January 21, 2017

Pain Cures That Work

Chronic pain affects millions and millions of people, many of whom live in silence.

It is strange because it kind of creeps up on you. It subtly takes over you life and you don’t really realize you are having a problem until you have an acute flare-up.  Body parts degenerate after time.  It may take a while to fall apart.

You may not do the things you used to be able to do and maybe even baby yourself a little. Your life becomes smaller and you loose your sense of adventure. There are things you are afraid to do and you don’t feel yourself. You may not even recognize this departure to self until you are restored to self.  You may be feeling so bad you don’t know what the first step to take might be.

Pain is inevitable.  But, you can lessen the suffering.  Although pain and suffering are often used synonymously, pain is the signal from you body and suffering is the interpretation of that signal.

Suffering is optional.  Sometimes, when the anticipation of pain expectation is lowered, the brain is less responsive to the incoming pain signal.  Separate pain from suffering.  Pain is a sensation.  Suffering is the emotional attachment to it: depression and stories you tell yourself can mount the pain and intensity.

Accepting the Unacceptable Reality of Depression

Depression, according to John Hopkins Hospital, can exacerbate chronic pain.   Who wouldn’t be depressed knowing that every moment to come would be tainted by pain?  Depressed by the thought of no relief, not a day, an hour even a minute from driving pain.  Pain can eclipse everything as the quality of life diminishes.  It can hold you hostage with inability to cope with chronic pain.

But the answer to this mental state is simple:

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Accepting the Transitions of Life

Is Menopause a Joke?

The moment notice came that this month’s issue of Home Cures That Work would focus on menopause I knew the angle I would take in my monthly column on the Spiritual Dimension of Wellness. However, I also knew I would be unable to restrain myself from my favorite little joke on the matter of menopause.

Where is menopause mentioned in the Bible? Answer: “…and Mary rode Joseph’s a** all the way to Egypt.” My wife said, “Don’t you dare drop that in your column.”

Hopefully, I have not alienated half my audience. If so, my apologies and I should have heeded my wife’s warning. All kidding aside, the Bible does speak to every area of life and we don’t have to twist texts like that to get them to apply.

Of course, PMS and menopause are not the same thing. Menopause is part of life. It is a transition every bit as much as birth, puberty and death are transitions.

Though we think of it as primarily a female transition, the male body has its own version sometimes called male menopause, man-opause or andropause. Changing hormonal levels are normal as the human body ages and men and women transition out of a childbearing phase or season of life.

Seasonal Changes

The season of menopause is not a disease and therefore there is no cure. Granted, there are hormone therapies that mask it, but menopause is part of our design. They only way to fully avoid it would be to die early. For sure that is no solution and we are left to seek out healthy and positive strategies to navigate this normal transition.

Dealing with change is something that differs slightly from person to person. Some people are seemingly un-phased by even major changes. Others find their world turned upside down by even the slighted change. Since humans are holistic beings, when change begins to manifest in one area (physically for example), other areas (emotionally and spiritually for example) adjust themselves to the new norm.

My wife and I are a couple years away from our last teenager leaving the house. Teenagers vividly illustrate what I am describing.

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