This is my review on Week 4 and Week 5 of  Control My Pain Program from the Survive Strive Thrive team which was designed to teach people holistic strategies to heal their pain. The whole course is video and audio content which I think makes it more interesting and easy to understand.

Week Four is Relaxation …

The relaxation introduction video explains how mindfulness and breathing exercises can help with relaxation as a strategy to help with pain. It explains slow breathing techniques and mindfulness as not all breathing is created equal.

Next, it talks about breathing techniques with nose breathing exercises and slow breathing exercises. I found this really interesting as I quite often listen to relaxation music if I am struggling to go to sleep and using these exercises would really help.

Recognising tension is on audio or you can download for you to record the location and level of your tension. You can monitor your tension levels at about the same time every day for you to see when you are most tense. They give you a list of areas around your body to monitor like your jaw, neck, scalp shoulders etc which are some areas I would never have thought of to try and relax.

The next topic is mindfulness of self-awareness to help you to be aware of the situation you are in. This video helps you to understand how you can be more aware of your situation in order to help with your pain control.

The relaxation summary is in the usual format of a quiz and some downloadable resources.  The downloads include a sheet which you can use to practice slow breathing at a specific time every day plus a sheet to recognise when your tension arises.

In the relaxation resources section, it has all the downloads plus details of a useful book on reducing and restoring your well being.

I love filling in forms and found this week’s downloads a great way to see how I am coping with my pain and to make a note of the different relaxation strategies.

Week Five is Managing Activity… 

The managing activity details are available as an online quiz or a worksheet which helps you to see how to identify your reasons for less activity. The sheet prompts you to write down activities that you are having difficulty in completing or even are no longer even doing due to your pain. It asks you to fill in what affects the reduced activity has on your life and looks back at your answers in order to learn a variety of strategies that will help you problem solve and plan.

The next video is what they call the Boom & Bust Cycle which is in the form of a quiz, and goes straight onto Activity Pacing. You can do this virtually or actively take part in a walking programme.

The activity planner is a sheet to download and fill in and finally another sheet to download to help you to succeed by writing down how you will achieve more that week. For example, ‘this week I will walk every day at the following times’.

The Managing Activity Resources has lots for you to look at including a website and books and downloads all to do with keeping you active.

I honestly do feel that writing down your activities in the format they have done this week can only help and encourage you to do a little bit more each day or each week. I have the usual steps counter but looking at how I have increased my activity by doing a little bit more each day is an ideal way to get yourself, fitter. I really enjoyed week five on the Control My Pain Project.

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