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This blog is another opportunity to feel grateful and thank you dear Universe: You continue to bless me with recovery and overall health.
That evening walk on the beach after coming back from a hectic day’s work was like a pleasing animation with a climate for healthfulness, those smiling faces, and many things that came close to feeling pleasant while taking a stroll on the sand. It was a delightful activity that cleared my mind and made thoughts lighter to finally disappear, but never did I imagine that my life was about to change in no time!
Suddenly, I was caught with leg cramps and aggravating pain in the lumbar region. A severe back spasm knocked me down on my knees and proved a tragic experience wrapped in bonkers to make me crawl back home. The experience shook me to the core as the pain was very intense. For days together I was bedridden with painkillers, and a hot water bottle followed by food supplements, etc. I felt fatigued the entire day with lots of cramps and fasciculations throughout my body, which I had never experienced before. There was a stabbing pain in my calves and felt weak enough to get back to sleep more often. Everything happened so fast that I hardly had the time to react, simultaneously, I was falling easy prey to infections with less food appetite, drastic loss in body weight, and excess inflammation in the body.
Oops!! was my condition indicating that something life-changing was about to happen? YES!!
I was diagnosed with Isaacs’ Syndrome (a neuromuscular disease) and subsequently with chronic conditions like Lyme disease, Glaucoma, and Membranous Glomerulonephritis. Pain is one of the scariest words in our vocabulary whether related to body or mind, whether it’s acute, neuropathic, chronic, or of any other nature. It was an uncomfortable sensation that drove all the attention to a specific area of my body making me extremely restless & weak, low on energy, fearful & anxious taking away hunger and sleep.
I was confined to my bed with the only option to use props like pillows to support my legs and back. My doctors got busy solving the underlying problem and prescribed medicines including painkillers, immunosuppressants, supplements, steroids, sleeping pills, etc. to manage the annoying effects of the diseases.
Dealing with stabbing pain and constant twitches throughout the body is not easy.
You might guess that these diagnoses altered the course of my life irrevocably, with my identity slowly changing from being a healthy person to becoming a patient. The transition was torturous, to say the least. The suffering came as an unwanted guest and became a minute-to-minute phenomenon until I tried some holistic healing techniques. It was post getting introduced to alternative healing techniques that I realized the importance of mind-body connection playing a strong role but that does not mean my pain was unreal.
Initially, there were many challenges in managing pain like: – lack of regular follow-up with doctors and record management, coordination between different genres of doctors (allopathy, ayurveda, etc.), lack of right physical therapy, proper research and knowledge, plan to understand my emotional responses and unfocused mental health.
Words of wisdom by Thibaut ‘’If experience is the mother of wisdom, pain is the father. Therefore, instead of popping 42 pills a day I got my act together and switched to alternative healing therapies that claim to restore one’s body naturally. These multimodal treatments managed pain from a patient-centric approach, and treated my core rather than having a symptomatic approach:
Chiropractic treatment – oh, this still remains my favorite. It was the only therapy where the practitioner had no intervention in my life whatsoever, I mean how I move, sit, walk, etc. was none of his business. It was unusual as almost all the other therapies had their dos and don’ts. The practitioner used his hands to manipulate my spine and tried to align the body. He asked me to walk and swim as the only exercises.
Acupuncture: it was used as a complementary therapy for pain relief. Chinese art believes that our body has a life-giving force called ‘qi’ (pronounced ‘Chee’). My qi was deficient with blockages and therefore I was experiencing an obstruction in good mental and physical health. The therapist aimed to support a balanced qi resulting in pain and disease management. Though sometimes this process is lengthy yet was very useful.
Electrolyte Imbalance: – my pain stemmed from a number of things and one of the causes was an imbalance in my electrolyte levels and lack of minerals. Balancing it supported nervous system functionality, fatigue, weakness, cramping, and managing pain.
Seitai: – is a Japanese art that I used to activate the natural healing power of my body. It determined the source of my problem and thereafter applied appropriate methods for managing pain. The results were quite instant.
Craniosacral therapy: – is a technique that I used to benefit minor aches and pains in the severity of the conditions. Though there is no scale to measure however it worked on various levels impacting my nervous, and immune systems as well as the organs, tissues, and fasciae. The practitioner used a gentle touch to release stress, injury, and deep-seated trauma. I felt my muscles calming down which resulted in managing my pain better.
Distracting the monkey mind: – it took days for me to understand that the path to recovery is a gradual process and comprises of baby steps. I involved myself in simple things like taking walks, gardening, reading books, spending time with family, and pursuing hobbies and writing.
Adequate Rest: – I was advised to obtain adequate rest on a regular basis to help the body function at its optimal. I had unknowingly stressed my muscles resulting in cramps and fasciculations. Proper rest and sleep enhanced my tolerance to pain.
Laughter has pain-healing qualities: – It is evident that life is hard at times yet finding our smiles along the way is important. The credit goes to my father who always advised me never to take things too seriously and said, “You should keep smiling and feel lucky to get proper treatment under good doctors”. I used to watch movies, phone a friend, and read books that helped me feel cheerful and diverted my attention from pain.
Mindfulness: – practicing basic breathing exercises daily for 45 mins helped relax, curbed anxiety levels, and had an unbelievably positive effect on pain. Initially, it was quite boring, but the useful after-effects made me follow a routine and do this diligently.
Hot water bottle: – it numbed the affected area by reducing inflammation. Though not a permanent solution however it gave instant pain relief.
The landscape of managing pain will continue with new discoveries in the years to come however it would take immense efforts from our end to take up individual initiatives and help repair the body subsequently. My bottom line? We can try living a painless life with a positive mindset.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.