As many of you know I have a bit of an obsession with Pain Science and for the past two years I’ve enjoyed watching the San Diego Pain Summit lectures from the comfort of my home. This year, while watching, I had this overwhelming sense that so much of what I was seeing, hearing, and learning would be useful to you, as my patients. The speakers are all highly educated, often doctors and other specialists at the forefront of their fields. They are well spoken – easy to follow and understand, and more often than not, they’re funny too! They speak about the most recent findings in pain science research and very eloquently tell us why chronic pain is becoming a bigger, more extensive problem for us and how we as healthcare practitioners may even be adding to the problem. And of course, they tell us how we might go about correcting it; a lot of that starts with explaining things to you. These speakers are much better at explaining things than I am so…
I got in touch with Rajam Roose, the San Diego Pain Summit Coordinator, and told her I’d like to share so much of this with so many of you. In response, she’s very generously offered Aspect Health Clients a 20% discount on any video package found at https://sandiegopainsummit.com/education-videos/
Your discount code to be entered at checkout is: ahca17
This code is good for 20% off for any of the packages and will be active until midnight on Dec. 31, 2017.
If you happen to be someone who is suffering chronic pain, please, please take advantage of this code, buy one of these packages and watch the lectures. There’s great, GREAT information in them that can help get you on the path to alleviating your pain. If you have any questions about which lectures are best suited to you, please feel free to get in touch. I can share what I think, but honestly, ALL of them are good!
For the record, the lecture that made me think of sharing with you all the most, was the 2017 A Paradigm Shift In Understanding and Treating Back Pain by Keynote: Peter O’Sullivan, Dip Physio, Post Grad Dip Manip Ther, PhD, FACP, APAM found here.
(You can watch a brief 5-minute clip of this video here)
I so look forward to seeing each of you next, and hearing what you thought of these lectures if you do happen to watch them!
Contrast bathing is a great way to increase circulation and reduce pain with many musculoskeletal pathological symptoms such as aches, pains and inflammation. In order to get the most out of your contrast bath use the following guidelines:
Dr. Jo does an excellent job explaining the best practices for nerve flossing in the following video.
While nerve flossing is good to maintain free movement of the nerves, especially surrounding adhesion and/or scar tissue, it is possible to over-floss and irritate your nerves. Discontinue immediately flossing exercises should your symptoms persist and/or get worse.
Breathing… It’s something most of us rarely think about. It happens naturally and without effort most of the time.
Using your breath with skill and intention can lead to reduced stress and blood pressure and less anxiety. It can enhance relaxation, reduce pain and even act as a sleep aid for some. I invite you to try including the 4-7-8 relaxation breathing exercises as described below in your daily routine; when you feel tensions rising, when you just need a break, or in place of having a cigarette should you be trying to quit smoking, or even before you fall asleep if sleep doesn’t come easily to you. I invite to make this exercise a habit and see for yourself the profound effects simply breathing with intention can have on you and your overall health.
• Ideally, sit or lay with your back straight.
• Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper-front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
• Exhale through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.
• Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
• Close your mouth & inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4.
• Hold your breath for a count of 7.
• Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, to a count of 8.
This is one breath. Now, inhale again and repeat the cycle 3 more times for a total of 4 breaths.
The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important, but the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed up the exercise, but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice, you can slow it down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more, and more deeply.
What the Exercise is Good For?
This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which often are effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice. Use this new skill whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep.
Do it at least twice a day. You can’t do it too frequently. Do not do more than 4 breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to 8 breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned – it will pass.
Karōshi is a Japanese word that translates to ‘death from overwork’. It is used to describe occupational sudden deaths, which occur most commonly by heart attack or stroke due to stress and starvation. We don’t have such a word in English and in general, stress is downplayed in our daily lives. Sentences like, “it’s just stress,” are common. So what is this stress that the Japanese revere so much that they have a word to describe death by it, and that we in the West seem to commonly brush off and ignore as so very minor? Continue reading