If we are going to learn to manage our constant difficult sensation or intense discomfort without an over-dependence on external "easy" or "instant" relief we are going to have to use our imagination. Period.

Face it--if you have daily chronic sensation like I do, every now and then it gets overwhelming. The easiest thing to do is grab an outside source of relief. Just about the hardest is to stop, get quiet, slow your roll and breathe!

TELLING A BUSY PERSON IN PAIN TO SLOW DOWN AND BREATHE IS ALMOST AN INSULT TO MOST PEOPLE.

TELLING A CHRONIC PAIN THRIVER WHO CAN HARDLY WALK TO SLOW DOWN AND BREATHE IS ALMOST REDUNDANT.

So why do we insist on slowing down and using our breath and our imagination?

Because getting creative is the fastest route to natural relief.

You see, until we can begin to see ourselves and our shitty sensation as something useful, powerful, inspirational, beneficial, grounding and or whatever else we need...we are screwed. Stuck in a neural pain/trauma loop that reinforces pain.

What that means is I have a playback loop in my head that relays my body sensation to my brain. My mind interprets that. If I let it go south, it will stay that way, build a rut in my brain and then decorate that rut as a permanent way to think. No bueno for chronic sensation folks like me.

CREATIVE PAIN MANAGEMENT ISN'T ABOUT PRETENDING NOT TO HURT. IT'S NOT ABOUT TRYING TO MEDITATE IT AWAY OR DENY YOUR DISCOMFORT.

CREATIVE PAIN MANAGEMENT IS YOUR BEST ALLY IN FLIPPING CRIPPLING CHRONIC PAIN INTO A PERSONAL DIAMOND MINE OF NEW POSITIVE WAYS TO THINK AND ACT!

Creative pain management allows you to consciously reinterpret the signals in your brain.

It's not a fast easy cure-all. It's not a quick fix program for sale. It's not even a class you can take. It's a simple practice that if undertaken daily will do for you what it has done for me...Keep you from caving in.

Creative pain management helps us not give up while giving us a 'box' or a framework through which to make peace with our new best friend--that cranky hip, busted up shoulder, brutally honest spine or on-strike knee joint.

We'll get into the specifics and mechanics of Creative Pain Management more later but for now try to imagine a playpen, or a box of sorts that you can put around your sensation today. If you can, try a few of the other exercises found in this blog and begin to 'play' with your sensation.

If you can't do any of that, just try to imagine every spike in sensation as an invitation to engage with your brain and body in a WHOLE NEW WAY. Your sensation will continue to invite you until you do.

Assignment: 

WHEN YOUR JUNK ACTS UP...STOP. PAY ATTENTION. BREATHE. AND THEN PUT IT IN A PLAYPEN FOR SOME CREATIVE EXPLORATION.

I'm right beside you all the way!

Thanks for reading.