But How Realistic Is It For You To Start Managing Your Own Pain Using the Mind-Body Connection?
If you're fed up with the callous treatment, invasive procedures, and under-medication that some doctors provide, you're not alone. But be cautious before you totally embrace a natural approach. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind and some specific information on one natural technique, visualization.
If you've been in pain for months or years, you've probably been to see osteopaths, pain management specialists, and possibly chiropractors and acupuncturists without getting help. You feel like you've given up control of your life to them and may want to take it back using some form of the mind-body connection.
This is a healthy reaction if you don't carry it too far. First, the use of traditional medicine or the mind-body connection doesn't have to be an either/or choice. Often the two complement each other.
Second, not all mind-body connections are equal and only one or a few options may be right for you. Meditation, relaxation therapy, self-hypnosis, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, affirmation, visualization, and other methods all differ in terms of ease of use, effectiveness for preogramming the subconscious, and cost.
For a comparison of ten different ways to ease your pain using the mind-body connection, please see the free report available from the Web site mentioned at the end of this article. Click on the link, go to the Home page, and download the free report.
Third, if you're encouraged by the possibility of using using visualization statements to program the subconscious to deliver relief, you should know that so far it's been directly applied to three of the five major types of chronic pain, and indirectly applied to one other.
Visualization statements represent the specific language that your subconscious wants you to read back to it to help ease your pain. They're simple and are targeted directly at the main factors that could bring you relief.
You can obtain these statements by learning how to communicate directly with your own subconscious mind. The process is straightforward and can be done at home by working with a facilitator over the telephone. You you need no special skills and no previous experience in working with the subconscious.
Here's a recap of how visualization statements have been used to date:
Back Pain and Pain in the Extremities (Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, Foot, etc.)
Unless a fracture of the spine is involved, these kinds of pain tend to be caused by strains on muscles, joints and ligaments, or by pressure on nerves in the spinal cord.
Visualization has had good results with these and other malfunctions of the musculoskeletal system and may be able to ease your pain to some degree.
Fibromyalgia pain may be a malfunction of the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the fight or flight syndrome. In fibromyalgia the sympathetic system becomes hyperactive, causing pain throughout the body, as well as sleep and digestive problems.
Visualization has produced positive results with fibromyalgia, helping to relieve pain, improve sleep and digestion, and improve energy and cognition levels. While the condition is complex, it seems to respond well to management by the subconscious and we're encouraged by results to date.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain results from the immune system attacking joint linings. Psoriatic arthritis pain is similar to the rheumatoid variety, except that it is accompanied by the eruption and shedding of skin over large areas of the body. Osteoarthritis pain results from a breakdown of the cartilage in joints, leading to pain, stiffness and inflammation.
While we have not worked directly with rheumatoid arthritis, we have worked with the psoriatic type. In psoriatic arthritis it seems to be possible to use visualizations to program the subconscious to have immune T-cells be put into action only when the body is truly attacked by an outside invader. This may also work for rheumatoid arthritis.
We have not yet worked with a participant who has osteoarthritis. But we have had good results working with back and extremity pain, which involves focusing the subconscious on increasing the elasticity of tendons and ligaments. If it has done that with back and extremity pain, it may be able to do the same for cartilage.
This kind of pain is caused by damage to nerve fibers. In some cases the pain is in the periphery of the body, such as in fingers and toes due to diabetes, or in the face or elsewhere due to shingles.
In other cases the pain is generated within the central nervous system itself. This can show up as burning sensations, muscle pain, pins and needles, shooting pain, visceral pain, pain from what normally shouldn't hurt, and other sensations that range from the moderate to the severe.
We have not yet worked with neuropathic pain (nerve pain). However, the signals for this pain are transmitted by the same brain chemicals that we normally deal with when focusing the subconscious on other kinds of pain. As such visualization may be able to provide some relief.
Cancer is a life-threatening condition whose pain is best managed by medical professionals.
Working With the Subconscious
The subconscious is quite powerful. When programmed through the very visualizations that it suggests, it may be able to turn episodes of uncontrolled pain into events over which you have a degree of control.
Ben Plumb is CEO and President of The Visualization Group, Inc. The company's service is delivered by people like himself who personally suffered from years of chronic pain, and used the visualization method described in this article to obtain relief when nothing else worked.