HOW TO USE ACUPRESSURE POINTS FOR SHOULDER PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

For anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, knowing where to apply self-acupressure may help ease some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. I am suffering greatly at the moment with fatigue and nonrestorative sleep due to fibromyalgia and bulging disc problems in my neck and lower back.

I seem to fall asleep fine but then I am awake for hours before I settle again especially during a cold spell. Last night I decided to start trying acupressure which is something I have done in the past but it’s not easy to get to certain points by yourself.

I got my phone out and looked up the best pressure points to work on my shoulders which I hoped would have a knock on effect on my neck pain.

To help ease shoulder pain they say you should press your thumbs or middle fingers on to the top of your shoulders where the outer collarbones join the shoulders. Press the thumbs or middle fingers to these points and massage for at least a minute several times.

According to Healthline Acupuncture has been extensively studied as a treatment for neck pain. While there is some evidence that acupuncture works for neck pain, acupressure is not universally accepted as a neck pain treatment. Researchers wonder, for example, if the needles from acupuncture stimulate chemicals in your body that provide pain relief. If that is indeed the case, stimulating pressure points with massage instead of needles wouldn’t provide the same pain relief. 

But that’s not to say that acupressure should be ruled out as a holistic neck pain treatment. Stimulating pressure points may relieve neck pain and soothe aching muscles. According to several reviews of the scientific literature, the answer is that we just don’t know.

I think it did help me to settle down but whether that was just because I was so tired I am not sure but I’ve been having such a hard time with it at the moment that I will try anything. I’ve sat and researched it today and I have just ordered a book from Amazon called Treat Yourself with Acupressure: An easy way to relieve pain, tension, anxiety and stress, by Adriana Apollonia Germain (Author)

It says it’s a easy to understand and highly visual book with step by step guidelines for effective self treatment.

Acupressure and Acupuncture both use same points on Surface of Human Body for healing the problems. But Acupuncture is applied through Needle and Acupressure is applied through Pressure of Hand (Especially by Thumb and Fingers). Acupressure gives pressure to such points that results in Releasing Muscular Aches, Enhance Blood Circulation and gives relaxation to the Human Body.

The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment.

Acupressure is generally said that in a Chinese Medicine Method, but it was firstly discovered in India which latterly disappeared. Acupressure nowadays has many methods as Reflexology, Meridian and Sujok Therapy. Reflexology is an American invention, Meridian is Chinese invention while Sujok is discovered by Korea.

Acufinder explain that aside from these points, it is important to recognize that psychological stresses can play a significant role in the presentation of fibromyalgia. Employing self-acupressure can help one regain emotional well-being and better control the onset of symptoms. For best self-acupressure results, apply gentle yet firm pressure from your middle-finger as you make tiny circular motions. This may be done as little as once a day or as much as once every hour.

Here are some locations on the body where self-acupressure can help to alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia:

  • Yintang – located between the eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is renowned for its ability to soothe anxiety and promote a general relaxation of the body. Stimulation of this point may help with obsessive and unproductive thoughts.
  • Ear Shen Men – located on the upper portion of the ear in the triangular fossa, nearly a perfect fit to gently place a fingertip and press. The name of this point speaks for itself, stimulation here brings the potential for great relief from any kind of physical and/or emotional pain, metaphorically allowing the patient to enter ‘heaven.’
  • Ren 17 – located in the center of chest at the level of the fourth intercostal space, at the same level as the nipples. This is a great point to help relieve the sensation of rising anxiety and help the body physically relax as well.
  • Pericardium 6 – located on the lower, inner side of arm, four finger widths from the wrist crease and between the two tendons in the middle of the arm. Gentle pressing can help promote a sense of well-being and relief from nausea.
  • Stomach 36 – located about four finger widths down from the outer eye of the knee, then over about the width of the middle finger, from the shin bone. This invaluable point is known for its ability to promote general wellness by stimulating the immune system, stopping pain anywhere in the body and calming the shen. According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, “calming the shen” refers to the stabilization of negative mental and emotional states.

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ACTIVE POSTURE SHIRTS OFFERS PLUS A CHANCE TO WIN ONE OF THEIR SHIRTS…

As a true advocate of the Active Posture Shirt, I thought it only right to let my readers know of their offers on the shirt plus a chance to win one of their shirts.

If you haven’t heard of the Active Posture Shirt before then you really should read all about it as seen on ITV’s Lorraine Show, The Telegraph, USA Today, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Los Angeles Times, Healthline and more.  It makes sense that good posture will help anyone with spinal problems and I noticed a difference after wearing mine but I had no idea how many other people were looking for something like this for them.

It is obvious that to get the best ones of these tops/shirts to help with your posture and ease pain will definitely not be cheap but as with anything in life, you pay for what you get. I’ve only tried the posture correcting shirt from Active Posture at £99.95 so I cannot comment on any others that I have written about above,  but it’s a trial and error for anyone wanting to give this a try and Active Posture do offer you a money back guarantee and has five stars from 803 reviews. So maybe that’s why I had so many readers on my review of this top. 

There is 15% off the blue active posture shirt for women only (sorry gents) is a LIMITED EDITION COLOUR!  which brings it down to £84.95 and if you opt into their newsletter you have the chance to win a free posture shirt 20.

 

DEALING WITH DEPRESSION WITH CHRONIC PAIN …

Depression is quite common with people suffering from chronic pain. I mean who wouldn’t feel a bit low when trying to cope with constant pain but there is help out there to deal with this type of depression. Research shows that some of these antidepressants may help with some kinds of long-lasting pain.

Web MD state that Doctors don’t know exactly why antidepressants help with pain. They may affect chemicals in your spinal cord — you may hear them called neurotransmitters — that send pain signals to your brain. 

It’s important to note that antidepressantsdon’t work on pain right away. It can be a week or so before you feel any better. In fact, you may not get their full effect for several weeks.

After my second spinal surgery I was put on a very low dose of an antidepressant which I took over a period of 20+years. I am still on this antidepressant ( Prozac) even though over the many years I haven taken it there have been numerous articles on the pros and cons of taking it for so long. In fact, only last year the Professor of Medicine whom I call my Medicine Man who I see on a regular basis, suggested that maybe I should stop taking it.

I started with reducing it to one every other day and had no ill effects except that I wasn’t feeling as perky as I usually am. I put it down to the fact that at that time last year I ways constantly going back and forth to stay at my Dads so that I could go and be with him in hospital. He was in three months and my sister and I would do three week shifts of going in for most of the day over a period of three weeks then coming home for a rest. Sadly Dad passed away in hospital by which stage I had already started increasing my drug to nearly what I had been on before as I had an even bigger reason for feeling low.

On the NHS website they say that even though a type of antidepressant called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) weren’t originally designed to be painkillers, there’s evidence to suggest they’re effective in treating chronic (long-term) nerve pain in some people.

Chronic nerve pain, also known as neuropathic pain, is caused by nerve damage or other problems with the nerves, and is often unresponsive to regular painkillers, such as paracetamol.

Amitriptyline is a TCA that’s usually used to treat neuropathic pain. I also take this for my neuropathic pain and it also helps me to sleep better.

We are all different and try to deal with chronic pain, stress and even loss in different ways but for me personally I felt this one little pill I took every morning worked for me. When I went back for my review with my Medicine Man I told him what I had been through and said I felt for me personally it was one drug I would like to continue taking indefinitely if he felt that was safe. He said that every single person will have different views and reactions to different types of antidepressants but if I had found one that I truly felt helped me ‘feel good’ every day no matter what I was going through then he was happy for me to take it indefinitely.

I know there are lots and lots of alternative things to try for any type of depression from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Group Therapy and much more but I do feel that some people are nervous of taking medication on a long term basis but if that works for you, then why not.

Try everything that is available to you and when you find something that works for you then stick with it even it is taking a daily dose of medication. Feeling low and depressed is awful and most people in chronic pain must feel that at some stage but life really is to short to feel that way on a daily basis so why not try something just for you to help you feel better on the outside even if the pain on the inside is still there.

Some great websites and organisations that can help with chronic pain and depression are Away With Pain.

BLB Solicitors have a long list with links to UK support and help with depression from pain. The NHS also has details on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in the UK and how to find a therapist.

WHY WE SHOULD ALL TRY YOGA FOR CHRONIC PAIN…

This great graphic which I found on Pinterest from My Southern Health shows how we can easily try some Yoga positions for chronic pain. Psychology Today write that chronic pain triggers changes in brain structure that are linked to depressionanxiety, and impaired cognitive function. New research shows that practising Yoga has the opposite effect on the brain and can relieve chronic pain.

Harvard Health points out that Yoga can help people with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, low back pain, and many other types of chronic pain conditions. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. Another study published at nearly the same time found that Yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain.

A meta-analysis of 17 studies that included more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine. Practising Yoga also improved mood and psychosocial well-being.

 

Try yoga techniques for chronic pain management. In this infographic, we share 8 poses can help ease your pain and stress. Learn more on My Southern Health.

 

 

COFFEE AND CERTAIN FOODS – CAN THEY CAUSE YOUR BACK PAIN?…

Have you ever wondered if the coffee you grab in the morning or something you have eaten is contributing to your back pain?

We all know there are certain foods that you can eat that either hurt or help inflammation in your body, which may contribute to back pain. Foods like junk food, fast food, red meats, fried foods, pastries, and cakes are of course not good for you. They say that it’s the trans fat, saturated fats, and high glycemic index that can irritate inflammation and make your back pain worse.

On the other end of the spectrum there are foods like walnuts, blueberries, salmon, cod, and other fruits which are extremely good for your health. These foods are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamin D. All of these foods are great for you for a lot of different reasons, but when it comes to your back, these all help to reduce inflammation which takes pressure off of your spinal nerves and relieves back pain.

There are some coffees which are extremely sugary, high-calorie coffees that you can get at coffee shop chains. These types of coffees have high glycemic indices and many of them contain a high amount of saturated fats in them and are definitely not good for your inflammation and your back pain.

But what about straight black coffee without all the sugar. Well, apparently black coffee is a lot better for you and it doesn’t really have the “not good for you” ingredients. But it also doesn’t have any of the good ingredients either.

Coffee has caffeine in it, and caffeine can actually elevate levels of anxiety that you experience. This is why people that get the jitters from too much coffee seem a little jumpier than normal. The coffee is putting them on edge and sending their bodies into the fight or flight condition and when you are in fight or flight, your muscles are a bit more tense than normal, mostly to prepare you for a quick escape.

Consequently, if you have back pain, this isn’t good news. Even a little bit of muscle tension can cause your piriformis or psoas muscle to irritate your sciatic nerve and cause back pain.

So, although there probably isn’t much real danger in drinking a cup of coffee in the morning, it can contribute to back pain issues.

According to Elle, Nutrition is one part of a three-pronged approach that Dr. Todd Sinett, chiropractor, certified trainer, and author of the recent book  3 Weeks to a Better Back, uses to tackle back pain. His method also examines these ailments structurally (muscle and bones) and emotionally (everyday stress), but diet is definitely the piece of the puzzle that barely anyone considers.

Dr. Sinett says you can’t pinpoint what back pain caused by diet feels like, exactly–it could range from severe lower back pain to a chronic aching neck. He notes that the science connecting diet and back pain applies to all levels of discomfort, concluding that eating a large amount of inflammatory food (more on that below) can cause muscles to contract without relaxing. If that persists over a long period of time, it can cause back spasms and irritation. Major dietary causes of back pain, he says, include excessive caffeine, alcohol, and sugar–all things that increase cortisol levels. When there’s excess cortisol in the body, connective tissue can get inflamed, causing pain. 

Other stress-causing, cortisol-promoting eating habits include skipping meals, eating large portions, or limiting yourself to a restrictive diet over a long period. You’re not off the hook if all you eat are salads every day, either, since that “roughage,” as Sinett calls it, “causes your digestive tract to go into overdrive very quickly” and triggers the muscular system, too. One way to fix that is by varying the kinds of food you eat day to day and breaking away from routine. Sinett himself used to eat high-fiber oatmeal every morning before developing bloating, stomach pain, and eventually a stiff neck.