7 Tips You Probably Haven’t Tried To Help Cope with Fibro Pain
For the nearly 5 million people in the U.S. suffering from fibromyalgia, the chronic pain can wreak havoc on their lives. For most, the pain is consistent and widespread. It can turn what may have once been simple tasks into seemingly impossible feats. For many, medications can take a slight edge off the pain, but even so the pain persists.
Finding additional ways to cope with the pain can make a world of difference. In addition to pain medications, there are a number of visualization techniques that can help give you greater control over your pain. We’ve poured over various different techniques and have found 7 of the most effective ones for coping with fibromyalgia pain.
Mental Anesthesia / Analgesia
Mental anesthesia involves imagining a numbing anesthesia being applied to or injected in the area in pain. Imagine the numbing sensation slowly spreading across the affected area. Mental analgesia is similar, but instead of a numbing agent imagine being injected with a powerful painkiller. In your mind, visualize the pain killer spreading through the affected area and attacking the pain. Imagine the tender muscles and joints slowly relaxing and releasing the pain as the painkiller sets in.
This visualization technique involves imagining that you can push the pain around to different areas of the body. By doing so, you can mentally move the pain to areas that may be more tolerable of the pain. For example, if you have been feeling constant pain in your shoulder – visualize yourself moving the pain out of the shoulder and down the arm to the hand. You may even visualize yourself pushing the pain out of your body entirely.
For this technique, find a symbol to associate with your pain. The symbol should be something obnoxious or irritating – such as a loud noise or bright light. I like to use a radio with static at full volume. Now – imagine you are slowly turning down the volume dial and gradually reducing the loud or otherwise obnoxious qualities of the symbol. As you turn the dial, allow your body and mind to relax and imagine your pain levels being reduced along with the volume.
No, this isn’t an actual prison escape – but this technique is designed to help you escape the prison that is your body and the shackles that are your pain. First – imagine yourself pain free. If you can remember a time when you were pain free, go back in time and imagine yourself at that point. If not, create an image of yourself pain free at some future point. Now – pick a place where you feel safe, comfortable and happy. It can be real or imagined – doesn’t matter. It may be a beach, somewhere in the wilderness, etc. Visualize yourself in this safe place – free from your pain and free from other worries – and allow yourself to mentally escape from reality.
This technique involves imaging a pleasant, soothing sensation such as heat, cold or anesthetic in your hand. Now place the hand on an area afflicted with pain. Applying gentle pressure, imagine the soothing sensation being transferred from the hand to the affected area.
This technique is designed to help you relax your body and also remind you that still have some control over it. Working from the top down, tighten each muscle group individually and then release. As you release the tension, visualize the stress and pain in that area being freed from your body.
This technique is designed to distract the mind and take its attention away from the pain. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, mentally scan through your body until you find an area that is not in pain. Focus your attention on that area and attempt to alter the sensation being felt in that area. For example, you may imagine the area heating up or cooling down. Doing so will take the mind’s focus off the pain – giving you a brief, but needed, escape.
Whether it’s one of the visualization techniques mentioned above or another one you’ve discovered on your own, visualization can be a powerful tool to help you cope with the pain. When used as an addition to other treatments – i.e. medications, nutritional supplementation, etc. – it can help restore a level of calm in the body and give you a greater sense of control over the pain. What visualization techniques have helped you cope with the pain? Share your tips and tricks with us on our Facebook Page!