Archive for April 29th, 2009

THE SELF-MANAGEMENT OF PAIN: CONDITIONING AGAINST PAIN AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF PAIN IN PURE FORM

Conditioning becomes possible through the calm state of mind induced by the exercises. We subject ourselves to minor painful stimuli. We are not disturbed. Gradually we use more severe stimuli; we maintain our calm of mind and we are still not disturbed. In a little while we can tolerate quite severe stimuli without discomfort. By the process of conditioning, we come to be less disturbed by pain in general. This is possible only by virtue of our relaxed and regressed state of mind while we are doing the conditioning.

The Acceptance of Pain in Pure Form-This is the last of our six principles in the

self-management of pain. You may find it more difficult than the others to understand. Actually it follows quite naturally from the practice of the other principles. If you have too much difficulty in believing that pure pain—that is, pain devoid of any psychological reaction—does not really hurt, then concentrate on the other principles which you can understand more easily. Then, when you have mastered them, you will come to realize of your own initiative the fundamental truth of this last proposition —that pure pain does not hurt.

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TUMMY TROUBLES: IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

Q. Whilst we are discussing bowel disorders, what is irritable bowel syndrome?

A. This is a common bowel problem in which no organic disease can be found. It is probably nervous or psychogenic in nature, although certain dietetic factors (such as inadequate fibre) may play a part.

Q. What are the symptoms?

A. They are fairly constant and consist of long bouts of diarrhoea, which is worse when under stress and anxiety, does not involve the passing of blood, constipation or abdominal pain. Pain is eased by a bowel action or the passage of wind. These symptoms may occur separately, or in succession, or together. The patient’s general health is usually good. Often a lot of mucus is passed but not blood.

Q. What about diagnosis and treatment?

A. Symptoms of this nature always require a full bowel check to exclude a serious disease. X-rays and endoscopic examinations may take place. Treatment includes a high fibre diet, rich in unprocessed bran and fibre foods. Foods which obviously upset should be excluded. Medical hypnotherapy by an experienced doctor often produces excellent results.

Q. What is aerophagy?

A. This means swallowing air but usually means the symptoms that occur when there is too much gas or air in the G.I. system and when there is no organic disease.

Q. Where does intestinal gas come from?

A. It may only come from a few sources. These are air that is swallowed or gas produced within the intestinal system itself. It is easy to unconsciously swallow air, specially at times of emotional stress, when chewing gum, smoking, with excessive salivation or with a dry throat. Many who like to belch often take in more air than they eliminate. Many foods, specially fizzy drinks and various sugary fruit juices and carbohydrates are notorious for increasing gas in the bowel system.

Q. What are the symptoms and how is it treated?

A. There is a feeling of fullness, maybe nausea. Belching, dyspepsia and “indigestion” are common. Much wind is passed by the bowel, a condition called flatulence. Treatment consists in avoiding the causes. Eat in a peaceful environment. Avoid fizzy drinks and alcohol with meals. Avoid gum chewing, smoking, or foods or vegetables that knowingly cause distress. Apples, grapes, raisins, bananas, leafy greens, onions, lentils, legumes and fried foods are best avoided. Experience is the best teacher. Drug therapy is not necessary. Fibre often helps, such as bran for breakfast each day.

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TIPS TO PREVENT BACK PAIN AND SCIATICA FOR HOME WORKERS

Bending over beds, heaving a vacuum cleaner around, dusting in corners and standing cooking in the kitchen are all ingredients that add up to a recipe for increased risk of back strain and other muscle pain.

It’s easy to mistreat your body as you give the carpet a clean -twisting from the waist to get the vacuum cleaner into position can harm the back and strain the arms. Keep the handle close to your body and use the machine’s wheels to move it around.

Beds are usually designed for the benefit of the sleeper, not the one who has to change the sheets. To make changing bed linen safer, don’t lean over to the other side to tuck sheets in, but go round to do it. Similarly, pictures are designed to be looked at, not cleaned; floors to be trodden on, not bent down to for cleaning. But a long-handled duster and brooms used with an upright back, with the handle held close to the body, will help you avoid strains.

The height of work surfaces such as ironing-boards and kitchen units is also important to avoid uncomfortable bending. The most efficient height is usually 2-4 inches below elbow height. In fact, ironing is often best done sitting down, with the chair close to the board.

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