Get more information about Holistic Pain Therapies below.

Relaxation & Medication

Although these instructions may be adequate, many people find it helpful to obtain relaxation training either individually or in classes. Your doctor or community health centre should be able to direct earest training centre.

Relaxation can be used when you feel tense and worried. Read the instructions and familiarize yourself with them before having a go. Be patient and give yourself several tries before expecting the full benefits. It can take time to learn how to relax. Keep a diary of your efforts so that you can follow your progress. A friend or relative may help you stick to the task, particularly when progress seems slow and difficult.

Preparation

  • Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down somewhere comfortable in a quiet, warm room where you will not be interrupted.
  • If you are sitting, take off your shoes, uncross your legs, and rest your arms on the arms of the chair.
  • If you are lying down, lie on your back with your arms at your sides. If necessary use a comfortable pillow for your head.
  • Close your eyes and be aware of your body. Notice how you are breathing and where the muscle tensions are. Make sure you are comfortable.

Breathing

  • Start to breathe slowly and deeply, expanding your abdomen as you breathe in, then raising your rib cage to let more air in, until your lungs are filled right to the top.
  • Hold your breath for a couple of seconds and then breathe out slowly, allowing your rib cage and stomach to relax and empty your lungs completely.
  • Do not strain – with practice it will become much easier.
  • Keep this slow, deep, rhythmic breathing going throughout your relaxation session.

Relaxing

After 5-10 minutes, when you have your breathing pattern established, start the following sequence tensing each part of the body on an in-breath, hold in your breath for 10 seconds while you keep your muscles tense, then relax and breathe out at the same time.

  1.  Curl your toes hard and press your feet down – then relax.
  2. Press your heals down and bend your feet up – then relax.
  3.  Tense your calf muscles – then relax.
  4.  Tense your thigh muscles, straightening your knees and making your legs stiff – then relax.
  5.  Make your buttocks tight – then relax.
  6.  Tense your stomach as if to receive a punch – then relax.
  7.  Bend your elbows and tense the muscles of your arms – then relax.
  8.  Hunch your shoulders and press your head back into the cushion or pillow – then relax.
  9.  Clench your jaws, frown and screw up your eyes really tight – then relax.
  10.  Tense all your muscles together – then relax.

Remember to breathe deeply and be aware when you relax of the feeling of physical well-being and heaviness spreading through your body.

After you have done the whole sequence and you are still breathing slowly and deeply, imagine something pleasant, e.g. a white rose on a black background, a beautiful country scene, or a favorite painting. Try to ‘see’ the rose (or whatever) as clearly as possible, concentrating your attention on it for 30 seconds. Do not hold your breath during this time continue to breathe as you have been doing. After this, go on to visualize another peaceful object of your choice in a similar fashion.

Lastly, give yourself the instruction that when you open your eyes you will be perfectly relaxed but alert.

Short routine

When you have become familiar with this technique, if you want to relax any time when you only have a few minutes, do the sequence in a shortened form, leaving out some muscle groups, but always working from the feet upwards. For example you might do parts 1,4,6,8 and 10 if you do not have time to do the whole sequence.

The six-second breath

This tip can be learned even if you have not learned the sequence above. Controlling your rate of breathing is one of the most important things you can do to stop your anxiety from getting out of control. If you keep your breathing to one breath every 6 seconds this will help. You can breathe in over three seconds and out over the next three seconds. This can be in stages, e.g. in-in-in, out-out-out and so forth. The six second breath can be used anywhere and any time when you feel anxious. It does pay however, to practice this technique a few times per day so that you will have it rehearsed for a time that you really need it.

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Learn more about practical ways to help you relax with the audio relaxation program.

MORE INFO

There's an APP for that

Android, IPhone and IPad for Pain Management and Movement Therapies, best of all they are free.  To install these apps, go to your app store and search for the Bold Italic Terms

Pain Tracking/Pain Journal App for both Operating Systems:

Pain Care  At its core, the Pain Care application is an electronic pain journal for patients. Pain journals are well established tools to help patients manage chronic pain. Many studies have shown that electronic journals far outperform paper journals in both response rate and accuracy (3). In the pain care application, the patient report pain episodes, triggers, and medications. It then correlates all those data to give the patient insight into exactly what causes the pain and what medication / therapy is effective.
With PHR integration, the patient can share data with physicians. Our application provides an automatic natural language summary of the patient history together with analytics charts — they are all designed to fit into pain specialists’ existing decision making workflow, and make it easier for the doctors to come up with personalized treatment options.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.stanislav.android

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pain-care/id347787779?mt=8&ls=1

Movement Therapies Android:

Daily Yoga for Back: Daily Yoga is a series of Yoga exercises to train different parts of your body. Comprehensive training for both men and women aims to offer a physical boost-up through regular Yoga exercises.  Daily Yoga for Back Buildup includes back muscles and fit figure building routine based on 19 yoga asanas, with an average 10-minute training duration. Demonstration animation is available to guide you through the whole sequence. Detailed instructions are displayed on semi-transparent windows which could help you become more active in Yoga Learning.

https://market.android.com/details?id=androidcap.dailyyoga.back

Qi Gong Meditation Relaxation Improve your physical health, relax and reduce your stress by learning Qi Gong, gentle movement combined with breathing. Qi Gong is a basic form of Tai Chi where you can experience the health benefits of Tai Chi without the years of training.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.excelatlife.motivation

Perfect Posture Exercises  We all experience pain in some fashion or another, but back pain is a horrible feeling that affects your entire body. If you do experience back pain, chances are the pain is from your Posture… and the good news is that Posture is something that you can learn to FIX!

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.appbuilder.u42008p85327&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5hcHBidWlsZGVyLnU0MjAwOHA4NTMyNyJd

Stop Panic & Anxiety Use Panic Assistance audio to coach you when you experience a panic attack and to help you learn to tolerate and control the anxiety symptoms. Also, can be used to assist with exposure therapy for Agoraphobia.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.excelatlife.panic

Movement Therapies For Apple iOS:

Daily Yoga Free Daily Yoga is your own personal yoga instructor. The app contains a 20, 40 and 60 minute yoga routine that step you through each pose. Each pose is demonstrated by a certified personal trainer, so simply choose your workout length and follow along in the comfort of your own home!

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/daily-yoga-free/id413817051?mt=8&ls=1

Tai Chi Fundamentals Tai Chi – The natural way to strength and health!

Whatever your level of fitness, Tai Chi Step-by-Step offers a simple but effective program of exercise and stress reduction, based on the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi.

The aim of the carefully structured sequence of movements is to build up the body’s internal strength, suppleness, and stamina. In addition to learning the fundamentals of Tai Chi through a carefully designed four-level program, it also introduces to you Small Circle Form of Tai Chi, an original method based upon classical Tai Chi styles but requiring a minimum space and time.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tai-chi-fundamentals-for-ipad/id476232694?mt=8&ls=1

Qi-Gong Lite This is a try and buy version, you can see our master in action for a few minutes and buy the full 40 minute video when you want without extra download.

Learn how to develop your life power and serenity by working on your Qi. Experience well-being and longevity with the Qi Gong, a millenarian energetic Chinese technique. Following the teacher instructions you will benefit from both mental and body relaxation. Our teacher has trained with Shaolin monks and will explain all the details of the technique so that you are able to reproduce the movements no matter what your current fitness level is.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qi-gong-lite/id419287393?mt=8&ls=1

Universal Breathing – Pranayama Free Stressed? Balance your life and experience a relaxed meditative state to relieve your daily stresses and tensions. Pranayama’s simple and intuitive guide to deep breathing features a progressive course based on the principles of yoga, to help you find balance and stress relief.

Combining the power of breath with technology, Pranayama is an easy way of improving your health and reducing stress. Using music and animated visuals to guide you to slower deeper breathing, Pranayama by Saagara enhances the way you feel and leaves you with more energy, stamina, and focus.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/universal-breathing-pranayama/id435871685?mt=8&ls=1

Anxiety Free Anxiety, tension and stress are common in everyday modern life, and as well as a source of unhappiness, can lead to other problems. Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol signal the body to a state of arousal to meet survival instincts. This App introduces the iCan hypnosis brand to a wider audience by being free of charge, and can be used to learn self-hypnosis for tackling many other problems.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/a

 

Sleep Hygiene

hints for better sleeping

Most people at some time in their lives have difficulty sleeping. For most people this is a temporary phenomenon related to important events occurring in their lives. Other people feel as if they have never been able to get a good night’s sleep.

There are some background facts worth remembering:

  • Different people require different amounts of sleep, usually within the range of 5-10 hours a day. What is enough sleep for one person, will be insufficient for another. In addition, with advancing age people need less sleep, so cannot expect to sleep as long as they did when younger.

 

  • If you cannot fall asleep you eventually will. Your body needs sleep. Whether it is later that night, or on a subsequent night you are likely to fall asleep.

 

  • Sleeping tablets such as the benzodiazepines do have a very limited role in sleep disorders, but they can produce a phenomenon called ‘rebound insomnia’. This means when you stop taking a sleeping tablet your insomnia may become worse than it was originally.

There are a number of common sense tips that may help your sleeping.

  • Have a comfortable sleeping environment –

This may require a good supportive mattress and a well ventilated room that is not too warm or too cold.

 

  • Establish a regular sleep-wake cycle –

It helps to have a similar bed-time and wake-up time on most days, possibly

including weekends. Although sleep-ins are enjoyable for most, they can delay

your sleep-wake cycle, so that if you regularly wake-up later you are likely to fall

asleep later too. A ‘sleep routine’ may include regular activities leading up to

bed-time, e.g. showering, brushing teeth, which all may promote sleep and

relaxation.

  • Avoid day time naps –

If you cannot sleep at night it may be because you are getting some of your sleeping done during the day time. If you have had a bad nights sleep it is preferable to stay awake right through to the following evening rather than catching up through day time naps.

 

  • Avoid taking drugs before bed-time that will stimulate your nervous system –

The common drugs that cause problems are caffeine (coffee, tea, cola drinks) and nicotine (cigarettes). Although alcohol is a drug which depresses the nervous system, it can disrupt the sleep-wake cycle in the early hours of the morning and therefore your intake of alcohol during the day may need to be reduced. For some people, consumption of caffeine may need to stop up to 12 hours before bed-time.

 

  • Do not exercise before bed-time –

This can similarly have an alerting effect, although exercise earlier in the day can be helpful to increase physical tiredness.

 

  • If you cannot sleep, try not to worry about it –

As mentioned above, your body will eventually demand sleep. It is preferable to do things if you cannot sleep – such as read or watch television – until you feel sufficiently tired that you need to go back to bed. Lying in bed trying to make yourself sleep will only make you even more alert, worried, annoyed and therefore, less able to sleep.

 

Rehabilitation / Core Strengthening

Highly recommend self-myofascial release techniques

http://www.performbetter.com

http://www.lightfield.com

Advanced myofascial release video

Develop BRPM core strengthening handout and video (NEED THIS)

Depression

How can I help myself if I am depressed?

If you have depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. It may be extremely difficult to take any action to help yourself. But as you begin to recognize your depression and begin treatment, you will start to feel better.

To Help Yourself

  • Do not wait too long to get evaluated or treated. There is research showing the longer one waits, the greater the impairment can be down the road. Try to see a professional as soon as possible.
  • Try to be active and exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or another event or activity that you once enjoyed.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Do not expect to suddenly “snap out of” your depression. Often during treatment for depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before your depressed mood lifts.
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

Everything didn’t get better overnight, but I find myself more able to enjoy life and my children.

More information and access to resources to help you or a loved one overcome depression can be found at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml

Weight Loss

Healthy Nutrition

We have a simple philosophy on nutrition.  You are what you eat.  We weren’t the first to adopt this phrase:  Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are].

In an essay entitled Concerning Spiritualism and Materialism, 1863/4, Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach wrote:

“Der Mensch ist, was er ißt.”  That translates into English as ‘man is what he eats’. From “You are what you eat” from Gary Martin, is the author of the Meanings and Origins section of the Phrasefinder Site.

Think of nutrition with these two basic principles in mind

1) Your body is made of predominatly protein, fat and water with a few vitamins and minerals thrown in.  Your body runs, that is, the energy required to allow your body to operate is provided by carbohydrates.

2)  All foods have calories.  If you eat more calories than you burn you gain weight.  If you burn more than you eat you lose weight.

So what do these two principles tell us.  You need protein and fat to heal, build or recover from injuries or vigorous activities balanced with large amounts of water and some vitamins and minerals.

You need carbohydrates to provide energy for your activiites.  Therefore tailor your carbohydrate load to your activity.  If you are very physically active you may need 40% of your calories from carbohydrates.  If you are not physically active you may only need 20% of your calories from carbohydrates.

Our Recommendations:

Eat in moderation.  Eat a balanced diet.  A reasonable diet is 1/3 protein, 1/3 fat, 1/3 carbohydrates. Eat real food.  Real food can be found at http://www.roanokevalleylocavore.com/markets.htm.  They accept snap, ebt, and wic.  Real food can also typically be found on the perimeter of the grocery store.  If you start walking down isles you are looking at processed foods, typically much higher in carbohydrate content, bad fat and “empty calories”.

Additional tips: Primarily eat fruits and vegtables as your carbohydrates.   Good fat is found in avocados, nuts, and fish.  This link has a good explanation of how to determine if a food can be categorized primarily as a protein, fat or carbohydrate http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/cfjissue21_May04.pdf.  There is also great information at the following sites.

Paleo Diet http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/start-diet.html

Zone Diet http://journal.crossfit.com/2004/05/zone-meal-plans-crossfit-journ.tpl

National Institute of Health Information

http://health.nih.gov/topic/WeightLossDieting

Yoga

http://www.doyogawithme.com(free)

http://www.myyogaonline.com (subscription website)