Healing from Chronic Myofascial Pain—Support for Chronic Pain Sufferers


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Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:

Treatments: Self-treatments and personal action

Meditation & breathing

BOTTOM LINE:  Likely helpful in the long run, but hasn't greatly reduced or eliminated my pain.

When my pain continued even after my amazing reduction in pain with John F. Barnes myofascial release (JFB-MFR) treatment, many friends, and even my JFB-MFR therapist, suggested I try meditation. Initially it was hard for me to sit for more than fifteen to twenty minutes without my pain spiking up, so I didn't try formal group meditation. Instead I would listen to guided imagery CD's while lying down at homeThis didn't cure me but I hoped that at some subconscious level it was helping me process my negative thoughts and would help me let go of whatever was perpetuating my pain.

I frequently listened to John F. Barnes' Inner Journey CDs and Jan Sadler's CD that comes with her book Pain Relief without Drugs: A Self-Help Guide for Chronic Pain and Trauma. I've spent many months throughout my years of pain listening to an hour of guided imagery day after day, but now I spend more time resting to relieve my pain, and a little time exercising to keep my endorphins flowing. That's just more my style, although I wonder if this is preventing me from facing the remaining issues that are keeping me saddled with pain.

I've also learned to be aware of how I breathe. Not until after two years of pain did a JFB-MFR therapist help me see how I mostly used my chest and not my diaphragm to breathe. This causes greater tension in my upper back, shoulders, and neck compared to diaphragmatic breathing, which is how we breathe when we're born (but we often get out of the habit due to both physical and psychological life stressors). After years of greater awareness, bodywork, and meditation, I've noticed my breathing is more diaphragmatic; and when I remember, I try to be mindful of how I breathe. I don't know if this is directly helping my neck, but it certainly can't hurt.