The Joy of Pain

Sorry if I had you going for a moment, thinking this post is going to deal with whips and chains and tight black leather. You may not want to read any further. It is, however, going to talk about pain in a way you may not have thought about—joyfully.

I am not a sadist or a masochist but since reading an article* called “Pain Pain Go Away” I’ve been thinking a lot about pain. The article included comments from Dr. Dean Tripp, associate professor in the departments of psychology, anaesthesia, and urology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. In their lab at the university for the past 10 years, Tripp and his colleagues have been studying the physical, mental, and emotional factors accompanying chronic pain, and better ways of managing it.

Everyone experiences pain, Tripp says, and so we might as well get used to it, and learn how to better live with it. If we can get past the mental block of “this hurts, so I can’t do anything,” then we can manage the pain before it manages us, he says. Tripp also notes that patients may have unrealistic expectations of being “cured” of their pain. It’s more than just “mind over matter” though, he adds. There are techniques and programs that were outlined in this article, which really had an impact on me.

I contacted Dr. Tripp and we had a great conversation about the research that he and others are doing to learn more about chronic pain management. I’m going to start looking at that research and writing about both the evidence-based findings, and the stories that people like to tell about what works—and doesn’t work—for them. I’ll also share anecdotes and “unscientific” research from health and fitness practitioners who have first-hand experience helping people to live healthier lives.

I’ll be writing about this on the blog, and for an upcoming book. My first book about forging a healthier future from an unhealthy past dealing with depression and alcoholism came out in 2001. Meeting Dr. Tripp tells me this is another book that I was meant to write, and he has been very encouraging.  It’s important to me to stay with the theme of “with humour and hope” that was in my first book, and on this blog, so I’ll be looking at the funny side of pain, or at least how having a sense of humour when dealing with pain, makes it all easier.

Do you have chronic pain? What helps to manage it, and what doesn’t? Join the conversation and keep coming back to see what’s new that may help you live with your pain—joyfully.

* Good. You followed the asterisk. The article that got me started on this path is published on a website for the medical business, 2Ascribe. Some of the health-related articles I’ve written have been republished here.

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9 thoughts on “The Joy of Pain

  1. Christine, I found this very interesting, especially today when I’ve been experiencing pain and fatigue quite a bit these last few days. I’m sorry that I didn’t see this post earlier. For some reason I didn’t get notification this time. 🙂

    I think you’ve got a great topic for your book. Good luck with it.

    1. Hi Judy:
      I’m glad you saw the post, and thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you’ve been experiencing the pain and fatigue more. I hope the humour in my writing helps. I think I’m on to something here too with this topic, but I’m finding that there is already a *lot* of information out there, so I have to find the right “hook” to set my book apart from others. I need to do more research and consultations with professionals, colleagues, and of course, friends and family.
      As for the notifications, if you sign up again with your e-mail, that should start the notifications again. Then, if you find you’re getting two e-mails, you can cancel one. I hope that helps. I really appreciate that you take the time to comment on my posts.

  2. Christine, I wanted to let you know about the chronic pain I had for 25 years and am now completely pain free and feeling great. I developed Fibromyagia ,chronic fatigue syndrome, restless leg syndrome, asthma, bone spurs, immune weakness, neo patella pain syndrome osteo arthritis in my knee ( bone rubbing on bone) which was very painful, stress, and low energy. It seemed I had it all. It lead to depression, because I was always in pain. I was on many different medications including an emergency inhaler for my asthma. I tried every therapy out there including massage, chiropractic, physio therapy and acupuncture for my pain. Someone told me about about medical devices that may help me. I then decided I had to try these machines, I had nothing to loose. I tried three of these machines called the hothouse, chi machine and electro reflex energizer. Within the first week, I started to feel a difference, by the end of the second week my pain had really improved. I decided I had to buy these machines. This was the best decision and investment I ever made. My husband and I use these machines every day and we both feel great and have lots of energy. I do not take any medication, and we both have not had the flu or a cold since we started the machines four years ago. The chi machine increases your oxygen level, if you have low oxygen you get sick, it also increases your circulation, improves your immune system. 15 minutes on the machine is equal to 90 min., of oxygen you get if you had walked. I decided I wanted to stay connected with this company as I had first hand info on the various machines they have and how they can help different ailments and diseases., so I decided I wanted to be a distributor and help others like I was helped. They are endorsed by Health Canada as medical devices. These machines change people’s lives and I have seen it first hand.

    1. Debbie, thank you so much for taking the time to write to me and share your experiences. I am definitely going to have to check out these machines, as part of the research for the book, and to see if they might help me. Your story is a compelling one, and I wish you and your husband continued good health.

      1. Christine: You probably guessed that Debbie was the friend I was referring to in my initial comment. I’m so glad she took the time to comment here as she really is a miracle case of having eliminated chronic pain from her life by using these machines.

      2. Hi Doreen: I wondered if Debbie was your friend given that she also mentioned the Chi machine. I certainly did appreciate hearing her story. Thanks for referring her to me.

  3. Great post, Christine, and an exciting theme for your next book!

    I have a friend who was dealing with chronic pain from osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and acute asthma. She began using the Chi machine and the Hot House sold under the HTE banner and they have produced miraculous results. She has no more pain, and no longer needs to take any meds. We’ve now bought the Chi machine to help my husband deal with his emphysema and it’s already been producing some pretty impressive results. His body is now properly oxygenated and so he has much more energy. and the Chi machine is helping me sleep much better. Will keep you posted, and I look forward to reading more posts on this theme.

    1. Thanks for your comments, and of course your never-ending support, Doreen. I’ve heard about the Chi machine, but don’t really know much about it. I’ll definitely have to look into it. I’m so glad Reg and yuor friend are getting good benefit from it. I’d appreciate you sending me more information, and yes, please stay tuned for more on this theme.

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