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SUPPORTIVE RESOURCES FOR MANAGING CHRONIC PAIN…

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a health condition that causes chronic pain, you might be wondering where to turn for health and advice. After all, managing chronic pain can be quite challenging, and it can be tough to find practical solutions. The following resources are packed with information on understanding your diagnosis, getting relief from your symptoms, and learning to relax on rough days.

Accepting your diagnosis…

You finally have a diagnosis – but now, you’re confused about what to do next. These resources can guide you along the way.● It’s normal to feel shocked. Give yourself time to grieve and process your new diagnosis.● If your diagnosis has made you feel isolated, check out Back Pain Blog UK to read accounts from other chronic pain patients.● Consult expert tips to turn your home into a comfortable wellness haven.

Safe Symptom Management…

Your symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. Here’s how to find some relief with safe methods. ● Stock your pantry with tasty, anti-inflammatory foods. ● Focus on cooking nutritious meals at home with whole, unprocessed ingredients.● Take supplements that have been proven to help relieve chronic pain. ● Ask your healthcare provider about using CBD products to alleviate your symptoms.

Relaxation Techniques…

Chronic pain can raise your stress levels. Turn to these breathing and relaxation tactics to calm down.● Try these mindfulness techniques specifically geared towards people with chronic pain. ● This soothing yoga sequence can help you get your body moving without exacerbating aches and pains.● These sleep positions will allow you to get the rest you need every night.  

Living with chronic pain can be difficult, but if you’ve just received a chronic pain diagnosis of some kind, you will quickly find that knowledge is power. The more you learn about your condition and potential treatment options, the better you’ll feel. By referencing these resources, you’ll be able to research the best ways to manage your pain.

Guest post from Jackie Waters

IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND REFLEXOLOGY…

This week on ‘It’s Sleep Sunday’, I thought I would write on the reflexology points that can help you get to sleep.

Healthline has a list of 5 Pressure Points for sleep.

1. The spirit gate point is located at the crease on your outer wrist, below your pinkie finger.

  1. Feel for the small, hollow space in this area and apply gentle pressure in a circular or up-and-down movement.
  2. Continue for two to three minutes.
  3. Hold the left side of the point with gentle pressure for a few seconds, and then hold the right side.
  4. Repeat on the same area of your other wrist.

Stimulating this pressure point is associated with quieting your mind, which can help you fall asleep.

 

2. The three yin intersection point is located on your inner leg, just above your ankle.

  1. Locate the highest point on your ankle.
  2. Count four finger widths up your leg, above your ankle.
  3. Apply deep pressure slightly behind your biggest lower-leg bone (tibia), massaging with circular or up-and-down motions for four to five seconds.

In addition to helping with insomnia, simulating this pressure point can also help with pelvic disorders and menstrual cramps.

Don’t use this pressure point if you’re pregnant, as it’s also associated with inducing labour.

3. The bubbling spring point is located on the sole of your foot. It’s the small depression that appears just above the middle of your foot when you curl your toes inward.

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent so you can reach your feet with your hands.
  2. Take one foot in your hand and curl your toes.
  3. Feel for the depression on the sole of your foot.
  4. Apply firm pressure and massage this point for a few minutes using a circular or up-and-down motion.

Stimulating this pressure point is believed to ground your energy and induce sleep.

4. The inner frontier gate point is found on your inner forearm between two tendons.

  1. Turn your hands over so that your palms are facing up.
  2. Take one hand and count three finger widths down from your wrist crease.
  3. Apply a steady downward pressure between the two tendons in this location.
  4. Use a circular or up-and-down motion to massage the area for four to five seconds.

In addition to helping you sleep, the inner frontier gate point is associated with soothing nausea, stomach pain, and headaches.

5. The wind pool point is located on the back of your neck. You can find it by feeling for the mastoid bone behind your ears and following the groove around to where your neck muscles attach to the skull.
  1. Clasp your hands together and gently open your palms with your fingers interlocked to create a cup shape with your hands.
  2. Use your thumbs to apply a deep and firm pressure toward your skull, using circular or up-and-down movements to massage this area for four to five seconds.
  3. Breathe deeply as you massage the area.

Stimulating this pressure point may help to reduce respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, which often interrupt sleep. It’s also associated with reducing stress and calming the mind.

 

 

 

SUFFERING FROM SAD AND LACK OF ENERGY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS….

We all lack energy from time to time but if it doesn’t improve then you should see your GP.

There are a number of conditions that can leave you feeling lethargic. Iron levels are one of the first things that can affect energy levels and cause tiredness.

An under-active thyroid is another cause of tiredness and the falling hormone levels that occur at the menopause.

Fatigue can also be a sign of diabetes.

If you are suffering from SAD (Seasonal Effective Disorder) this can also cause fatigue.

As well as the above, some medications can also cause lethargy, including beta blockers, some antihistamines, codeine-based painkillers and also some antidepressants. Also some sleeping tablets may help to get you through the night, some can cause daytime fatigue.

Of course, anxiety, stress and depression are also triggers for sapping energy levels. The best course of action is to go and visit your GP.

At this time of year one in eight of us can suffer from winter blues and one in 50 of us suffer from SAD through lack of sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD include fatigue and depression.

Its the sunlight that tells your brain to produce serotonin, which is needed to boost our mood and energy. Lack of it as autumn turns to winter causes an increase in the production of melatonin (which makes us sleepy) and a reduction in serotonin is what can cause depression.

One of the most obvious ways to treat SAD is to get outside in the daylight for at least 20 minutes a day but you can also invest in a light box. Light therapy is the most effective way of decreasing the symptoms. Also it is believed that eating foods rich in an amino acid called tryptophan increases the amount of serotonin in the brain.

Also they say that Australian research found that taking vitamin D supplements for only five days in late winter improved the mood of people with SAD. It can also prevent osteoporosis, support immunity and regulate weight. Of course the best way to get Vitamin D is through the effects of sunlight on bare skin. Amazingly they say that Vitamin D lasts for 60 days in the body so if you’ve been away for your annual holiday in the summer, it will mean your levels should be fine until November.

Other sources of Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and eggs, cheese and poultry.

Research also suggests that eating carb-rich foods helps the brain take up tryptophan. You can also find supplements and The Food Agency recommends taking 10mcg a day.

8 NATURAL REMEDIES TO HELP WITH FATIGUE…

1. If you are suffering from a case of afternoon slumps then eat or smell peppermint. It is known to wake up and help decrease fatigue. In fact research at the University of Northumbria found that in a test involving word recall, peppermint-gum chewer’s scores were up to 36% higher than non-chewers.

2. They also say that Siberian Ginseng which has been around for centuries is known for its anti-fatigue qualities. It acts like a tonic, which can then increase the body’s vital energy. Anyone taking antidepressants, diabetes, or blood clotting medication should consult their physician first.

3.Vitamin B12 is also popular and it is naturally found in fish, dairy produce, organ meats, beef, pork and is water soluble.Vitamin B12 contributes to normal energy yielding metabolism, functioning of the nervous system, homocysteine metabolism, psychological function, red blood cell formation and function of the immune system. You can also buy it in tablet form from Holland and Barrett and other good chemists.

4.Graded Exercise Therapy. Studies have repeatedly shown that graded exercise therapy helps those with CFS.

5. Sleep of course is a natural remedy for fatigue.. People with CFS often have broken or disordered sleep and may even suffer from insomnia. Going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day. Avoiding naps in the day (although I cannot manage without mine) and taking time to relax before you go to bed.

6. Licorice root, in standardized form, is a commonly used natural remedy for chronic fatigue. This herb, which helps regulate normal system function and allows your body to better cope with stress, has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. To help restore cortisol levels, look for standardized licorice root in extract or pill form. Speak to your physician if you take blood thinners, potassium, or blood pressure medications as interactions can occur.

7. The NHS add that a good way to keep up your energy through the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal less often.

8. Cut out caffeine, the NHS say try to stay off caffeine completely for a month to see if you feel less tired without it.

 

 

 

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