So far, we’ve covered the topic of why we have pain and how pain is registered in the body. Today, we’re getting to the nitty gritty (and I’m saying that like Nacho Libre in my head).
What are some modalities that can help decrease pain and help repair some underlying reasons for the pain?
Somatic movement isn’t a commonly known modality, and honestly, I think it’s a real shame. This is a type of movement that, after very little inexpensive training, you can do in your own home and enjoy the benefits of decreased pain and increased relaxation. According to their website:
Somatic movement engages the nervous system in an active learning process that consists of very slow, focused, conscious movements. The movement techniques used in clinical somatics teach the nervous system how to release chronic muscle tension and stand and move in natural, efficient ways so that you aren’t putting yourself in pain or doing damage to your body.
I have experienced amazing results when I practiced it regularly. Do yourself a favor and check out the Somatic Movement Center for classes, books, blogs and info.
Accupressure & Accupuncture
Accupressure/puncture is based on the belief that health is affected by blocked Qi or life force. They have carefully mapped out “meridians” that are the channels through which the energy flows. If these channels are blocked, it can lead to pain and ill health. Practitioners use small needles or touch to open those channels and restore health to the individual.
Chiropractors manipulate the spinal column to realign the vertebrae. With proper alignment, neural impulses are able to flow freely, resulting in decreased pain. If the spine is out of alignment, these pathways are disrupted.
Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy & Meditation
These modalities all work in similar ways. Once the patient is completely relaxed, their pain is redefined. The brain is taught to view the pain as something different and to virtually block the feeling of pain, transforming it into warmth, etc. The mind is so powerful, and if we can learn to control our thoughts, we have the power to heal.
Massage is an amazing modality capable of treating many conditions such as muscle spasms, headaches and injuries. It works through relaxing the muscles, increasing lymphatic and cardiovascular circulation, breaking up scar tissue and more. There are several modalities within massage, including deep tissue, reflexology, reiki, sports massage, Shiatsu and Swedish massage.
Another great modality you can do at home. I recommend getting some tips from a knowledgable practitioner who can show you the best areas to target and how to do it properly. If you have an injury-related pain then please consult your specialist before adding this in to your regimen.