Dr. Wright shares alternative treatment options for women in chronic pain.
Great question, and there’s so many today that we didn’t really appreciate before. Let’s start with the best one of all, friendship, laughing, moving, not getting stuck because the more; it’s counter intuitive, ”I am in pain; I can’t move.” That the reality is that when you’re in pain, if you don’t move, you get tenser and tenser and tenser, and you start to focus on your pain. So being distracted from the pain.
If you paint, if you read, if you laugh, being engaged takes you out of pain consciousness and takes you away. There’s a fabulous story about Pablo Casals being so arthritic that he had to be carried over to his instrument, and then, he sat there, and he played. So we know that the mind has its own ability to help with pain management. That doesn’t mean medication is not important, but using meditation, laughing, we know that there are endorphins that are released in laughing.
There are very specific pain exercises. Yoga is a fabulous pain management program. We have advanced patients with tremendous pain issues, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer patients, that get in to yoga. Swimming, the buoyancy allows for a freedom of movement. The resistance of the water creates, you can get as a 2:1 ratio so like 20 minutes in the pool is like an hour of regular exercise because of the resistance of the water and there’s no impact, so if you have ankle and joint problems.
There is a world of opportunity, but I could say the best, and of course diet. You got to look at your diet and see what is causing inflammation because pain and inflammation go together. Friendships, compassionate communication, and not being in judgment reduces pain.
About Dr. Barbara Wright, Ph.D.:
Barbara Wright, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist based in Laguna Beach, California. She has been in private practice for over 30 year. During this time she has developed a method and system of compassionate communication for skillful conflict resolution, be it intrapersonal or interpersonal for individuals, couples, families, as well as schools and corporative situations. This method Metta4All, is the culmination of her life’s work as a speech therapist and clinical psychologist.