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7 Tips for Reducing Pain Perception

BY Heidi Bright, MDiv
PUBLISHED February 13, 2017
Editor’s Note: This piece was submitted by a contributing writer and does not represent the views of CURE Media Group.
Chronic pain can be exhausting and debilitating, sapping away your life. At one point my pain was so bad I could hardly walk or drive.
Does this sound familiar? Do you remember thinking, “I’ll never feel normal again”? It’s difficult to find one’s way back to feeling better.
My first fear was how was I going to manage this disease and two active grade-school children?
This drove me to find solutions. I learned that pain often is caused by chronic inflammation in the body. If I could reduce the inflammation, I could lower my perception of pain.
Here are some tips you can use to ease the perception of pain in your body so you can start to feel better.
  1. If you are curious about your level of chronic inflammation, ask for a c-reactive protein level during your next blood draw. Normal levels are between one and four. This can provide a baseline for measuring inflammation in your body as you make some changes to reduce it.
  2. Reduce your intake of foods that cause inflammation. These include unnatural fats and sweeteners, processed meats (like cold cuts and cured meats), and sugars including white flour, white rice and white noodles.
  3. Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory foods. Some of the best fruits are tart cherries, citrus, pomegranates, blueberries and cooked apples. Other good sources include beans, raw bell peppers, fish high in omega-three fatty acids (like wild-caught trout and salmon), and sushi nori. Drink some green tea.
  4. Add herbs and spices to your meals. Good choices include ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, rosemary, turmeric, basil, bay leaves, garlic and thyme.
  5. Find and press on some acupressure points that reduce the perception of pain. Here is a starting resource: http://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-and-common-acupressure-points/
  6. If you are under stress, your body might be responding with a fight-or-flight response. To prepare for danger, the body dumps a lot of sugar into the bloodstream. Sugar increases inflammation. Find ways to decrease the level of stress in your life, such as using meditation, doing visualizations or leaving unhealthy relationships.
  7. If you are experiencing chronic despair or anger, the body secretes inflammatory hormones. I found relief by going to a psychotherapist to learn tools for managing these emotions.
When I used these tools, I got my inflammation levels down to 0.3. The debilitating pain was almost completely gone within three weeks. And it stayed away. I felt so much better. I hope you do, too.
In 2009, specialists predicted Heidi Bright would die within months from an aggressive metastatic uterine sarcoma. After two years of treatment, she was told to get her affairs in order. Her next scan was clean. She has been free of evidence of disease and free of cancer treatment since 2011. Her third traditionally published surgeon-endorsed book, Thriver Soup: A Feast for Living Consciously During the Cancer Journey, is a #2 best seller. Heidi is a national speaker about healing and offers insights on her blog, thriversoup.com/blog.
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