By Bonnie Miller, C.Ht.
Is there help for those suffering with chronic pain? A host of pain medications advertised by drug manufacturers boast long lasting relief in seconds. Over time many chronic pain sufferers using these pain relievers discover stronger or more chemicals are needed to provide relief.
What then are they to do?
First …do what comes naturally…BREATHE! Of course breathing is natural, but are you breathing during the pain? Many people stop breathing and hold their breath or change their normal breathing pattern when experiencing pain. This sets off a chain reaction in the mind. By holding your breath and tensing your muscles in response to your pain, you are giving your self mixed messages about your pain and how you wish your body to respond to it. By responding to your pain in that way; what are you telling your body? When in pain — respond with shortness of breath ( thus reducing oxygen intake, tightening muscles, restricting blood flow, increase pain, elevate heart rate, etc…). Not a conducive atmosphere for healing, now is it?
Pain is your body’s natural warning system. This system produces whatever is necessary to draw your attention to an imbalance in the body so that it can be restored to balance as quickly as possible. You don’t have to listen to the body’s alarm constantly to address it. Such as the fire alarm blast, a few short blasts and you are aware of the need to respond, but you don’t have to hear it constantly to effectively put the fire out.
During the healing process, it is important to feel relaxed and confident. When we are tense and anxious we retard the body’s natural tendency toward perfect health and balance. You can compliment your medical advisor’s pain management program. You can do your part by bringing harmony and balance through a positive thought process along with mindful breathing. You already have all the power you need to change your life…breathe and change your mind.
SCHOOL IS OUT FOR SUMMER, OR IS IT?
The school of life is never out for summer…we are constantly learning and growing whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Through our senses and experiences we are adjusting and conforming to our environment. As children, we looked forward to summertime, the time we were free…free from the confines and structure of the classroom and liberated to play independently all summer. Creating queens and kings, castles and fortresses, hospitals and war zones and secret hideaways; we took on roles, limited only by our imagination, movie stars, pirates, super hero, mommies and daddies. We often cast ourselves in roles of jobs we would like to do, services we would like to perform, power we would like to have, recognition for excellence, challenges we could overcome. For in our infinite imagination there are no restrictions or limitations! We were all remarkably artistic and used the wondrous palette of our imagination, to create volumes of playful scenarios, to amuse ourselves all summer. These powerful imaginings were and still are a part of who we are today. The creative free spirit of summer is still there; though it may be snuggled way back in the recesses of your subconscious mind…it is still there. It is simply waiting for you to remember to access it once again…to pull out the palette and begin to paint the marvelous summer, you desire. Filled with open windows opportunity and creativity…vast oceans of relaxation…skies billowing with puffy white clouds to peacefully while away the hours creating playful experiences for yourself, in the privacy of your own precious mind.
And as you begin to allow yourself this simple pleasure of imagining – What that would feel like now? How comfortable does it feels? Like putting on an old flannel shirt, that wonderful comfortable freedom of expression… Wait, what’s that? You hear a thud of reality….Work-Responsibility-Time. ” I am way too responsible you say” Me? Self indulgent and free spirited? Ignoring my hectic schedule…drawing the curtains back and opening the windows of creativity, it’s not gonna happen!” And thus, you have closed the door once again on the wonderful creative part of you that is still alive… and living inside of you waiting and waiting…Waiting for the opportunity to express itself… Waiting until you will have time to come out and play…so you can experience the freedom and joy of playful imaginings again…when everything you do is creative, magical and spiritual and the scenes unfold perfectly, just as you create them.
Stop for just a moment now, and bring yourself back to a simpler time…kite flying days…when cane poles and puppies were under the back porch…when sheets made the best castles…trees were lookouts and perfect for climbing and swinging…marbles and jacks were the games of chance and skill…chasing fireflies at dusk…and there were always wildflowers to pick and cool clover to rest your bare feet in…puffy white clouds formed endless sketches of wonderful figures across beautiful blue skies…right before your eyes, quietly…allowing…contemplating… experiencing…nature all around you. What was your favorite spot to play…your extraordinary images that you enjoyed retreating to in the summer…has it changed since you last visited? Or is it just like you left it…safely tucked away with favorite toys and memories of places and friends, in the storehouse of your mind. Take time this summer to revisit the joy and simplicity of your imagination. Rekindle the friendship you once had with that curious, blissfully creative, childlike quality within you. What wondrous wisdom have you stored away?
School is out for summer, but you will never stop learning. Begin today to draw from your infinite resources in your mind, bringing back that awesome, powerful, and creative person, add the wisdom you have gain throughout the years and continue to grow and learn. Hey, you’re not finished yet; the best perhaps, is yet to come…Imagine that? Now, go play! Take a nice deep breath and have a great summer!
Bonnie Miller, CHt. is a Fellow of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association and the Director of Clinical Hypnotherapy: Methodist health system foundation: affiliated with Methodist Hospital in New Orleans, LA
Director of Clinical Hypnotherapy
Methodist Health System Foundation, Inc
660 Oak Harbor Boulevard Suite 204
Slidell, Louisiana 70458