Have you ever noticed how your pain can sometimes temporarily disappear for a minute or two when you become completely engrossed in a great film or book and in those moments you completely forget your struggles and your relentless suffering whilst you become lost in another world? During my recovery from chronic migraines I began to realise that there were things around me that could reduce my discomfort level on a bad day. I’m not just talking about the holistic medicine such as meditation or mindfulness, no, no, no. I’m talking about the type of medicine that we all have at our fingertips, the type of medicine that surrounds us everyday, we just have to open our eyes and see it.
As I know from experience, when you are in the depths of despair and praying for a break from your condition, anything you can do to feel that little bit better in any way is worth it. So in that breath I thought I would share a few different forms of medicine that I found gave me some temporarily relief and comfort during my darkest days with chronic migraines.
So Bernie Sigel an internationally renowned expert in holistic medicine says that unconditional love is the most powerful stimulant of the immune system. So when the immune system is turned on it produces oxytocin (known as the love hormone) which helps to reduce cardiovascular stress which in turn decreases cell death and inflammation. So love really is a physical medicine friends, so time to get loved up! Remember though, this doesn’t just mean with a partner, you can receive love from friends and family which can help stimulate your healing also. Personally I know without the support of my incredible husband, family and friends I wouldn’t be where I am today. So maybe love actually is the best medicine?
Me and my truly wonderful husband Alex
This is a tough one to understand at first but once you get it then you will discover that the art of gratitude is such a beautiful way to live your life. Ok so I know when you are in relentless pain your initial response would be ‘how on earth can I be grateful at a time like this’? Well trust me friends, when you are having a bad day grab a pen and paper and starting writing down the things that you are grateful for, no matter how small. It could be the cold water you have to drink, the family looking after you, a roof over your head or even that friend who just text you checking in that you are ok. The more you become grateful for what you have the more you become content in the place you are, even if you are in pain. Knowing there are things that you are thankful for somehow gives you some peace and means that you are less focused on the pain you may be experiencing.
Now look at that face. You cant tell me that she didn’t make you smile for just a second? Cute huh? Did you know that petting your cat or dog can actually lower your blood pressure, help you de-stress and relax your body by releasing the hormone serotonin into your bloodstream? And what does serotonin do? Well, it is thought to effect anxiety levels and boost your mood. This explains why when my furry friend snuggles up beside me and purrs away it almost feels therapeutic and it would put me at ease. Little Maria really did make those dark days a little brighter for me.
My little girl Maria
Did you know that laughter can actually strengthen your immune system, boost your mood and diminish pain? I know, crazy right? It works like an actual drug and guess what? It’s free! It has also been shown to relax your whole body and relieve muscle tension too which I know so many migraineurs suffer from, me being one of them. So I found that any time I was having a bad day I would always, always put something funny on TV to watch. Whether it be a ‘Friends’ re run or some clips from my favourite comedian Michael MacIntyre on YouTube, no matter what it was, it had to make me laugh, which took my focus off my pain and into another world for a short while, resulting in some temporary relief.
So there we have it. A few other forms of medicine that can help you find some peace and distraction if you are living in a world of pain. I’d love to know what else helps you find some relief when you are having a bad day. Feel free to share your comments below…
The original article can be found here.
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