Monthly Archives: July 2012


Many of the techniques that come out of health care, traditional or alternative, arise out of the desire to alleviate pain and suffering.   It is for the most part an unquestioned belief in our society that we should not feel pain.  This is like saying the sky should not be blue.  It is a rejection of what is a normal part of the human experience.

Those with good intentions to provide relief from suffering with medication have inadvertently participated in the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse.   I have noticed in my practice an increasing amount of fragility among the people with chronic pain, and a lack of coping skills because of over reliance on pain medication.  Medication doesn’t take the problem away.  It appears to me to allow the underlying cause to fester and grow.   The commitment to numb out to the experience of life seems to be rampant, from movies that create anxiety, television that jumps frames in rapid succession, smart phones, and endless use of computers, to food designed to trigger the addictive parts of the brain.

I understand there are times that medication is a blessing, but it is not needed as often as we might think.

A friend recently recounted to me how she has been able to use manual lymphatic drainage when she had dental surgery and she did not require any medication.

Paul Brand, in his book, “Pain, the Gift Nobody Wants” talks about the people in India, where he grew up, and how they accepted pain as a part of life.  His parents were missionaries in India and in his adult life he went back as a hand surgeon to work with people with Hansen’s disease (leprosy).  He notes that for people with this disease they do not feel pain and that lack of sensation causes great damage to their bodies.

What if you lived today as if the pain that is currently present for you is a gift?  You might unwrap it with curiosity and excitement for what is inside.  Listen to your pain as if it had a message.  Turn your attention toward it with acceptance and love.

Recently I have heard reference to using techniques to distract us from pain.  I say turn toward it, shine a light on it, embrace it as if finally hugging that part of you that has been crying out for some attention.  Treat it like you would have liked to be treated as a child, not abusively, not permissively but with loving discipline, scoop it up in your loving arms and take care of it.

Acceptance of the pain we are experiencing often lessens it.  It calls us into the present moment.

I have some links in mind to share, but I will post them later in the week.  It is time to get on with my day!  I hope you have a great one.