Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
BOTTOM LINE: Very helpful psychologically.
Support from friends, family, or any community is a powerfully important factor in health and well-being. Finding support communities can be invaluable in fostering a positive physical and psychological healing environment.
For more than two years, I suffered in such pain that I couldn't imagine attending any kind of support group meeting. But once I significantly reduced my pain after my first John F. Barnes myofascial release (JFB-MFR) two-week intensive treatment, I was able to attend a pain support group meeting.
Even though I finally had hope that I could someday be pain-free after the JFB-MFR intensive, my athletic, active life was gone and the prospect of it never coming back was difficult to accept. However, I found the support group meeting to be rather depressing. While I was comforted to know I was not alone, I still wasn't ready to accept my limited life as the "new normal." I didn't go back except for one meeting about hypnosis over a year later, which was after my pain significantly flared up when I was rear-ended in my car in 2009.
Instead of a formal face-to-face support group, I found great solace in the online JFB-MFR chatline comprised of patients and practitioners (now the MFR-Talk Facebook page). People shared their healing journeys with the chatline group and offered great support.
I also started seeking psychological counseling after I returned from my JFB-MFR intensive (since I had uncovered a past trauma that I hadn't ever addressed). While the counseling was an important factor in working through my trauma, the support from the JFB-MFR chatline was also critical to my surviving some of the worst of the roller coaster ride that I was living through.
There are many other on-line forums or chatlines that people living in pain consult. Others that I have frequented at different times are:
Just as face-to-face support groups have pros (support, solidarity) and cons (dwelling on the negative and on the fact that you are in pain), so do on-line forums. Hearing about the negative effects pain is having on people's lives may foster feelings of hopelessness. However, a superbly positive aspect of the forums is that you also hear from people who have healed even after years of chronic pain (I have personally experienced this with the JFB-MFR chatline and the TMS forums). Plus, I've developed some wonderful personal relationships with other participants in these forums.