime
of poor self-care can't
be reversed overnight.
- Do you have ownership of your problem?
- Are you still blaming someone or something else?
- Until you
own your problem nothing will change.
- What are you measuring?
Pain, function, happiness, calmness, fitness, energy......
Pain is difficult to measure because it is subjective.
is also difficult
to measure the
in pain intensity over time because it is subjective and the change may
how much progress we
- If you
doesn't seem to have changed, in
real terms, it has changed. You are doing more and your pain hasn't increased.
- If you are happier and calmer your pain will bother you less
Notice the small changes. Top
To stay on your Path out of Pain, every day
- Believe you can heal yourself.
- Put your health and healing as top priority.
- Relax your body and mind.
- Exercise your body and mind.
- Focus on the positive
- think helpful thoughts
- adopt helpful attitudes
- Take Charge of Your Life.
- Cease Reacting to the Pain.
- It is what you do that counts most.
- Relaxation and rest are different.
- Hurt is not harm.
- Chronic pain is not a warning signal.
- Pain does not prevent activity; your beliefs about pain prevent
These qualities will help you on your path out of pain:
Recovery from chronic pain can be a full-time job.