When people seek chronic pain treatment at Awakenings in Agoura Hills, we take the approach of pain recovery - not pain treatment. We find that when people get to the root cause of their pain and learn to recover from it, they are able to find emotional, physical and spiritual healing. Pain recovery doesn’t mean the pain will magically disappear, but it does mean that people are better able to accept and coexist with their pain.
Awakenings has a complex pain recovery program for those who are learning to live with chronic pain. Here are the main aspects of our program and the ways they promote healing.
Movement - Motion is Lotion!
There is a growing body of research that shows that moving helps pain - not hurts it. This is why we say “motion is lotion!” It’s possible for the body to hurt more at first, but it will feel better over time. Here are some of the reasons why moving helps pain:
- Keep the muscles loose. When people experience pain, they often stop moving. However, inactivity makes pain worse because the body gets tight and stiff. Staying active prevents this from happening and keeps the muscles loose and strong.
- Prevent boredom. Boredom can be a terrible enemy. If you’re not doing anything constructive, your mind will fixate on the pain and make it feel more intense. Keeping busy is a helpful distraction.
- Reduce stress levels. Exercise decrease stress levels by burning off energy and increasing feel-good chemicals in the brain. These endorphins also act as natural painkillers that reduce pain when dispersed throughout the body.
Anti-inflammatory Meal Planning
“You are what you eat” is a good mentality to live by. Food is meant to nourish your body and provide it with essential vitamins and minerals. Pay attention to everything you put into your mouth, as some foods can worsen pain.
At Awakenings, we help our clients learn how to create healthy, anti-inflammatory meal plans. An anti-inflammatory diet decreases weight gain, lowers the risk for certain diseases and cancers and relieves inflammation, all of which decrease pain. Some of our favorite foods to recommend are berries, salmon, nuts, tomatoes, spinach and dark chocolate. We usually don’t get too many complaints on these!
Chronic pain is often a combination of physical and emotional pain. For true healing, we must help our clients understand the deeper meaning of their pain. This is where trauma resolution comes into the picture. This treatment help clients get to the root of their pain so that it no longer triggers anxious reactions or destructive thoughts.
Awakenings also uses a number of neuroscientific modalities to help clients deal with past trauma, discover healthy coping mechanisms and learn how to manage stress. Examples of the treatment modalities we offer are:
- Also called neurotherapy, this treatment uses real-time displays of brain activity to help people self-regulate brain function. As a result, the brain can be retrained to think in more positive ways.
- This therapy helps people gain a greater awareness of their body functions so they can better manage their response to stressful situations.
- Alpha-Stim. Alpha-Stim is a medical device that uses low-level electrical currents to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia. It’s safe and drug free.
- Hemi-Sync. Hemi-Sync uses binaural tones to help people focus, relax and lead a more vibrant life. Like Alpha-Stim, it’s safe and drug free.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
DBT is an evidence-based therapy that was used to treat borderline personality disorder. Today, it is used for many things, including managing chronic pain. DBT transforms negative thinking patterns and pushes them into positive behavioral changes. It is a successful way to treat chronic pain, anxiety and depression.
Healing from the suffering of chronic pain is possible. To learn more about Awakening’s Complex Pain Recovery program, contact our trauma treatment center today.