Chronic pain often triggers changes in the brain that are linked to depression and anxiety.
As more people begin to turn to holistic therapies to improve their health and fight disease, yoga and massage have become increasingly more popular amongst cancer patients and chronic pain sufferers.
Yoga and massage therapy integrate ancient philosophies and modern techniques to help reduce symptoms and optimize a number of treatments. They do not work as a treatment for diseases but do support various treatment plans as effective therapies.
Chronic Pain Differs In Three Ways
- Your body can become more sensitive and hyper-aware of threats of possible pain symptoms, which manifests itself as feelings of fear and anxiety.
- Your brain can begin to interpret various situations as threatening, which elicits a pain response.
- Your ability to differentiate between pain responses (i.e. sensations, stress) become blurred.
Psychological Changes Caused By Pain
Chronic pains go just beyond what sufferer’s feel, but also disrupt their mind-body connection. Some of the most common physiological changes that pain causes include:
- Breathing becomes more shallow and shaky.
- Muscle tensions because the body is always in a state of alertness.
- Body image begins to change.
- Thinking patterns change (less optimistic and unstable emotions).
When used in combination with other disease treatments, yoga is a useful practice. It is a non-aerobic exercise with an emphasis on breathing, meditation, and posture. While there are no scientific studies that link yoga to the cure of chronic disease, it has been shown to relieve symptoms. Not only does it successfully help patients cope with their symptoms, but it also improves their quality of life.
How Yoga Helps To Reduce Pain
- Yoga changes your response to pain and reduces your level of perceived pain.
- The increased flow of oxygen to your brain and muscles will improve your energy levels.
3. For patients with conditions like arthritis, yoga can help stretch their muscles effectively decreasing the intensity and pain and relieving pain completely.
The benefits of massages are similar to those of yoga. They differ in the fact that massages don’t require exertion from patients. Massages have been used in Asian countries for many centuries as a form of treatment for various ailments and to help improve immune systems. Thai massages generally aim to relieve muscle aches, joint pain, depression, and emotional stress.
You should always consult with a physician before trying any new treatments for your chronic pain. They will be able to give your suggestions and help you determine the best course of action to manage your pain.