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Dealing with pain of a flare up

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Bk1959, Apr 3, 2023.

  1. Bk1959

    Bk1959 New Member

    Just curious about different approaches to how folks deal with an increase of pain. Since I know we should not use comfort measures such as ice or heat, etc. just looking for some examples of how some of you might approach this. Even though I know ice is not fixing anything, it does make me feel better I’m general.

    I have been trying things like calming meditations and trying to focus on current emotions. But so far, not much success.

  2. Cactusflower

    Cactusflower Beloved Grand Eagle

  3. Bk1959

    Bk1959 New Member

    Thanks for the reminder. I did do both of these a while ago. But would be good to go back for a refresher.
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Ack! There's that word: "should" !!! If I could change the font to one invoking dread and horror, I would.

    @Bk1959, please forgive me if I end up sounding a bit rant-ish here. Believe me, it's not directed towards you, but rather towards the tendency for "Sarno purity" which is heavily pushed by some people. Which I think is a distraction at best, judgemental at worst, and certainly a classic example of perfectionism - and isn't perfectionism what we are trying to let go of?

    When Dr. Sarno was teaching, it was not only a VERY different time, but I believe he was talking to a very different type of patient compared to what we are seeing here, and what so many of us are dealing with in this decade. For one thing, he admittedly cherry-picked the people who could attend his seminars - and I just have a very strong feeling that they tended to be people who were NOT dealing with any kind of childhood trauma (this is almost a certainty), they probably did not suffer from lifelong anxiety disorders, and the onset of their pain was relatively short in comparison to their current lifespans. Again - this is just a guess on my part, and of course I'm sure it did not apply 100% (nothing does) but in general, I think that's who he taught. IOW, the kind of people who could experience the book cure and never look back.

    Well, times have changed, world dysfunction and existential anxiety are epidemic, and, of course we had an actual epidemic in 2020 - and obsessive adherence to many of the old "shoulds" is, I believe, better if it is set gently aside.

    Look - Dr. Sarno himself said: sometimes you just gotta take the pain reliever and give yourself a break.

    Here's what I have always thought about the comfort tools: First, that this is all they are - just tools to give yourself a break when you're in a crisis, which allows you to gather your resources in order to fight back with your emotional techniques. The key is to look at something like heat or ice or a mild pain reliever, and KNOW that it's temporary, know that it does NOTHING to physiologically change your symptom, and that the real purpose of using it is to give yourself a little bit of compassionate self-care and a little bit of relief so you can move to the next step.

    Which, of course, is to address the emotional source of your pain by revisiting your skills, as @Cactusflower has reminded you.

    My personal relapse steps are:
    1. STOP and become mindful of where and how I am clenching
    2. BREATHE
    3. Get out the pen and any old piece of paper and start writing shit down.

    Great podcast from Nicole Sachs (dropped on Friday) in which she says to the person she's interviewing (among MANY other wonderful things) "if I prefer to have back support in order to be comfortable while sitting on the floor, who the f*** cares?" Or something to that effect - that's not guaranteed to be an exact quote, so you can listen to the episode to receive the benefit of everything in it - I think you'll find it very worthwhile because it's all about expectations, pressure, and judgement.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2023
  5. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I hold unorthodox position on painkillers (including ice, heat, massage etc), as long as they are non-addictive like opioids. As long as you know that it is a temporary step back, just because you have not achieved a desired level of control over your mindbody, you can occasionally use them. In my own recovery, once my symptoms subsided enough that I could effectively continue my mindbody work without being fully distracted by pain, I stopped painkillers.
    Ellen likes this.
  6. Bk1959

    Bk1959 New Member

    Thanks for this perspective. That’s more or less how I have been viewing it as well. But didn’t know if this could be hijacking things. When I use ice, I know it is not fixing anything and it’s temporary, but it generally just makes me feel better- my back and my brain. I try to use many of the other techniques at the same time - somatic tracking, affirmations, etc.
    TG957 likes this.
  7. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    It certainly will as long as you allow your TMS brain to fool you into thinking so.

    This is a distraction! This is your brain on TMS! Call bollocks on this, and take control.

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