Chronic Pain and Mindfulness

joints that may be affected by foot injuryWhat is going on when you experience chronic pain? You have pain nerve signals to various body systems, including the immune system and the brain. You may have muscle guarding, contracting nearby muscles or more distant ones, as you attempt to minimize the impact of pain and continue your life. Other times, you may stop moving to let an area heal, which may even decrease the ability of the body to eliminate toxins because of lack of exercise. If you have to cut back on pleasurable social or recreational activities, pain can become a life crisis.

If you ignore pain, and keep up with regular activities despite it, it may create another situation. The body stops sending signals of pain, and you may develop areas of numbness, or lack of awareness, which Thomas Hanna calls Sensory Motor Amnesia, SMA. You may distort your posture and have even less movement in an area with SMA, and the lack of awareness can compound the injuries.

36732485_sAccording to Peter Levine, Healing Trauma, “If we simply try to avoid confronting painful experiences, there is no way to begin the healing process. In fact, this denial creates the very conditions that create and promote unnecessary suffering.” We often assume that suffering stems from past events and trauma. But we must look deeply inside ourselves to discover the truth. He continues, “…our suffering is more closely a result of how we deal with the effect these past events have on us in the present.”

What can I offer as a holistically oriented massage therapist? I teach sensory awareness, based on Hanna’s Somatics. I use Barbara Conable’s Body Mapping assess back for tight muscles(based on Alexander Technique) to increase awareness of how your body moves, so you can free yourself from tension patterns that may be causing your pain. I use Ortho-Bionomy® and myofascial release techniques so you can let go of pain patterns and heal. I teach mindfulness of emotions in your holding patterns to empower you to integrate your body, senses and movement with your life.

For more information, call 503-708-2911.

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