Silencing Chronic Pain   Leave a comment

shutterstock_69214975The four-hourly doses of morphine were such a welcome relief to the intense pain I was experiencing following major surgery.  What could possibly make me give them up?

I found there was something that could persuade me to do so.  And that’s why, I want to share my experience with sufferers of chronic pain.

In Australia, one in five people live with chronic pain, including adolescents and children.  This prevalence rises to one in three people over the age of 65.  Chronic pain is linked to depression and suicide and is Australia’s third most costly health condition.

To manage it, a range of treatments such physio and physical therapy, medical acupuncture, thinking strategies, lifestyle changes, nutrition and traditional prescription opioids, are employed.

Despite this, pain is often long-lasting and continues for years with no foreseeable end.

However, I’ve joined a groundswell of people that believe it’s time to do more than simply manage pain.  We are convinced it can be reduced, and even healed.

According to a 2011 report, “one reason pain is so hard to treat is that it isn’t just physical.”  Our thinking can actually have an impact on the amount of pain we feel.

The power of our expectations is illustrated in a series of trials into the relationship between pain and the placebo effect.  Hundreds of patients treating irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and back pain experienced similar or better results from placebos than from strong pain killers.

While it’s agreed that placebos are not a universal panacea, placebo research leads us to think about how much influence thought actually has on our health.

Reasoning from a more spiritual perspective, author Mary Baker Eddy, reached a similar conclusion, explaining that pain is always a mental image or state.

“… the human mind is all that can produce pain,” she wrote in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

But can pain really be relieved just by thinking differently?

Yes, but in my experience I have found that it needs more than just positive thinking to free us from pain.

So, back to my stay in hospital.  In my late-teens I was “on fire” with enthusiasm about a couple of unique books which I had recently revisited.  They answered so many of the questions I had about why we are here and whether what our senses perceive is all there is to existence.

The Bible, so comforting to so many people, didn’t seem all that relevant to me until I started reading Science and Health, which brings out its spiritual meaning and explains how and why not only Jesus, but also his early disciples and many of the Old Testament prophets, were able to heal all kinds of physical needs.

I learned that there was a spiritual science in place based on a divine consciousness of being.

My studies had shown the importance of addressing the spiritual need as an aid to recovery, a standpoint now supported by medical research.

I started reading the thought-changing book again right there in hospital, and called a Christian Science practitioner to pray with me by helping me to understand more consistently my real, spiritual nature.

I can still remember the feeling of love and wholeness that engulfed me soon after.  No more drugs were needed, and worrying digestive difficulties painlessly dissipated that day.

On this basis, many have been healed of acute and chronic pain, and demonstrated that such pain need not last forever.  Peace and health are a present possibility for those willing to dig deeper into the understanding of their spiritual identity.

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud, a life-long Christian Scientist, who is a freelance writer focussing on the undeniable connection between our thinking and our experience including our health.  She writes for metropolitan and regional news media throughout Australia and beyond, and is a regular contributor to Australia’s national forum, Online Opinion, and the APN regional network in Northern NSW and Queensland.

You can follow her blog at www.health4thinkers.com

or follow her on twitter:  www.twitter.com/KayJStroud

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