by Lovena Suson | Apr 22, 2021 | Pain Management
The Secret to Getting Powerful Pain Relief Through Meditation
Would you like to reduce pain without the side effects that accompany medication? You can, with a simple meditation practice. Meditation can be a very valuable tool to ease pain, stress, even anxiety.
👉👉👉7 Practical Tips to dealing with Chronic Pain
Scientists have been studying Zen monks to learn how meditation helps them cope with both chronic and occasional pain. While some of their accomplishments depend on their faith, many of their techniques can be used by anyone. Whether or not you already have a meditation practice, the suggestions below can help you get relief from pain.
TOOLS FOR MEDITATION
1. Appreciate the mind-body connection. There’s a growing understanding that our health depends on a wide range of factors. Our mind and body interact closely. This is a psychosomatic connection. The pain we experience due to physical conditions such as arthritis also affects us emotionally.
2. Reduce apprehension. Your reaction to pain can become exaggerated if you anticipate that it’s going to occur. Fear of pain is a good thing when it helps you avoid dangerous situations. It’s less helpful if you dwell on how your back will keep hurting. Mindfulness meditation helps you live in the present moment and take a break from worries about the future.
3. Manage anxiety. Studies show that experienced meditators feel pain but experience less emotional impact. Even beginners can use meditation as a useful distraction. With practice, you can become more skilled at noticing the affected body part but declining to get upset about it. You may be able to notice the sensation of pain without judging it as unpleasant.
4. Fight depression. Depression is known to make the pain worse. When meditation helps you to feel happier and more peaceful, it’s also giving you greater protection from all kinds of afflictions.
5. Loosen up. Many people feel some tension around an injured body part. If you’re nursing a stiff neck, you can focus on relaxing the area and opening it up. Imagine that your breath is flowing across the muscles, where it warms and heals them.
6. Engage the pain. Pain may command all of your attention when it becomes severe. In such cases, trying to resist it may just make things worse. Some patients find relief by taking an active role in rating the relative intensity of their symptoms or observing how they increase and decrease over time.
7. Get an early start. It’s a lot more challenging to learn to meditate when you’re in the middle of recovering from back surgery. By starting your practice in advance, you’ll be better prepared to cope with medical issues or the common aches that come with aging.
WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN MEDITATION
1. Understand the relevance of meditation breaks: You’ll probably spend most of your life away from the meditation cushion. By learning to access the states of mind you attain while meditating, you can take advantage of those benefits anytime you want.
2. Pay attention to your body & use pain as a cue. Even if you need to keep working when a headache hits, you can guide yourself with constructive reminders about how to deal with it. Use everyday discomforts to check in with yourself and see if anxiety and apprehension are building up.
3. Guard yourself against depression. Depression can strike anybody, but you can lower your risks. A healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude can make it easier to stay on track. Depression is very common not just in adults but in children too. Your child sees how you feel and are quite astute at reading your body language. They tend to be in tune with their parent’s moods. Take care of yourself so you can take care of them too.
4. Reduce other sources of stress. This may be easier said than done. However, it is imperative to address stressors that are within your control. Living with chronic pain can take a heavy emotional toll. It does tend to affect people around you too. If possible, build a strong support network and avoid taking on too many obligations.
👉👉👉6 Quick Stress Relief Tips with Reflexology
5. Consult with your doctor. If symptoms of pain continue, talk with your doctor about other available methods of treatment. Fortunately, meditation can be used to complement conventional approaches. It is not a cure in itself.
Anyone can get started with meditation. Meditation is affordable. A myriad of resources can be accessed through books, audiobooks, and even just searching online. Youtube alone has videos to guide you with meditation. It is an effective method for treating physical and emotional suffering without harmful side effects. As you continue to practice, your skills will improve You will then spend less time worrying about pain and more time enjoying life.
🙏A Simple Guide of Meditation for Beginners
- Find a quiet area where you sit or lie down comfortably. There are meditation cushions that you can buy. I just use a cozy body pillow I already have. If lying down, rest your hands on your sides and visualize that they are heavy but relaxed.
- Closing your eyes allows you to focus and feel as visual feedback that can distract you from seeing your surroundings limit your other senses to focus and feel.
- Make your breathing effortless. simply breathe naturally, in through your nose and out through your mouth in a very relaxed manner.
- With eyes closed, focus on your breath: on how the upper body, torso, and chest rises and falls as you breathe slowly, in, and out. Inhale…… Exhale…..
- Feel and sense your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Focus your attention on your breathing without controlling its pace or intensity. Just let it flow. Your body limp and relaxed. Do not allow your mind to wander;
- It helps to visualize being in a place that is most relaxing and calming for you. As a tip, I search and look at a specific image of nature that I like. I search this online. Then I visualize myself in the midst of that serene place. Below is an example of an image where I visualize myself in its midst.
Practice this meditation for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. I seem to have a better and deeper trance when I also listen to meditation music. Try this and it is truly amazing the tranquility you will feel when you allow your body and mind to be free and calm for a few minutes.
Hope this helps!
👉👉👉The Power of Deep Breathing & What You Should Know
Any Questions? Any thoughts you may have about these topics, do get in touch!
👉👉👉Click here to contact me. Would love to hear from you!
by Lovena Suson | Apr 5, 2021 | Stress Management
How to Relax in Less Than 30 Minutes with Reflexology
As with my book series, The Self’Treating Patient”, I strive to impart helpful tips and strategies to address basic health concerns. Stress relief is what we can all use during these times. Being cooped up at home and not be able to do the activities we once were so free to enjoy.
One topic that is interesting to me is self-healing. When we are saddled by day-to-day life concerns, finding simple ways to help ourselves can go a long way towards living life the best way we can. One interesting alternative therapy is reflexology. There are practitioners who offer this service. For this topic, however, I’d like to share very simple strategies to calm yourself, alleviate the effects of stress.
👉👉👉4 Easy Tips for Stress Relief
The growing popularity of reflexology proves that many fitness fans understand how important their feet really are. Healthy feet enable you to stay physically active and practice good posture, which can protect you from headaches, back pain, and other health issues all over your body.
Reflexology is an ancient healing art that applies strategic pressure to feet, hands, and ears. The underlying theory is that these areas correspond to various systems throughout your body. For example, when you massage your heels, you’re also helping to align your pelvis.
Studies show that reflexology can be effective for relieving anxiety and physical discomfort. On the other hand, its track record is less convincing when it comes to serious conditions like diabetes or cancer, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations.
With that in mind, see how you can use these tips to enhance your health and well-being by just rubbing your feet.
How to Practice Reflexology
TIPS: ***Identify which area you want to work on, look and refer to the charts above. Look for the correct reflex spots on your foot. Apply gentle pressure to the area similar to getting a foot massage.
***Contact to points should feel firm, but not painful. Use your fingers and thumbs to gently work the area for several minutes.
***The amount of pressure should just be enough that it can be tolerated, but maintain the pressure or go into circular motions around the area.
***The pressure you apply to these points will stimulate your body to create endorphins that interrupt the pain cycle and relieve stress.
1. Create a peaceful setting. Play soft music and combine your reflexology with aromatherapy. Light a candle and rub on fragrant skin lotion. Sit or lie down anywhere that’s comfortable such as your bed or a chair. Place a cushion behind your knees to avoid hyperextension.
2. Be gentle. Reflexology is safe for most adults as long as you avoid pressing too hard. Take care of bones and joints. Stop if you feel a cramp. Learn appropriate techniques before trying to use your knuckles or props which can be more intense than using your fingers and thumbs.
3. Loosen up. It’s a good idea to stretch first. Wiggle your toes. Lift your feet up starting at the ankles. A good simple trick is to write the alphabet with your ankles, all uppercase letters. Written with both feet beginning with A all the way up to Z. This helps move many muscles in the foot, ankle, and legs. Do ankle pumps, which is also a great exercise for improving circulation in the legs, even utilized for preventing blood clots.
4. Twist around. Give your feet a hug to wring out tension and make your feet more flexible. Wrap your hands around the middle of your foot, and turn them slowly in opposite directions. Repeat the wringing a little higher, and a little lower until you cover your whole foot.
5. Stroke your feet. Place your palm on top of your foot, and stroke it from toe to ankle. This follows the normal blood circulation from the lower extremities towards the heart. Repeat on the bottom side. You’ll stimulate your circulation and raise your energy levels.
6. Consult a professional. Chiropractors and physical therapists are some of the many health care practitioners who offer reflexology. Schedule a session to receive more extensive treatment and learn methods you can practice at home.
Additional Foot Care Suggestions
1. Exercise your feet and toes. When was the last time you gave your feet a workout? Take turns walking on your heels and your toes. Try lifting each toe separately and lowering it back down. Here are simple exercises that help strengthen the foot and toes, improve their flexibility. Another benefit of these exercises is improved balance, as stronger toes can grip the ground surface better.
A. Towel Curls – Place a towel on a tile, wood, or laminate floor. Place feet on top, the heel stays in contact with the floor: then curl toes to bring towel under your feet. Repeat as many times as you are able.
B. Heel and Toe Raises – this exercise helps strengthen ankles, stretch the calves, and lower legs which are relevant for balance and gait stability when walking.
Holding on to the counter for support, raise your heels up, on tippy toes. Hold for 5 seconds. Then, go on your heels, raising toes up, off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 or more times.
2. Wear comfortable shoes. Do your toes have enough room to move around? Properly fitted shoes can protect you from blisters and provide adequate support for your arches. Are you flat-footed, or possess a high arch? Choose footwear accordingly. If shoes are uncomfortable, use shoe inserts to add more cushioning to shoes you already have. This can also save your back.
There is about 3-4 times your body weight load that is transmitted to the spine upon heel strike. This is when the heel comes in contact with the ground when walking. An extra heel cushion or insert can decrease this load to the spine.
Many types are available to purchase. Gel cushions, memory foam, and other shock-absorbing materials. Check out heel inserts and read reviews or other information about them. This is a cost-effective remedy to easing the impact on the feet and spine.
3. Change your socks. Socks can protect you from blisters and odor. Replace them when they wear thin or sprout holes. For more vigorous or active participation in sports, opt for more cushions or one with breathable material that can repeal moisture. Socks complement the use of your shoes.
4. Take a break. Prolonged standing or other strains can leave your feet hot and throbbing. Try elevating them on a pillow or plunging them into a herbal bath.
5. Stay hydrated. Your feet need moisture to fight dry skin. Drink water throughout the day. Dab on moisturizer daily, especially if you feel a blister starting.
6. Talk to your doctor. While reflexology is safe for most adults, your doctor can advise you about conditions, such as pregnancy or diabetes, which may make you more sensitive to touch. Your doctor can also refer you to a podiatrist or other specialists when needed.
Use basic and simple reflexology to help your body relax and heal itself. It’s a quick and easy way to reduce stress, enhance your posture, and strengthen your immune system.
Until the next issue!
by Lovena Suson | Jan 25, 2020 | Uncategorized
Patrick Diver, Owner of Strength Clinic at www.mystrengthclinic.com .(I requested this friend to share his take on stress.)
For over 15 years, Patrick has led the way to exceptional fitness results for a diverse range of Orlando men and women and has supervised over 25,000 injury-free workouts.
A graduate of Missouri State University with a B.S. in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training, Patrick’s first certification came from the National Athletic Trainers Association and was followed by certifications from Superslow innovator Ken Hutchins (Superslow Exercise Guild) and YMCA research director Wayne Wescott (Nautilus).
Patrick also speaks regularly and has been featured on Fox-35, News Channel 13, and had given over 150 fitness talks to many of Central Florida’s most successful companies including Darden Restaurants, Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, Universal Creative, and the Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Besides a passion for helping men and women realize their best physical potential, Patrick competes regularly in cycling with multiple states, regional, and national championship medals to his credit, and enjoys playing guitar and taking care of his dog, named Dog.
Stress: Is it good, bad, needed, or unwanted?
I believe most things in life necessitate a balanced approach: The Yin and Yang if you will. I think stress falls in this umbrella as well. We need a certain amount of stress in life. Without it, it is easy to become stagnant and cease growing.
In my field, muscle tissue is a good example. You’ve probably heard that when you add and develop muscle tissue, your metabolism gets a boost. What does this mean exactly, “get a boost?”
This means that the body burns extra calories. That’s one of the good side effects of strength training – and one you have probably heard of. That is the reason for the current craze in fitness, body-building, and the obsession for the perfect body.
Your body, however, wants to be efficient. It doesn’t really want to burn extra calories because, in the days gone by, it might have been difficult to find those “extra” calories.
So, if it’s not using muscle to full effect – in other words, if they are not being utilized or stressed on a regular basis to maintain function, then the body will get rid of what it views as metabolically “expensive” tissue.
So in this case, stress is not only desired but absolutely crucial to continue living a high quality of life.
Of course, the application of stress has to be measured.
Where people get into trouble, whether it is pursuing fitness goals, managing work/life balance, or even dealing with emotions, is when they take on too much stress, without having a means for downtime, rest, and recovery. We become engrossed with stress.
I account for this in my Ironclad Rules. Rule #7 is to: Keep a Relaxed-Focus. This is another way of saying the same thing.
The continued pursuit of success in life will be difficult to achieve in a negative or overly stressful environment.
A certain amount of calm and objectivity is needed.
However, you can’t allow yourself to be so calm that you blow things off or shirk responsibilities – hence, Keeping a relaxed focus.
So, while too much stress will ultimately shut down any system, too little stress will yield undesirable results as well.
Like most things in life, it is really about balance.
Stress is unavoidable. It is a significant part of our daily responsibilities and existence. Although there may be a few lucky individuals who claim they have a stress-free life, it may be because they have learned to navigate its complexities and have adapted effectively. A few have found the equilibrium in the midst of the chaos of daily existence.
We, as mammals of the highest cognitive faculties, possess that capacity to adapt. Though we deal with stress in many different ways based on our psyche and predilections for survival, there is hope. We are ultimately responsible for actions that will allow us to prevail. Just take that step.
As the song goes, “learning to love yourself, is the greatest gift of all,” carries a profound meaning that we ourselves often forget. Many among us tend to get inundated with the need to take care of others and take on responsibilities because we feel we have to. This often becomes a burden that sooner or later snowballs into something that is overwhelming. These stressors soon take away the joy out of life.
Find that balance. Take care of yourself. Find what works for you.
This simple book just provides an overview of the options. There are more out there by individuals who found that key to a productive life and an efficient way of navigating life’s complexities. Study and learn. Adapt.
Yes, stress can be perceived as unpleasant. Yet, most people find and discover their own strengths in times of adversity.
As Kelly Clarkson’s song goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Cliche, but its truth rings true. ~~~***~~~
by Lovena Suson | Dec 18, 2019 | Uncategorized
About four out of five Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. It can take many forms. Lower back pain, however, is the most common. Fortunately, there are many simple lifestyle changes you can make to avoid an aching back.
Daytime Lifestyle Changes
1. Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight strains your back and disrupts your balance. Abdominal fat is especially problematic. Your midsection will usually slim down along with the rest of your body when you lose excess pounds.
2. Exercise regularly. Yoga is a great way to improve your posture and flexibility. It can also strengthen your muscles. Physical activity can help fight inflammation by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to your spine.
3. Eat more calcium. Strong bones help protect you from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a leading cause of back pain, especially for women. Eat your yogurt and leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale.
4. Follow safety guidelines at work. Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injuries. Talk with your employer about job design features that will keep you productive and safe.
5. Practice good posture. Make it a habit to press your lower abdomen against your spine. Keep your shoulders held back and relaxed. Hold your head up.
6. Sit correctly. Try to use an adjustable chair that will give you all the support you need. Prop a pillow against your lower back if needed. Keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Change positions or take a brief walk frequently.
7. Lift safely. Bend down at the knees and lift with your legs to avoid putting the whole load on your back. Carry heavy objects close to your body. Get help if an object is too heavy for you to lift alone.
8. Dress comfortably. Stiletto heels and heavy handbags can cause knee and back pain. So can overstuffing your pockets or wearing anything two sizes too small. Enjoy dressing up for special occasions but ensure your everyday wardrobe allows a full range of movement and your tote bag stays under 10 percent of your body weight.
Nighttime Lifestyle Changes
1. Select the right mattress for you. A moderately firm mattress usually works best. It adapts to the natural curves of your spine. If you have a firm mattress, an inch or two of padding on top may help.
2. Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent helps protect your back. Even better, put a small pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned.
3. Sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back is also good. Place a small pillow under your knees to maintain the curve in your lower back.
4. Stop sleeping on your stomach. Lying on your stomach puts extra stress on your back. To break the habit, lie on your side and use pillows between your knees. This aligns your spine better. It relieves loading on your spine and supports your spine.
5. Avoid alcohol. You may fall asleep faster by drinking alcohol. However, it impairs the quality of your sleep. You are likely to wake up with aches and pains. Some prescription medications may also interfere with sleep.
6. Apply heat. A heat pack is an easy and safe way to keep a little ache from growing into a big one. Get a hot water bottle or a heat pack that you can microwave. This can be applied to any sore spot . I do want to note that microwaveable heat pads do not retain heat long enough. You may end up going back to heat it up over and over. A commercial plug-in heat pad like this one is available on Amazon.
I refer my patients to Amazon, Walgreens, Target, or Walmart to get one. It is preferable to have one an automatic shut-off to ensure safety.
(I am not an affiliate of Amazon or the seller and do not receive compensation for this feature in my article.)
It is imperative to see a doctor if you feel any numbness or tingling. This is more so, if you experience severe or chronic pain. These self-help techniques will give you effective relief and keep the pain from recurring.