Physical pain, in its various forms and degrees, can range from uncomfortable, unpleasant, to incapacitating and debilitating.
However unwelcome and inconvenient it is, it as a useful tool for recognising that our body needs our conscious attention to get things back to normal, and possibly avert a much worse health issue.
THE NATURE OF PAIN
Pain insists very clearly that we should start taking care of our body. If we don’t get pain, we might not be motivated enough to take care of our body through healthy diet and exercise etc. But when pain strikes, we can be fast enough to try and get ourselves better. To paraphrase Marcel Proust, we make promise to kindness and knowledge, but we obey pain.
Most of us immediately reach for painkillers, or rush to the doctor or a pharmacy to get some, so we can start pain-free again. What was taken for granted before – our normal state without pain, is now regarded as something so desperately desired that we’d give just anything to get it back.
USING ENERGY TO DIMINISH PAIN
Although painkillers can be highly effective in diminishing the pain, in most cases they don’t cause the actual healing – they don’t really treat the underlying issue behind the pain. Through working with energies, we can often achieve results that are much more beneficial to our body then just numbing the pain with chemicals. What’s more, the results of such treatments can be long-lasting.
PAIN AS CONGESTED ENERGY
One of the brilliant things about using energy for treating pain is that when we free the stuck / congested energy in the body, the pain often diminishes very quickly and noticeably. And to move the congested energy is often easier than people realise!
Also, stimulating acupuncture points can often increase pain-suppressing endorphins, and release opioid peptides, which are highly effective in relieving pain associated with autoimmune diseases, postoperative discomfort, period cramps, lower back pain, tendonitis, etc.
There are a number of techniques to diminish pain; here are a few examples of the techniques I’ve used with success:
1. BREATHING OUT THE PAIN
This is one of the simplest techniques which can be combined with other more complex ones, but it can be helpful even on its own. Since energy can be moved by breathing, we can gain some degree of control over our pain by breathing in through our nose (with mouth closed), an breathing out through our mouth.
Exhaling can release some energy involved with the pain. It’s good to visualise that on the outbreath we are releasing all our physical tension from our head to your toes.
This technique was also popularised by a French obstetrician Fernand Lamaze, who in the 1950s introduced a method called psychoprophylaxis, also known as ‘Lamaze breathing technique’, which helps women in labour to better manage contraction pains, through the use of controlled breathing and conscious relaxation.
The best way to remember this technique is to think of smelling a rose (for the inbreath) and then blowing out a candle (for the outbreath).
Tapping is another effective technique which is familiar to the body, as it resembles the heartbeat. You’ll be freeing energy in the congested area. This technique is specially good to use for aching muscles – e.g. after carrying heavy luggage.
If, for example, you experience pain in your shoulders, you can use your fingers or a hairbrush to do the tapping. (I particularly like using a wooden hairbrush.) Keep tapping for about a minute, while breathing in through your nose and out though your mouth, visualizing the pain being tapped out of the sore area.
If you gently stretch the area around the epicentre of the pain, you can often experience some relief. This is due to smoothing, evening out, or freeing the energy that has over-accumulated at the site where you feel the pain. (This technique is obviously not suitable for open wounds or burnt skin)
4. PINCHING (‘SPINDLE CELL MECHANISM’)
Using your thumb and your forefinger, VERY lightly pinch the skin around the painful area. This super-light pinch is powerful enough to free clogged energy in the painful area through communicating with your nervous system, informing it that pain is no longer necessary.
(Not suitable on open wounds)
5. SIPHONING THE PAIN
As the left side of our body receives energy, and the right sight releases it, this method can provide a considerable relief from pain by placing our left hand on the painful area of the person we want to help. Our left hand will be pulling the excess energy from the sore area – ‘siphoning’ it off the other person, and thus providing him/her with relief. The energy will be draining off your right hand. Hold your right hand away from your body, facing down, and out.
Although this doesn’t often happen, it’s good to be aware of the risk of the energy of the other person being caught in your own body while performing this technique; you may start feeling pain yourself. This happened to me recently when I was treating my husband.
If this happens, stop at once and shake your hands off energetically. (I did exactly that, and then, to free my right hand from pain completely, did another healing technique on myself, described below. My pain was gone in less then ten minutes.)
6. ZONE TAPPING
One of the ways to stop or diminish pain is a technique called Zone Tapping. This technique is also practised in foot reflexology. I have used this technique on quite a few people including myself, and I’m happy to say that in most cases this simple treatment resulted in noticeable pain relief. According to this discipline, the body is divided into 6 zones (Figure 1 and 2).
You first locate the source of the pain on your body, then look it up on the diagram and determine on which zone the point of your pain lies. (This technique is more suitable for localised pain, rather then diffuse, widely spread pain)
You’ll then tap specific points on your wrists or your ankles, depending on which zone your pain is, and also whether it is on the front or the back of your body.
The softer parts of the body, which are in front your body and inside the limbs, (where hair doesn’t grow as easily) are classified as YIN.
This also includes the bottoms of your feet and the palms of your hand. It is easy to remember the yin parts especially when we think of the hairless areas of the arms and legs.
The slightly tougher areas of your body, especially the back, are considered YANG. This also includes the backs of your hands, the tops of your feet, the outsides of your limbs (where hair can grow) and the back of your head and neck.
To practise the zone tapping, follow these steps:
1. Locate your pain on your body and then look it up on the map of the body (Figures 1 and 2)
2. Find the number of the zone which flows through the area of your pain.
3. If your pain is anywhere above your waist, you will be tapping one of the allocated points on your wrist;
If the pain is anywhere below your waist, you will be tapping one of the corresponding points on your ankle.
(Note: ‘A’ in the diagram means Ankle, and ‘W’ means Wrist.
If your pain lies on the front (YIN) part of your body, you’ll be tapping on the INSIDE of your ankle or your wrist. (Remember: Yin = Inside)
If the pain lies on the back (YANG) of your body, you’ll be tapping the OUTSIDE of your ankle or your wrist. (Remember: Yan = Outside)
4. Find the point on the wrist (for pain above the waist) or ankle (for pain below the waist) that corresponds with the point of your pain. (Figures 3 and 4)
For example, if your pain is on the front of your head, near the centre, it will be in zone 1.
As it is above the waist, we’ll be tapping on the wrist.
And as it is located on the front (YIN) of the body, we’ll be tapping inside the wrist.
Then we’ll find W1 (Wrist 1) point on the diagram.
The tapping procedure:
1. Tap the point about ten times, and then stop for ten seconds.
2. Tap for 1,5 minutes (90 seconds) more. I usually tap in a one second interval and count to ninety.
3. In about ten minutes the pain should ease or disappear. If it doesn’t, do the same procedure on the opposite side of the body.
Note: If you are unsure whether you were tapping the correct point, you can energy test each of the points first. Press each of the points, and at the same time push the treated person’s arm (which is extended in 90 degrees from the body) down.
The person will lose energy on the zone that needs to be tapped, and will remain strong on the other ones.
BACK AND SHOULDER PAIN, ANYONE?
One of the best discoveries of this year for me was a simple-looking massage device called The Original Backnobber II. Despite its sligthly cringeworthy name, it is one of the best tools for self-massage. It is designed for deep muscle therapy and it surely does its job.
It is very user-friendly, you simply hook this S-shaped tool over your shoulder or sideways to reach your lower back, and use it as a leverage to apply deep pressure the points of your choice, mainly in the muscles of the neck, shoulders or back.
I tend to use the smaller side for hanging over my shoulder, and the larger side for reaching the musles along my spine lower down – reaching these points from the side. It’s incredible how much healhy pressure can be achieved by gentle pushing against the device. Something that would make a massage therapist’s knuckles sore it done by you with almost zero effort.
It’s easy to continue all the way down your spine, from both sides, addressing a great number of important acupressure points which affect various systems in your body and clear out toxins by making the lymph flow more easily.
My favourite way of using it is lying down on my back and sliding the ‘snake’ under my back. Then I just gently push down the top part and gosh, does it dig deep! This is one of the most effective ways to clear toxins from your body and release stale energy.
I rarely leave the house without it, especially when driving long distances, working in the garden or even just vaacuming the house. As soon as my back muscles get a bit stiff and painful, I reach for my ‘blue snake’ and target the affected area.
The practical feature of splitting the device in two makes it easy to carry around.
(You can easily split it in half by pressing the button in the middle.)
Watch the manufacturer’s video explaining how the device works and what the benefits are. Watch out for the skeleton in the background! 🙂
A SIMPLE DEVICE FOR LOWER BACK PAIN RELIEF
There was a period when I suffered from strong back pain – mainly in the gigging season when I carried my keyboard and other heavy equipment around frequently. This would last for weeks at a time.
A discovery of that year was a light, ergonomic device called ‘Nada chair’ that you strap around your knees and lower back, which creates a back support and often immediate relief from the pain. Apparently it has also been used by NASA astronauts.
I remember carrying it everywhere (It folds into a pouch, so it’s nice and portable) – for visits, to school, to work…and within about two weeks of regular use my back pain subsided.
I believe this was due to a combination of regularly improving my posture and alleviating strain on my back by wearing this device, as well as taking up yoga and concentrating on asanas such as shoulder stand and head stand.
I highly recommend this ‘chair’, it’s fun wearing it – you can shorten / lengthen the straps as you want, and the more you shorten it, the more you can ‘swing’ in it. 🙂
I also think that it could be beneficial for pregnant women, as it could alleviate the strain in the back.
By Lucie Dun
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