Have you ever noticed that when you are extremely stressed out by certain events in life or even a one-off circumstance or situation, the pain and inflammation on the joints seemed to get worse? It was not until few weeks ago when another life-stress event triggered a short episode of flare-ups which had not been happening for quite a long time now that caught my attention.
Stress may initiate the pathophysiological response in arthritic patient, predispose a patient to develop RA or exacerbate the initial pathophysiology according to Anderson et al 1985. I find that the portrayal of prolonged stress by Canadian physiologist Hans Selye in his three-stages model of General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) very relevant to the understanding of the overall picture.
BUT, over time (say years), the body slowly uses up its resources and also functions with less efficiency as the person ages. The persistently overworked body manifests itself into pain, stiffness and often inflammation and muscles become less elastic. The peripheral nerves leading to joints become biochemically unstable, they fire the pain signals to the joints. Easy access of microorganisms into the body of host and resulting in tissue sensitivity to the toxins of protein byproducts. External immune complexes, usually from food allergies, may load onto the joint tissues and causing or creating irritations that lead to pain, inflammation, swelling and also joint damage. With pain, swelling and inflammation, as well as joint damage and deformity, more stress ensues. In terms of a flare-up, a flare-up triggers vasodilation of the surroudning capillaries and arterioles and reuslts in increased blood flow the the area as well as signs of redness and warmth. Therefore, it is not even surprising that major and minor life events can be causative agents of both the development and exacerbation of RA.
Salmond 1989 identified a positive link between major stressors (children problems, marital crisis and financial difficulties) and symptom exacerbation. Rimon and Laasko 1985 concluded that RA onset resulted from a major traumatic life even occuring in the year prior to disease onset. Hassett and Clauw 2010 found that individuals reporting two or more traumatic childhood events were at a 100% increased risk for rheumatic diseases compared to those reporting no childhood trauma.
Many theories suggest that small chronic stressors experienced in daily life in sufficient quantities may also place enough burden on a person already weakened by chronic illness to precipitate an exacerbation of the disease.
DeLongist et al 1982 examined the relationship between ongoign stresses of daily living (hassles) and health status, and concluded that these minor stresses (e.g. Thomason et al 1992 applied similar theory to a study of 69 RA patients and it was found that minor stress was significantly correlated with inflammation. Crosby 1988 related similar results with 101 RA patients who were assessed in relation to daily stress factors, emotional stress levels and RA disease activity. Once the stressors of your life have been identified, it is imperative to know that these stressors can be manageable and hence, the disease flares are controllable. Some techniques employed with success in RA patients include relaxation training, guided imagery or visualisation, exercise, meditation, yoga, EFT, aromatherapy and many others.
Guided imagery calls upon the mind to envision a pleasant place where the person feels relaxed, peaceful and free of stress. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. There are many relaxation script on calming visualization that are available for free online. How many of you know that exercise does your body good, but may be too stressed to fit in into your routine? Being active can boost your brain’s feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.
Regular exercise can increase self confidence and lower symptoms associated with mild depression and anxieties. It is meditative in motion, and helps with shedding daily tensions through movement and physical activity. Below are some tips that I find very useful when I began working out after a long period of stagnation and non-movement from persistent pain endurance.
Consult with your doctor, if you have not been exercised for some time or if you have serious health concerns.
In other word, we learn to key out all functioning stimuli-responses mechanisms of the body whether they are triggered by past, recorded memories or were conditioned under painful and emotional experiences. Having said that, I add the support of a study overseen by Dr Kabat-Zinn that revealed an astounding 72% of patients with chronic pain conditions achieving at least a 33% reduction after participating in an 8-weeks mindful meditation program. For me, as a sufferer of RA, I find that being able to identify a causal event or events gives meaning to this chronic and disabling disease because noting that link between stress and the flares, pain or inflammation may proffer a sense of control. With this understanding, came greater control in terms of the ability to apply the varied stress management techniques to reduce the stressors in life.
Do you recognise any major or minor life-stress events that may possibly trigger the onset or exacerbate your RA disease state? 3 Comments on What Stress Could Have Done to You and Your Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain and Flares-Up? In Part 1 of this 2-part series, I provide an overview of pain tolerance, factors that affect pain tolerance, and assessment of clinical pain. Once considered “mumbo-jumbo,” or at best, an “alternative” or “complementary” approach, guided imagery is finding widespread scientific [9] and public [10] acceptance, and nearly ever bookstore now offers guided imagery self-help CDs or DVDs [11].
Research on the omnipresent placebo effect, the standard to which we compare all other modalities (and find relatively few more powerful), has provided some of the strongest evidence for the power of the imagination and positive expectant faith in healing.
If people can derive not only symptomatic relief, but actual physiologic healing in response to treatments that primarily work through beliefs and attitudes about an imagined reality, then learning how to better mobilize and amplify this phenomenon in a purposeful, conscious way becomes an important, if not critical, area of investigation for modern medicine. In the absence of competing sensory cues, all the systems in the body respond to imagery as they would to a genuine external experience. To the extent you were able to imagine this vividly, even as you read it, the image probably produced some salivation, for the autonomic nervous system easily understands and responds to the language of imagery. Here is the crux of the matter: If imagining a lemon makes you salivate, what happens when you imagine that you are a hopeless, helpless victim of never-ending pain?
Some people feel that they have little ability to create images in their minds, but everyone can cultivate this talent to an amazingly high degree. There is an old saying that “whatever you give your attention to grows,” whether it is your garden, your children, your worries and fears, or your experience of pain. These negative images can also become self-fulfilling prophecies, for they have the power to create their own reality in the body, just as thinking of a lemon can make you salivate. Over time, thinking about the image of pain at its worst becomes habitual, and despite reassurance from health care providers, family, and friends, patients tend to remain constantly anxious that it will occur again. In addition to a drawing picture of their pain at its worst, I invite patients to get in touch with their pain at its best by using the suggestions in Table 2.
Once this image comes to mind, I ask the patient to draw a picture that represents their pain at its best. When a patient becomes stressed and afraid that their pain is going to get out of control, the pain signal becomes increased which makes pain less tolerable and more difficult to handle. We usually begin by having patients sit down or lie down, close their eyes, and focus all of their attention on their breathing.
Next, we ask them to bring to mind a place that is very beautiful, peaceful, safe and comfortable – a place that they love to think of in their imagination. As they pay attention and focus on different sensory cues, their body’s regulatory systems respond as if they are actually in such a place. Thanks to recent studies with functional MRIs, we now know that when people imagine that they see trees, flowers and a beautiful blue sky, they actually activate the occipital areas of their brains. In other words, when the brain concludes that “This looks like a beautiful, peaceful place, it feels like it, it sounds like, and it smells like it,” the entire body responds by becoming more relaxed, just as if it were there. This guided imagery technique can be used once patients have drawn their pictures of pain at its worst and best (see Figures 2a and 2b, respectively).
After inducing relaxation as discussed above, typical suggestions for MCA are shown in Table 4. Some people think they cannot draw pictures in their imagination because they “don’t see anything.” That is fine because imagination is not necessarily what you see, but what you experience. If your patient reports that their mind wanders or they find it difficult to concentrate, make sure they’ve removed anything distracting from their environment and encourage them to stay with it. If your patients are still having difficulty mastering Mind Controlled Analgesia, I recommend that you refer them to a Certified Interactive Imagery Guide (SM). Patients can also benefit by listening to pre-recording CDs that contain “over the counter” strength guided imagery exercises. The Academy also trains health care providers who are interested in incorporating guided imagery into their practices. Practical Pain Management is a monthly journal that contains tutorial articles designed to help diagnose and treat various aspects of pain.
He has served on the editorial staff of eight professional journals and is listed in several editions of Who's Who and The Best Doctors In America.

Life in Italy is a website that covers mutiple aspects of Italian contemporary life and tourism. The same physical conditions that cause one person to suffer can have little or no effect in another. In this guided healing meditation for natural pain relief, you’ll invite your pain it to communicate to you about its reason for being. Guided imagery for pain relief is an effective strategy that helps you move your attention, detaching yourself from the physical pain. There’s a comfortable chair in your control room, and you know you’ve got a lot to do today, so you take a seat. To begin, do a quick inner scan of your body, and notice the part that’s highlighting, for you to release pain.
Imagine that the pain you experience wants to better reveal its identity to you, and is beginning to take on its own three dimensional appearance. There have been countless studies on the use of guided imagery for pain relief showing positive results.
Researchers identified 6 pain categories: never-ending, relative, explainable, torment, restrictive and changeable.
This is only one of many studies, but it shows that guided imagery is really one of the best natural pain killers, and meditation for pain relief can help you overcome chronic health issues that are plaguing you, making it difficult to even enjoy life. Guided imagery in people with fibromyalgia: A randomized clinical trial of effects on pain, functional status and self-efficacy. The effect of guided imagery and amitriptyline on daily fibromyalgia pain: A prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
Effects of guided imagery on outcomes of pain, functional status, and self-efficacy in persons diagnosed with fibromyalgia.
2 nd 2 weeks - ”was a pleasant scene imagery script, instructing listeners to imagine they felt better and better within a pleasant scene of their own choosing. I did hypnosis for many years and can tell you that CD’s are no way equivalent to an actual session that is taped.
As with all measures in chronic pain, it does not work well alone, but might help as an add-on. If you do it actively in office with a patient, it brings you closer to them and you develop more of a therapeutic alliance. For me, I can positively say that different magnitude of stress definitely influences the intensity of the pain and inflammation of the Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I had expressively mentioned that the emotional trauma that I experienced during my miscarriage triggered the onset of my RA and I believed that there must be a reason how a life-stress event like this could be so powerful that it instigated my immune system to attack me. This time, I decided to learn and understand more about stress and its role, specifically on how it creates arthritis and what are some of the effective stress management techniques that can be employed to keep chronic stress at bay. In simple language, stress can be defined as a state of disharmony or threatened homeostasis. It is hypothesized that disruptions in the feedback loop of the stress response and the immune system over a continuum could alter inflammatory disease activity and further explain exacerbations and remissions associated with RA; in which sense, may also be associated with the inadequate or excessive cortisol production and availability. The three phases he spoke of are: (a) alarm stage (b) resistance stage and (c) exhaustion stage.
BUT, when repetitive stress goes beyond the person’s ability to compensate as quickly, here enters the second phase, resistance stage. Anyway, emotionally, you may think, well, no doubt, you feel tired but you are still coping well. Body became stagnant, circulation became inefficient to expel cellular waste or maximize distribution of blood, fluids, minerals, etc, additional stress forms as the body gradually becomes malnourished.
More burden is placed on the tendons and ligaments to the bones and muscles, which in turn lead to additional pain and structural maladaptations. Due to molecular mimicry, the body’s immune system apparently attacks both the foreign agents and our own joint tissues. This is an established positive feedback loop, where stress initiates a physiological, mental and emotional sequence which creates more chronic stress.
Flare ups result in edema to the affected joint in addition to decreased joint mobility which causes severe pain and disability. The key is to invoke a sense of personal control over the entire disease process with coping strategies and of course, learning how to deal with these stresses. An example often used is to imagine an orange or a lemon in great detail-the smell, the color, the texture of the peel. To ease these moments, guided imagery can be applied with an instructor who sits and listens. Hold on, there is one good reason that you should absolutely start doing so, because exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. How nice it would feel to know that there will be a company throughout the process, and wouldn’t you be more motivated and commitment to exercising? It is an activity that keeps a person’s attention anchored in present time without being influenced by past memories nor preoccupied with future considerations.
There are physiological, psychological, and spiritual benefits from daily practice of meditation. Some forms of conscious relaxation may become meditation while relaxation is a secondary effect of most forms of meditation. I love how he explains that it is about not thinking during meditation, and just being there. And it is noticeable that the physical stress of pain cannot be separated from the psychological effects that accompany the pain, especially if that pain led to an impairment of functions, which then led to a series of negative emotions such as depression. I am also seeing an accupressurist and doing a lot of mental relaxing and letting go along with meditation.
Not sure if you have heard of panchakarma but I plan to go on this ayurvedic treatment as many Indian ayurvedic centers recommend this for RA. For example, take a moment to imagine that you have a big, fresh, juicy yellow lemon in your hand, just plucked this morning. They worry that their pain will never end and that they will remain helplessly immobilized by something they cannot control and cannot endure. Because patients tend to worry about pain at its worst much of the time, this image gets a lot of attention. If a patient experiences pain as “a sizzling hot poker that is constantly being stabbed into my knee”, or as “a lion gnawing on my back, tearing deeper into my nerves with every bite”, such images can have profound physiological effects that can increase the experience of suffering and interfere with the body’s natural pain relieving abilities [12]. While it may be counterintentional to focus so much attention on this horrible image, many patients feel that they are unable to stop thinking about it, just as they were unable to quit smoking or lose weight. By learning a new one that is incompatible with the old one, and then by thoroughly reinforcing the new habit until it replaces the old one. If a patient has difficulty creating a positive image of pain, it is usually because they are highly anxious and so uncomfortable that they do not want to acknowledge that pain can ever be “at its best.” In such cases, it is very helpful to teach them basic relaxation skills using other guided imagery techniques such as Conditioned Relaxation [13]. Teaching patients how to relax can help to calm their nervous system and often reduces or eliminates the amplification effects of anxiety and stress. Once they do, we ask them to make their breathing a little bit slower, deeper, quieter and more regular.
Basic relaxation training (click to enlarge)After focusing on their breathing, we ask them to systematically scan each part of their body and to notice any parts that still have any tension, tightness, pain, or discomfort. This shifts the autonomic nervous system into more parasympathetic activation, generating the relaxation response.
Mind Controlled Analgesia (MCA) is designed to elevate pain tolerance by transforming the first image into the second. After learning MCA, patients are reminded that every time that they start to bring the picture of pain at its worst to mind, they need to immediately transform it into the picture of pain at its best, remembering that they have the ability to tolerate their pain, and it is time to put that ability into practice. Tell them not to be alarmed or frustrated, and to simply imagine that any distracting thoughts are like passing butterflies, flittering off into the distance. These are licensed clinicians and health educators who have been rigorously trained and then certified by the Academy for Guided Imagery. While not as personalized as working with a certified imagery guide, they provide an inexpensive way for patients to learn on their own.
The introductory program requires only thirteen hours of home study, after which they are able to begin utilizing the basic techniques that are suitable for many acute and chronic pain problems. His numerous radio and TV appearances have made him a well-known authority in the field of behavioral medicine, and he’s been featured or interviewed in many popular magazines, including Time, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, People, US, and Prevention. Bresler has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, American Medical and Dental Associations, California Medical and Dental Associations, New York Board of Medical Examiners, California Board of Medical Quality Assurance, California Industrial Medical Council, and numerous other professional and governmental agencies.
Bresler has received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Pain Treatment by the American Academy of Pain Management, and he was appointed by President Clinton as a White House Commissioner on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy.
In this program you’ll engage your mind-body connection to release or reduce your pain.
Although the causes for pain may be physical, as often as not it can have an emotional, mental, or spiritual component.
It may have new information for you about your body, your feelings, your relationships, your life, any of which may be contributing factors.

Meditation for pain can teach you deep physical relaxation, altering the meaning of pain and reducing its intensity.
This is your control room, a space designed to help you connect with all that is good, and create deep and lasting positive changes within you. One study in 2005 placed participants into groups: The treatment group received guided meditation for pain, while those in the control group were simply monitored. Participants receiving guided meditation found their pain became changeable, and never-ending pain never resurfaced! Participants were encouraged to become familiar with the surroundings of their imagery (elicit sensory involvement), imagine themselves strong and healthy, and emerge from their imagery with a sense of well-being.
While good dietary habits are a most necessary condition for reversing and controlling RA, they may not by themselves be a sufficient condition. Today, these are what my blog post is about, and I love to share my findings with you, and hope that you can be helped by these information.
Seen as a threat to survival, it triggers the production of cortisol, which is a substance from the adrenal gland (very much like cortisone), which activates the body to produce energy we need during the state of emergency. Again, the symptoms being masked up, the joint and muscle structures enter the exhaustion stage of GAS. A condition of deficiency in nourishment also factors in cartilage degeneration, free radical damage and finally inflammation, swelling and permanent joint damage. Affleck et al 1987 had identified stress as the cause most often implicated by RA patients as the reason for their flare-ups.
Benson discusses his latest book Relaxation Revolution which details the science behind the benefits of relaxation practices such as meditation, yoga, and repetitive prayer. There are programs that assist to direct thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state.
Continue to imagine the smell of the lemon, and then see yourself taking a bite of the lemon and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Do not throw yourself into the deep end and ending up in a higher risk of injury and resultantly feel less motivated as you won’t be enjoying the exercising. If you cannot afford to work out for 30-minutes at a single time, then break it down into three 10-minutes sessions instead. It heightens self awareness to harness insight and creativity as you observe your breath to center yourself and allow your body to self-repair, relax and recuperate.
I suppose, more importantly, rather than asking about the differences is to be mindful that these techniques both offer a mean for us to slowly relax our muscle groups in the body with the ultimate goal of being the stimulation of relaxation response, slower breathing and other physiological changes or experiences to the whole body. Additionally, they also witnessed an increase in self esteem and held more positive views about their bodies.
For these reasons, learning how to guide our patients’ imagery can be an enormously powerful tool for modern pain therapists.
Allow an image of this lemon to form in your mind’s eye so you can fully sense its heaviness and smell its fresh, lemony tartness. As a result, they usually have little difficulty describing an image of their pain at its very worst.
As a result, it grows very large and soon becomes a major focus of the patient’s life experience. In other words, to stop a patient’s habitual way of thinking that pain will always be unbearable, we need to create a new image of pain that is incompatible with the old one, and then reinforce it by giving it as much attention as possible. If they do, we ask them to use their breath to blow away any discomfort as they exhale, and as they inhale, to bring healing, nourishing oxygen to every cell in the area of discomfort. Once there, we ask them to notice what they see, hear and smell, what the temperature is like, and what time of day it is. As they imagine the different senses, they actually activate different parts of the brain that normally process those senses. Suggest that they let them go and return their attention to remembering that they know how to tolerate pain. When using CDs, its important for the voice of the guide to be pleasing to the listener, and that the pacing (or speed) of the imagery is comfortable and relaxing. Sex Differences and Incentive Effects on Perceptual and Cardiovascular Responses to Cold Pressor Pain.” Psychosomatic Medicine. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey. These include the classic self-help books and CD series Free Yourself from Pain and Break Your Smoking Habit with Guided Imagery.
He has served as an Executive Coach and creativity trainer for senior executives at many prominent corporations including Times Mirror, Disney, Hughes, and Rockwell.
Once it has an opportunity to say what it’s been trying to tell you, it may no longer serve a purpose. The work you’re about to do here will help you move through the world with more ease and comfort, and enjoy your life more fully. The researchers obtained verbal descriptions of pain before the study and at 4-day intervals. I was always partial to a technique where you submerge in a hot tub of blue liquid – the pain is leaches out of the body, changing the blue liquid to a darker hue. The third in the superb relaxation series produced by Beaumont Hospital for patients struggling with pain, this is the first that focuses specifically on the needs of men. I tend to support the notion that an absence of stress, just like the presence of a good nourishment and lifestyle, is also a necessary addition for achieving wellness. I was not very concerned back then about the process that put RA into my life, because I was more concerned about how to put things right. Our bodies are also programmed to convert T-cells (protecting cells of our immune system) into quick energy. Muscular imbalance from tendon and ligament imbalances also lead to further structural stress as body attempt to compensate creates calcium spurs and further joint damage. To this contrary, not all studies manage to identify the direct association between inflammation and stress. Some ideas may be walking, stair climbing, jogging, aqua aerobic, swimming, bicycling, jogging, Tai Chi, gardening and many more.
That is, a straightforward unidirectional relationship between stress and pain and other symptoms probably does not exist. Now, imagine taking a knife and carefully cutting out a thick, juicy section from the lemon.
We regret the past, which has already happened, or become fearful about the future, which is a total fantasy since it has not happened yet. I’ve often heard phrases like, “a swarm of fire ants are chewing on the nerve”, or “a gigantic elephant is sitting on my chest.” These are familiar and powerful images that immediately come to mind as soon as the first symptoms of pain emerge.
If the suggestions are offered too quickly, the experience can become frustrating since the images do not have enough time to fully develop.
He is the co-founder and President of the Academy for Guided Imagery, and formerly served as Associate Clinical Professor of Anesthesiology, Gnathology and Occlusion at the UCLA Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the UCLA Psychology Department. This innovative UCLA program became a prototype for the complementary and alternative medicine clinics that have since followed. I also liked to add suggestion that whatever aches were left were not important weren’t worth attention. Features a guided relaxation designed to help reduce muscle tension that can be contributing to pelvic pain, including the pain of IC and prostatitis.
There is such strong interplay between these factors that both of which cannot be overlooked nor isolated in consideration of the approaches to take to address any pervasive RA issues. Over time, when we unbalance our immune system with these conversions, we also permit the invasion of  opportunistic organisms and increased susceptibility towards developing infection due to lowered body resistance. The result of the exercise is so that any residual re-stimulation of the memories containing similarities to painful moments can be alleviated. In the same way, it does not matter whether you “see” anything or not if you can experience it, like the taste of an imaginary lemon. And if it moves too slowly, the experience becomes very boring and listeners then doze off to sleep.
In this manner, the continuous emergency state of threat to survival and flight or fight syndrome becomes a continuing stress which becomes damaging mentally, emotionally and physically. Then you’ll use golden light and rainbow-colored rain to make your pain smaller, and smaller, and send it on its way! The easy to follow program, with soft music and gentle narration, makes it one that everyone can use.

Meditation process in patanjali yoga sutra online
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  1. 18.11.2015 at 17:54:33
    Lihon writes:
    The instructor, Mom Shih,?the ten days treasure.
  2. 18.11.2015 at 19:11:33
    INTELEGENT writes:
    That you need to be a full time.
  3. 18.11.2015 at 18:42:24
    Klan_A_Plan writes:
    Meditation is narrated by Tim Rowe you will need.
  4. 18.11.2015 at 15:59:35
    SAXTA_BABA writes:
    About making the there are places.
  5. 18.11.2015 at 22:46:59
    now writes:
    Meditation course will convey peace cooling.