You may remember that I took over the pain relaxation class a couple of months ago. I want to report to you about this class.
Monday has become a long day – with me now starting the day at 7.30am and rocking home by 7.30pm. If I didn’t love the concept and content of this class so much, I probably would have just stopped it.
But I do love this class.
Because I love teaching people about how to conquer their pain. Every patient teaches me something new, gives me feedback about what works for them and what doesn’t. And I can tell you there are so many people in pain. In case you are wondering (and you are in pain) – you are not alone.
Did you hear that? YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
Why is that?
Life is very hectic and busy. Technology has confounded our days. Contact with people has escalated infinitely – which can be great with productivity going through the roof, but the opportunity to get burnout and suffer anxiety from the contact, is magnified greatly. Stressors are everywhere, if we are not careful. If we read something into nothing, then a harmless bit of banter turns into a catastrophe. If we have a family interaction that goes awry then your guts start to churn and before you know it your aren’t eating at all…or you’re eating all the wrong things (comfort food).
When we get anxious, we breathe badly. We can breathe shallowly, in our upper chest, and fast- blowing off lots of carbon dioxide which makes us feel light-headed and not thinking straight.
When we feel anxious, we can feel our bodies tightening. Our muscles tense, our chest can tighten and our heads can feel like they will explode. Our knees can feel weak and like we want to curl up in the corner and hide.
So what do we do?
We can succumb to the anxiety or we can attack it with gusto and a plan to bring it under control.
So if breathing is a problem, remember to regularly slow your breathing down, to breathe into your tummy and to have some nice big sighs to cleanse the system. See the breathing gif at the beginning and end of this blog. Load it onto your phone and keep using it regularly through the day.
If thoughts are an issue, try to become aware of what are useful thoughts and what are thoughts that are called thought viruses.
Rumination is a common problem. Failure to let go of thoughts that are not productive can eat away at you and lead to a build up of cortisol and other negative hormones in your body which ramp up your body’s response to pain and anxiety. Overthinking, repetitive thinking, rehashing – these are all negative for your brain and your second brain- your gut- and then you start to feel physical symptoms like nausea and may even get bloating and abdominal pain.
Thoughts are an output of the brain and do have an effect on your body- never underestimate the power of good thoughts to make you feel better.
Each week in the pain and relaxation class I am now including some pain education nuggets as my hero Dave Butler would call them. He and Lorimer Moseley of Explain Pain fame have produced volumes of them in their two (soon to be three) books and I commend these books to any health professional who treats people or patients in pain. I want you to tackle this pain/ anxiety issue with the determination of a golfer who wants to get his handicap down, or a dancer who wants to perfect some steps.
Don’t do a half-baked effort – get all the tools in your tool box and then practise them daily, even hourly, even every 10 minutes, if that’s what it takes to calm down the nervous system. Smile when you can; move and exercise when your brain, or your pain might be willing you to do otherwise; and let go of those thought viruses. I promise you, you will feel better.
(If anyone knows where I got this great gif from, please let me know so I can acknowledge it).
If you want to book into the class it is on Monday night from 6.15pm and you are in Brisbane you can ring (07) 38489601 and the girls will help you book in.