A Habit of Pain

Just as we can develop a good habit for things like exercise, diet, and sleep; our bodies can develop a habit for pain. Yes, real pain from illness or injury can continue long after the reason for pain has been treated and eliminated. It is important to understand that the body’s one single job is self-preservation. It is in a constant battle each day to achieve complete balance or homeostasis.

This is a good thing. Every day we run into things, to which we are unaware, that can harm us (like bacteria and viruses). However, just like the mind or spirit can take a good concept and go overboard, so can the body. Especially, if we have suffered a life threatening illness, a severe injury, or a prolonged period of stress (this could describe a lot of us).

When each of these occurs, it is your body’s job to let you know something is wrong. So, a neuro pathway is set up for pain. This pathway is initially good. It prompts you to take action. But sometimes, even after illness and injury has been treated and eliminated these pain pathways continue. The same occurs after a long period of stress.

There are things one can do to combat undiagnosed pain.
1. Awareness is always the first step. Don’t judge yourself in this. You are not losing your mind. Pain pathways are real!
2. Take the proper medical precautions to ensure that nothing else is causing pain.
3. There are several Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) avenues you might try. Western Medicine recognizes five:

a. Chiropractic Care
b. Massage Therapy
c. Acupuncture
d. Yoga
e. Meditation

4. Be present in your therapy. Don’t just expect someone else to fix you. You need to participate in your own healing and take responsibility. Don’t give up.
5. As things begin to improve, remind yourself daily of that fact. This engages the mind and helps to literally set up alternative neuro pathways that will lead to the pain free life you seek.

Melissa Jarufe
March 2017