Stress and Pain

As a reader, you already understand the relationship between stress and pain. You probably already know to that inflammation and “inflammatory states” caused by stress and diet, even at microscopic level, can cause a whole host of human illnesses, ranging from arthritis to cancer and heart disease.

The more inflammation we suffer, the more pain and disease we can endure. This is also why we are continually writing about easily correctable factors such as diet, certain supplements, adequate water intake, etc.

A key component of health is stress management. Stress is something that all human beings deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are confronted with enormous periods of stress and remain healthy.

But we all have our limits. Sooner or later, our bodies experience breakdown. And if we already suffer from a painful condition like peripheral neuropathy, stress makes it worse. But why is this so?

We know that inflammatory diets, such as those high in sugar, can aggravate pain, as can our environments, physical activity, and a many other external factors.

Well, scientists have finally made the connection between stress and pain.

A research team at Carnegie Mellon Institute in Philadelphia has discovered that stress significantly affects our body’s ability to regulate inflammation.

Not only can stress affect hormone production, but it can affect the way our immune cells and immune system response to attacks by things like viruses.

And, everybody knows, inflammation causes pain.

For example, how bad does a sunburn or deep scratch hurt? When you look at these, you notice the swelling, redness ,and sometimes extreme discoloration. These are all signs of inflammation.

If we are relatively healthy, our bodies will respond relatively quickly. Within two weeks we never knew anything happened.

But what happens if you can’t control inflammation properly?

That scratch or sunburn may worsen, or could develop a serious complication like an infection. We all know how badly they can hurt.

So, when inflammation is not regulated properly internally, our pain levels will increase; we are more predisposed to everything from the common cold to more significant illness and disease. The longer this goes on, the worse it becomes.

It’s been said that the first step to improvement is knowledge, so next time we’ll talk more about some more practical stress management techniques for those who suffer from many forms of pain and, of course, peripheral neuropathy.

Join us for more information HERE

Pain, Neuropathy, and Stress? is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

The post Stress and Pain appeared first on Blending Holistic & Conventional Care for Neuropathy, Chronic Pain & Illness.

Holiday Stress? Just Say No.

One key to avoiding stress is knowing that it’s okay just to say, “No, I’m not participating.”

It is long been known that on the scale of psychological stresses, the holidays rank near number one.

Why is that?

As you probably guessed, there are many reasons—who can’t name a few? Finances, our and our spouses’ expectations, and—often the biggest—family.

It could be this has been a physically or financially difficult year for you. If so, the holidays might bring dread rather than joy.

One of the most important things to understand is that it’s okay just to say, “No, I’m not participating.” Seriously, I read this many years ago in one of my favorite life simplification books.

Yes, this could be the right solution for you. Sometimes one of the healthiest things we can do is just choose not to participate in chosen—or all—holiday activities.

Psychologists will be the first to tell us that, as adults, the most stressful things the holidays bring are our own expectations that they will miraculously do something for us that they can’t.

So, some people will choose travel, go away for the day, or simply be by themselves. What keeps you happy and healthy is exactly what you should do!

Others seemingly will suffer through anything, and complain about it all the while. This is how you stress yourself out!

Yet others embrace the season with joy.

Whatever it is for you, start by making a healthy choice.

Like everything, keep in mind it is a choice.

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Holiday Stress? Just Say No. is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

The post Holiday Stress? Just Say No. appeared first on Blending Holistic & Conventional Care for Neuropathy, Chronic Pain & Illness.

Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, especially if you have neuropathy or chronic pain!

Even for the healthy, the holidays can be incredibly stressful.

Some surveys have even found that people are more stressed by the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas than by asking the boss for a raise!

But when you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Post-Chemotherapy neuropathy

Since you now have the stress of the holidays to deal with too, your health could take a serious beating—that will take you months to recover from.

Here are some steps you can take to make the holidays (and the months following them) a little easier to deal with:

1. Understand How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress (both mental and physical) causes the body to release hormones that prompt the liver to secrete glucose. That can wreak havoc on your blood glucose levels if you suffer from diabetes. In Type 2 diabetics, stress can also block the release of insulin from the pancreas and leave that extra insulin floating around in the bloodstream. In Type 1 diabetes, the effects are a little different. Some Type 1 diabetics say that stress drives their glucose up, while others maintain that stress drives their glucose down. Either way, your energy levels are wrecked. On a good day, that can be difficult to deal with. At the holidays, it can be pure misery.

If you are feeling stressed and your energy is especially low, you are less likely to pay attention to your glucose levels, or eat as you know you should. Pay particular attention to your body during the holidays, and Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon”

2. Do What You Can To Reduce Mental Stress

Many of the things that stress us at the holidays are easy to manage or control. Make your life as easy as possible during this trying time.

If traffic really works your nerves, leave home a little earlier or try getting to work by a different route and avoid the areas that are particularly congested.

If your boss is a nightmare, plan to take vacation around the holidays if at all possible, and give yourself a mental break.

Volunteer to help with the holiday activities of a local charity. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to make someone else’s life better and make you feel good at the same time.

Resolve to start a new exercise program, learn a new skill, or start a hobby as soon as the holidays are over. Enlist a friend to do it with you so you can encourage each other. Giving yourself a goal and something to look forward to after the grind of the holidays is over will do wonders for your state of mind.

3. How Do You Cope?

Everyone has a coping style. Some people are the take-charge type and take steps immediately to solve their problems. Other people just accept the problem, recognize that they can’t fix it, acknowledge that it’s probably not as bad as it could be, and go their merry way. Still, others are hand wringers and feel perpetually out of control.

The take-chargers and accepters have less problems with stress, both at the holidays and on a daily basis—as a result, their blood glucose levels don’t become elevated.

4. Relax…

One of the most useful things you will ever learn (diabetic or not) is to relax. For many, the ability to relax is not natural, but it can be learned. Some ways to help you relax are:

Breathing Exercises
Sit down or lie down without your arms or legs crossed. Inhale deeply. Push as much air as possible out of your lungs. Repeat the process but , this time, relax your muscles while you exhale. Start with this exercise for 5 minutes at a time and increase your time until you’re practicing breathing at least 20 minutes at a time, once a day.

Progressive Relaxation Therapy
Tense your muscles then relax them. Lie still and repeat the process for 5 minutes at a time, at least once a day.

Exercise
We can’t say enough about the benefits of exercise. As we’ve said before, you don’t have to run a marathon to get the stress-reducing benefits of exercise. You can walk or stretch, too.

Watch Your Mindset
When it comes to reducing stress, a lot can be said for the power of positive thinking. It’s really easy to let your mind overwhelm you this time of year…

“I’ll never get it all done…”

“What if they don’t like what I give them?”

“Oh man, I have to spend time with my brother again this year…”

Just watch your mindset and you can eliminate much of the stress of the holiday season. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Say a prayer or recite a poem or a quote that makes you feel good. Think of something that makes you happy. It may sound trite, but go to your happy place.

Choose one or more of these methods to relax and do it daily. Relaxing doesn’t come naturally to us, but we can definitely learn to do it with practice, and the health benefits are beyond measure.

Face the fact that many holiday stressors are not going away. The relative you don’t get along with, the traffic, the never-ending list of things to do will always be there.

But you can learn to manage the holiday stress. And if you can learn to manage holiday stress, just think of what you can do the rest of the year.

Talk to your local NeuropathyDR™ doctor or physical therapist to explore ways to handle the holiday stress-a-thon and make it a healthier and more enjoyable experience this—and every—year, even with neuropathy or chronic pain!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon” is a post from: Neuropathy | Neuropathy Doctors | Neuropathy Treatment | Neuropathy Treatments | Neuropathy Physical Therapists

The post Handling The Holiday “Stress-a-Thon” appeared first on Blending Holistic & Conventional Care for Neuropathy, Chronic Pain & Illness.

Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

The post Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need)

Don’t go it alone. Here’s why accepting support from family and friends is so important in treating chronic pain.

Although it may be a shocking idea, your personal support network may be equally as important to your health as your medical treatment team—or any kind of supplemental therapies.

Why? Because the bottom line is that a positive outlook is the best medicine for good health outcomes. If you are feeling contented and supported in your personal relationships, you’ll be much better equipped to cope with pain when it arises.

Unfortunately, many people find it hard to ask for help from their family and friends. We may have heard the message that it was weak or shameful to be dependent on others.

The truth is that when we are able to accept love and support, we’re better equipped to be as independent as possible in our daily lives.

Make a list of people in your life who have helped you in big and small ways in the past, as well as people that would probably be willing to help now if you were to ask.

Now, think about the things that are making your life the most difficult or stressful right now. This list could be anything from a leaky faucet in your kitchen to a pile of medical bills. Just get it all down on paper.

Finally, begin matching the list of stress points with the list of helpers in your life. Who could come over and fix that leaky faucet for you? Who could help you make phone calls to arrange a payment plan for those bills?

You will find that most of the people on your list are grateful for a chance to help you—they just didn’t know what to do that would be truly helpful. And when your stress level decreases (now that the leaky faucet or pile of bills is a thing of the past), your overall health will be optimized. That means chronic pain becomes less of a burden because you’re better able to cope with it.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

The post Treating Chronic Pain with TLC: Why Emotional Support is Vital (and How to Ask for the Help You Need) appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga

Ease the pain of neuropathy in feet with a simple yoga practice—even if you’ve never done yoga before.

Peripheral neuropathy can be an aggravating and chronic condition, and it’s tough to treat using traditional medications. But there’s a treatment you can do on your own—in a class, or at home—that can be very beneficial over time, and that’s gentle yoga.

Yoga isn’t just about spiritual growth or physical fitness anymore. Many neuropathy patients are finding that simple yoga poses can alleviate uncomfortable tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes. Best of all, many basic yoga poses are easy to learn and don’t require special equipment.

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

  1. Increased circulation to the hands and feet. Many yoga poses use the pull of gravity to shift habitual blood flow patterns, particularly to the feet. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a headstand!)
  2. Improved body self-awareness. A regular yoga practice can help you connect with your body sensations and really notice what your body is telling you.
  3. Relaxation and peacefulness. A simple, non-strenuous yoga practice for 10 to 30 minutes before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Or, if you prefer, use yoga as a gentle wake-up practice in the morning to set a peaceful tone for your day.

In general, yoga is a wonderful form of self-care that can be modified for your own unique physical goals and needs.

If you have no experience with yoga, it’s best to begin with assistance from a teacher. You can look for a local “gentle yoga” class or use a beginning yoga DVD as a guide at home.

Here’s one very simple yoga technique to get you started with relief for your feet. Sit cross-legged with your shoes and socks off. Weave your fingers one by one through the toes of the opposite foot, and hold this position for about 20 seconds. Then, switch to using the other hand and foot. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times for each foot.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at http://neuropathydr.com

 

The post A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga

Ease the pain of neuropathy in feet with a simple yoga practice—even if you’ve never done yoga before.

Peripheral neuropathy can be an aggravating and chronic condition, and it’s tough to treat using traditional medications. But there’s a treatment you can do on your own—in a class, or at home—that can be very beneficial over time, and that’s gentle yoga.

Yoga isn’t just about spiritual growth or physical fitness anymore. Many neuropathy patients are finding that simple yoga poses can alleviate uncomfortable tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes. Best of all, many basic yoga poses are easy to learn and don’t require special equipment.

Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:

  1. Increased circulation to the hands and feet. Many yoga poses use the pull of gravity to shift habitual blood flow patterns, particularly to the feet. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a headstand!)
  2. Improved body self-awareness. A regular yoga practice can help you connect with your body sensations and really notice what your body is telling you.
  3. Relaxation and peacefulness. A simple, non-strenuous yoga practice for 10 to 30 minutes before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Or, if you prefer, use yoga as a gentle wake-up practice in the morning to set a peaceful tone for your day.

In general, yoga is a wonderful form of self-care that can be modified for your own unique physical goals and needs.

If you have no experience with yoga, it’s best to begin with assistance from a teacher. You can look for a local “gentle yoga” class or use a beginning yoga DVD as a guide at home.

Here’s one very simple yoga technique to get you started with relief for your feet. Sit cross-legged with your shoes and socks off. Weave your fingers one by one through the toes of the opposite foot, and hold this position for about 20 seconds. Then, switch to using the other hand and foot. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times for each foot.

For more information on coping with autonomic neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscription to the Weekly Ezine “Beating Neuropathy” at https://neuropathydr.com

 

The post A Simple and Effective Treatment for Foot Neuropathy: Gentle Yoga appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment

Chronic neuropathy treatment can be supported with meditation—and it doesn’t have to be fancy, structured, or even spiritual in nature. Here’s a list of 5 ways to begin a meditation practice today on your own, for free.

When you think of meditation, do you picture a very serene-looking monk sitting cross-legged on a cushion? Or maybe a young man or woman in yoga gear on a cliff by the ocean? Maybe you’ve heard that there’s only one right way to meditate, and you’d need to watch a DVD or attend a class to find out how.

Well I have great news for you! The truth is that you don’t need a class, a DVD, or a perfect body to meditate. You don’t even have to sit on a cushion on the floor. Best of all, meditating is so easy, you can start today.

Here are 5 kinds of meditation that don’t require any kind of training. You can start with just 5 or 10 minutes each day.

1. Sitting meditation

Sitting doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion. You can sit upright in any chair that is comfortable for you. The key factor is in having appropriate posture. Think of your head as a balloon that is rising toward the ceiling on a string; let it float over your shoulders. Now think of having a strong, upright back and an open, receiving heart. Sit in this way for 5 to 10 minutes and just notice any thoughts or feelings that arise, like clouds floating by in the sky.

2. Walking meditation

This is a special way of walking that holds less danger of repetitive stress, because you won’t cover much ground in 5 minutes. It might more accurately be called balancing meditation. Simply slow down each step and notice every aspect of it: shifting your weight onto one foot, letting the other foot rise forward, contacting the ground, shifting your weight again. Then repeat on the other side. It’s just like walking, but at a glacial pace that allows you to really notice the sensations of movement and balance.

3. Meditating in bed

For those who find sitting or walking meditation too painful due to neuropathy symptoms, the wonderful thing to know about meditation is that you can do it in any position—even lying down. (The Buddha himself said so!) The key practice isn’t your body position, although it’s best to be in a posture that allows for effective breathing. Instead, the key is in noticing sensations and thoughts and simply allowing them to pass by without judgment.

4. Mindfully doing a creative act

Meditation doesn’t even have to happen in stillness. It’s possible to engage in a daily meditative practice involving any creative act, such as cooking or creating music. Again, the key to a meditative practice is in being fully aware in each moment of how you are feeling, what you’re thinking, and what judgments are arising about the situation. If you find that your attention drifts, just gently bring it back to this moment.

5. Mindfully completing any household chore

Finally, meditation works with any activity, regardless of its nature. The dullest of household chores can be a form of meditation if they are done mindfully—that is, with your attention on sensation and awareness. For example, when you are washing the dishes after dinner, spend those 10 minutes noticing how the soapy water feels on your hands and being aware of the pattern of your breathing.

Meditation of any kind can be an effective stress relief and a self-help supplement for your chronic neuropathy treatment.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

The post How to Use Meditation for Chronic Neuropathy Treatment appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.

Do you have Pain, Neuropathy, and Stress?

If we already suffer from a painful condition like peripheral neuropathy, stress makes it worse.

As a reader of this column, you already understand the relationship between diet, lifestyle, and your health.

You probably already know to that inflammation and “inflammatory states”, even at microscopic level, can cause a whole host of human illnesses, ranging from arthritis to cancer and heart disease.

The more inflammation we suffer, the more pain and disease we can endure. This is also why we are continually writing about easily correctable factors such as diet, certain supplements, adequate water intake, etc.

A key component of health is stress management. Stress is something that all human beings deal with on a daily basis. Some of us are confronted with enormous periods of stress and remain healthy.

But we all have our limits. Sooner or later, our bodies experience breakdown. And if we already suffer from a painful condition like peripheral neuropathy, stress makes it worse. But why is this so?

We know that inflammatory diets, such as those high in sugar, can aggravate pain, as can our environments, physical activity, and a many other external factors.

Scientists have finally made the connection between stress and pain.

A research team at Carnegie Mellon Institute in Philadelphia discovered that stress significantly affects our body’s ability to regulate inflammation.

Not only can stress affect hormone production, but it can affect the way our immune cells and immune system response to attacks by things like viruses.

And, everybody knows, inflammation causes pain!

For example, how bad does a sunburn or deep scratch hurt? When you look at these, you notice the swelling, redness ,and sometimes extreme discoloration. These are all signs of inflammation.

If we are relatively healthy, our bodies will respond relatively quickly. Within two weeks we never knew anything happened.

But what happens if you can’t control inflammation properly?

That scratch or sunburn may worsen, or could develop a serious complication like an infection. We all know how badly they can hurt.

So, when inflammation is not regulated properly internally, our pain levels will increase; we are more predisposed to everything from the common cold to more significant illness and disease. The longer this goes on, the worse it becomes.

It’s been said that the first step to improvement is knowledge, so in our upcoming posts we’ll talk about some practical stress management techniques for those who suffer from many forms of pain and, of course, peripheral neuropathy.

For more information on coping with neuropathy, get your Free E-Book and subscribe to our newsletters at http://neuropathydr.com.

The post Do you have Pain, Neuropathy, and Stress? appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatments.