#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, backpain, backpainblog, CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH, reiki


An introduction to Reiki by Mary Lambert is a great beginner’s guide to the Japanese healing system, which involves the laying on of hands to soothe you emotionally and physically. It introduces you to the history and principles of Reiki and shows you how to heal yourself and others

For each of the 12 basic healing positions, the book also offers a self-treatment option so you can do it on your self using clear step-by-step instructions and photography. Also contains a first aid section, and how to combine Reiki with other modalities.  You can even practise it on your pets and plants. It’s available on Amazon for only 1p.


#backpainblog, #BACKPAINBLOGUK, #fibromyalgia, Back Pain, CHRONIC PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, HEALTH


What is a chronic pain? These two great articles explain how you can tell other people what chronic pain feels like.

New Life Outlook says that it’s almost funny that the single word #pain is supposed to mean all of the different sensations you feel when you live with a chronic pain condition. I find it hard to describe in words how different pains physically feel, especially to someone who does not have chronic pain. Sometimes a metaphorical image captures it best.

Visual metaphors are better able to evoke understanding and empathy in others (G. D. Schott). If I tell you about a large needle being slowly inserted into my eyeball, your reaction is likely to cringe, grimace or squint your eyes. When you hear someone describe an image of something happening to them, your brain will “mirror” that experience – you imagine what it would feel like for the same thing to happen to you. Using visual metaphors can help you to describe your #pain better to your doctors and your family and friends. If you have chronic pain, just reading or hearing descriptions of #pain metaphors might start to make you feel tense and stressed. Images can elicit a very physical response, bypassing the analytical parts of our your brain.

New Life Outlook also points out that using your imagination is a helpful way to distract from focusing on #pain, which is likely another reason that visualization can help to manage #pain. Numerous studies have demonstrated that guided imagery reduces pain and improve physical function.

The National Pain Report says that people who don’t have experience with it seem almost incapable of understanding chronic pain. This is so true. We live it, but we don’t even understand it ourselves, so how can we expect anybody else to? It’s unnatural to have #pain without an injury, it’s unnatural not to heal and get better, but this is exactly what chronic pain is and does. It’s persistent, pervasive, and permanent nature is almost incomprehensible, even to those of us who live with it.

We are expected to “get better”, and people seem to lose patience with us when we don’t. Often we can’t even explain why it hurts, just that it does, and this lack of a clear reason seem to invalidate our experience in others’ eyes. We live in a visual, evidence-based culture. The same doctor that is willing to prescribe us loads of pain medication for a broken bone or after surgery becomes unsympathetic when our #pain isn’t visible. To overcome these obstacles, we must find a way to explain our suffering in a way others can understand.

To start telling someone about your chronic pain, you should explain to them the root of your #pain. You may not feel comfortable giving specific details, and you don’t need to. You may want to tell the person what hurts you, like your back, head, or the entire body. If you don’t feel like going into all the details, you may suggest that the person research the condition. You may also choose to print out basic information for the person to read.

Tell them about the #pain scale. Most people with chronic pain evaluate the #pain on a #pain scale. You should tell the person about this scale so they can understand the intensity of your #pain when you give them a number.

Describe the type of #pain. You could use words like stabbing, dull, sharp, tingling, throbbing, feeling warm/hot/numb, etc. It might also be helpful to compare it to a minor #pain that the other person may have felt (if applicable). “It kinda feels like the pinch from a shot, but never goes away,” or, “It feels like a rubber band snap. This is just like using visual metaphors like New Life Outlook has shown. If your artistic in any way you could maybe draw a person and indicate where you feel the #pain.


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“But you don’t look in pain?” What some say to people living in chronic pain.

I bet most of my readers will have been told this at least once while they are actually in great pain.

I have many a time wondered why some people have to make say this comment about how you look. I mean why on earth would we say we are in pain if we arent?

Did you know that the National Health Service spends more than £1 billion per year on back pain related costs? In the private healthcare sector, £565 million is spent on back pain every year. Back pain is the number 2 reason for long-term sickness in much of the UK. In manual labour jobs, back pain is the number one reason.

It also does not help if you are suffering from #fibromyalgia pain as for years it was described as general aches and pains or even seen as mainly psychiatric, related to depression and anxiety. The trouble with #fibromyalgia is that as yet no authoritative test has been established.

The British Pain Society says that approximately 8 million adults in the UK  report chronic pain that is moderate to severely disabling.

So, how are you supposed to look if you are in chronic pain?

The Harvard Medical School call chronic pain the “invisible” disability. Laura Kiesel contributor to The Harvard Medical School writes about her own personal story of her diagnosis of #fibromyalgia and how they said ‘you don’t seem sick’. She was even told by a school nutritionist “You have such shiny, healthy-looking hair,” she explained, pinching a lock of it between her fingers as though I were a doll on display. “People who are really sick don’t have hair like yours.”

Spine Health says that what your friend or family member needs from you is your support and kindness, not condemnation. Statements like “Get over it” or “It can’t be that bad” don’t accomplish anything other than to discourage those with chronic pain. Thankfully, there is an increasing consensus in the medical community that all chronic pain is real, and that it needs to be treated even if there is no known cause.

Pain is deeply personal. Each persons experience of pain is different. For example, two people may have the same condition, and one may display no ill-effects, while the other may be incapacitated.

An article on The National Pain Report website wrote ” If there’s no evidence of some bodily damage or injury, people seem more willing to believe we’re making it up or imagining it. They become suspicious of our motives. To them, our incapacity seems like a built-in excuse to get our way, and this provokes resentment.”

This is so true for the majority of chronic pain sufferers.

So, what’s the answer? Well, Survive Strive Thrive (I am currently covering their Control My Pain Project) have two great images which explain about chronic pain.

They also have a great quote to remember to tell anyone who does not seem to understand what chronic pain is “I won’t tell you I understand your pain because I don’t, nobody does…except you.” Failing that, listen to what Princess In the Tower says how you should respect a person in pain by understanding that we “are merely coping, sounding happy and trying to look normal.” 

I think that final statement says it all, failing that this quote is a good one as well  “I had learned quickly that life doesn’t always go the way I want it to, and that’s okay. I still plod on.”—Sarah Todd Hammer, Determination