Posts Tagged ‘chronic pain’

Purpose

Sam Rowley’s “Station Squabble” has been picked from more than 48,000 images to claim a wildlife photography award from London’s Natural History Museum, voted for by the public.

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My purpose for starting this blog was to fill in the areas that were missing in my healing journey.

 

There were many things that I learned from research and daily action that therapists never mentioned.

 

Hell, no therapist challenged me or gave me homework. I brought the books and questions to them.

 

From my exhaustive research and actions to heal, important things were kept while things that did not work were jettisoned.

 

From all this, a healing model emerged with a breathing track as focus.

 

There were no phrases like post traumatic growth or books like “Buddhas Brain” detailing the new discoveries of neuroscience. Meditations impact on healing trauma, created two new therapies, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy.

 

I had developed skills while surviving childhood abuse, determined willpower, ability to endure pain and isolation that other kids had little exposure to.

 

PTSD is confusing and healing feels like triggers erupting at times. A mentor can point the correct direction, triggers are opportunities to heal.

 

Never heard a therapist say that, but it is the easiest path to healing. Stay present, focused on the breath while your fight or flight erupts allows healing to begin.

 

I had found a way out of a deep, terrifying hole of complex PTSD. I suffered with my fight or flight exploding 15 times a day, hiding in my dark garage.

 

PTSD was horrible and death would have been the easy way out.

 

A big lesson, we never give in, never give up, we die in the end anyway. I had determined not to die a victim but a person trying to get better.

 

Results were out of my control, but my effort each day would be total.

 

That gave my life purpose when nothing else helped.

 

After healing, improving or whatever word you choose, I had enormous amounts of time available. My dissociating had curtailed, my Worry had faded and an almost euphoric feeling from not suffering, not being terrified brought a smile.

 

Well that has faded and life is still a challenged.

 

One of my most valuable possessions, supporting others, sharing their healing journey, is priceless to me, permanent.

 

This blog was built to support those trying to improve, taking daily action, then needing their questions answered.

 

What is your Purpose?

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Our doors are open

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It takes strong focus skills to withstand a trigger firing. Our defense mechanism has detected a life threatening situation, reason stops working when this fight or flight fires.

The mind speeds up, time is distorted, perception clouds, panic spreads.

Irrational or PTSD fear makes no difference to a body trying to survive a perceived lethal threat. Cortisol and adrenaline are dumped, respiration, BP and heart rate spike.

Loss of fine motor skills and tunnel vision add to our time distortion and confusing state.

We try to escape at all costs. It is an internal hurricane blowing 200 mph scary thoughts at us.

Sitting quietly, grounded, surrendering to these fears is our ultimate goal.

This is the door to wellbeing, a healing portal of transformation.

We heal by not running, not avoiding, not thinking but accepting, then surrendering to our thoughts (trauma).

This seems an enormous, complex undertaking.

Start with mastering one breath.

Build focus, practice daily, progress to five breaths, then ten, etc.

This simple, specific, concrete, immediate task holds gargantuan, humongous, colossal power.

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Does your life with Chronic Pain feel like this?

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My chronic pain was like the wind, invisible, powerful and relentless at times.

How was I going to battle such a ghost. I named my pain Mr P. after the old Happy Days show, Mr. C.

Mr. P. Was my nemesis when I hiked. Mr. P. wanted to stop my legs from moving, from confronting my fear, from taking control of my mind back.

My mindset was centered around my greatest strength, my willpower, determination. Always incorporate your strengths as part of your solutions.

My mindset as usual, a jock accepts the challenge before him/her. No way was Pain going stop my legs from moving!

My exercise routine became an emotional battle between pain and my will.

In a way it was exhilarating. I convinced myself not many humans could hike in such pain day after day.

We jocks always imagined being at bat with the bases loaded, two outs bottom of ninth, game seven of World Series. This was my chronic pain version.

Visualization is powerful. I would imagine myself in “The Last of the Mohicans” running with Hawkeye, running for our life.

Music gave me a beat that I could synchronize my legs with. My legs would move to a beat when they were exhausted, ready to quit.

Chronic pain became a friend. Adversity makes us stronger.

Chronic pain strengthened my meditation practice. I truly learned how to focus and dissipate my pain level.

Pain constricted, became much more bearable, then faded as months passed. Aerobic exercise and meditation were my tools.

I would set in the middle of my pain with my breath, no judgments just observing.

My breath could dissipate my pain. My familiarity allowed me to sit calmly inside my pain. My pain received no energy from fear, attention or thought.

After a few years I had compartmentalzed my chronic pain.

Acute pain is a different animal.

Pain eats energy but does not touch my soul, or my enthusiasm for life.

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Doctors eye deep brain stimulation to treat opioid addiction

 


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Associated Press:

Patient Number One is a thin man, with a scabby face and bouncy knees. His head, shaved in preparation for surgery, is wrapped in a clean, white cloth.

 

Years of drug use cost him his wife, his money and his self-respect, before landing him in this drab yellow room at a Shanghai hospital, facing the surgeon who in 72 hours will drill two small holes in his skull and feed electrodes deep into his brain.

 

The hope is that technology will extinguish his addiction, quite literally, with the flip of a switch.

 

The treatment — deep brain stimulation — has long been used for movement disorders like Parkinson’s. Now, the first clinical trial of DBS for methamphetamine addiction is being conducted at Shanghai’s Ruijin Hospital, along with parallel trials for opioid addiction. And this troubled man is the very first patient.

 


The surgery involves implanting a device that acts as a kind of pacemaker for the brain, electrically stimulating targeted areas. While Western attempts to push forward with human trials of DBS for addiction have foundered, China is emerging as a hub for this research.

 

Scientists in Europe have struggled to recruit patients for their DBS addiction studies, and complex ethical, social and scientific questions have made it hard to push forward with this kind of work in the United States, where the devices can cost $100,000 to implant.

 

China has a long, if troubled, history of brain surgery for drug addiction. Even today, China’s punitive anti-drug laws can force people into years of compulsory treatment, including “rehabilitation” through labor. It has a large patient population, government funding and ambitious medical device companies ready to pay for DBS research.

 

There are eight registered DBS clinical trials for drug addiction being conducted in the world, according to a U.S. National Institutes of Health database. Six are in China.

 

But the suffering wrought by the opioid epidemic may be changing the risk-reward calculus for doctors and regulators in the United States. Now, the experimental surgery Patient Number One is about to undergo is coming to America. In February, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greenlighted a clinical trial in West Virginia of DBS for opioid addiction.

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HUMAN EXPERIMENTS

 

Patient Number One insisted that only his surname, Yan, be published; he fears losing his job if he is identified.

 

He said doctors told him the surgery wasn’t risky. “But I still get nervous,” he said. “It’s my first time to go on the operating table.”

 

Three of Yan’s friends introduced him to meth in a hotel room shortly after the birth of his son in 2011. They told him: Just do it once, you’ve had your kid, you won’t have problems.

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THE PAIN PARADOX from “Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness”.


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There is one more idea in Buddhism and MBSR that shapes our orientation to mindfulness: the notion that our avoidance of suffering can exacerbate it.

 

Mindfulness experts John Briere and Catherine Scott referred to this as the pain paradox—the observation that our natural tendency to escape, deny, or withdraw from pain only intensifies and prolongs the distress.
What we resist, the saying goes, persists.

 

This paradox was key to Kabat-Zinn’s introduction of MBSR to the medical community.

 

When he originally approached doctors with the idea of having patients meditate, Kabat-Zinn was advocating for a fundamentally different approach to suffering—one that lay at the heart of the Buddhist tradition he’d trained in.


“From the perspective of mindfulness,” he wrote, “nothing needs fixing.


Nothing needs to be forced to stop, or change, or go away.”

 

Perhaps not surprisingly, this idea raised eyebrows.

 

Western medicine was built largely on helping alleviate people’s pain, offering interventions such as medication or surgery.

 

Mindfulness ran completely counter to this paradigm. How could paying closer attention to one’s pain alleviate it?


Yet doctors were also open to the idea. Each of them had patients they couldn’t cure and who were resistant to conventional treatment approaches. Doctors and their patients had little to lose.

 

The first MBSR studies thus began with those who were suffering from chronic pain.

 

Kabat-Zinn wanted to see whether they could mobilize their own internal responses to the suffering they were experiencing. “We invited them, paradoxically,” he said, “to put the welcome mat out for whatever sensations they were experiencing, just to see if they could attend to them moment by moment and ‘befriend’ the actuality of their experience, even briefly.”

 

The results were successful. Patients found that their relationship to pain shifted positively when they practiced mindfulness.

 

At times, their pain even disappeared. Patients also reported discovering that the vexing sensations that lived inside them were transient and shifting.

 

Rather than being constant throughout their day, the pain was shifting over time—a huge realization for those who felt perpetually burdened by their bodies.


Mindfulness was helping people relate to their pain differently.


For some, it was even opening a door to a freedom they had forgotten or had previously not known.
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An incredible feat!

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“May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.”

– Nelson Mandela
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Think it is to difficult letting thoughts go?

 

 

Think enduring a mundane existence is difficult?

 

Examine this incredible life, one of sacrifice and service.

 

 

Remember chasing pleasure is not the road to happiness.

 

Mandela sure did not chase pleasure but his life changed a country!

 

Mandela spent 27 years in prison, upon returning to society, released his hate and forgave his abusers.

 

Beside this monumental compassion, he had the wisdom to unite his country.
Hard to find a more amazing feat in our generation, in my opinion.
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Why is change so difficult???????????

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Where does all the resistance come from? Why do we isolate, avoid unpleasant situations and people. Why do we chase and covet pleasant situations, people who approve of us, accomplishment, power, status and security?

 

Seems a decent strategy to avoid pain and soak up accomplishment in the short-term. Counterintuitive, knowing this strategy leads to suffering.

 

We have practiced habits, patterns of behavior, some subconscious in origin. We have created an “Ego” to mirror our habitual patterns. Our identity is wrapped around this “Ego”. Be it a banker, athlete, monk, priest, accountant, home maker, actor, philanthropist, etc.

 

 

Inside this cocoon, we judge ourself, find a place where we believe we fit, belong. When we enter a room, our “Ego” scans the occupants and decides if we are superior or inferior, then ranks our status.

 

 

Yes, this is superficial and kind of crazy. First, the “Ego” is a mirage, we are not what we think or judge. Second those occupations are what we do, not who we are.

 

 

Our mind is the issue, also the solution.

 

 

Fear of the unknown and this “Ego” are the main culprits keeping us from changing. We would rather suffer a known situation than risk changing, even when there is a possibility of success.

 

 

The “Ego” covets complete control. Healing means the “Ego” loses more and more control. In reality the “Ego” does not know what is good or bad for us. The “Ego” only, desires complete control.

 

 

Remember he/she generates 60,000 thoughts daily to influence where we place our attention.

 

 

You will definitely encounter your own “Ego” if you take this healing journey. He/She is not evil, he/she is only a follower not our captain.

 

 

Training the mind to empty and focus takes power from the “Ego”.
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