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    Christmas is coming:

    Pack up your pain and prepare to party!  This month I am going to offer some no-nonsense, easy-to-follow advice. This is because Christmas is coming! I hope you are looking forward to it, but you might also be worrying a bit. There is nothing worse than feeling you are spoiling everything because you are in pain. And of course, if you are anxious this can make the pain seem worse.  What I am going to do in this post is pass on some of the advice I give in two of my books: Managing Chronic Pain in the Family https://www.amazon.co.uk/Managing-Chronic-Pain-Family- family/dp/1999867122/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1543931148&sr=8-4&keywords=sue+peacock and Break the Pain Cycle in 28 Days. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Break-Pain-Cycle-days-Techniques/dp/0995459975/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543931148&sr=8-1&keywords=sue+peacock It is all about taking things steadily, doing what you can and enjoying that. I…

    The psychological impact of cancer – Part 3

    Part 3: Life after cancer This is in the final blog in the short series on coping the psychological aspects of cancer. If you missed the previous two, you can find them here: www.apaininthemind.co.uk/the-psychological-impact-of-cancer-and-some-tips-how-to-manage-it-part-1/ www.apaininthemind.co.uk/the-psychological-impact-of-cancer-and-some-tips-to-manage-it-part-2/ Hearing the words “you have finishing treatment” or “come back for a follow up in x months” are a cause for celebration, but often perhaps within a few days, few weeks or months, it’s not uncommon for me to see people who have difficulty re-joining life.  Life during cancer treatment was focussed on medical appointments, there was always a healthcare professional looking out for you. After wishing all the treatments are over, many people find themselves asking what now? And they feel a great deal of unease and uncertainty as…

    Placebo Experiment By The BBC Shows The Power Of The Mind

    As regular readers of this column will know I am firmly convinced that our minds have a big role to play in helping us control pain. I was therefore delighted to see the BBC has, along with Oxford University, carried out a very important study to test how placebos work. This has screened on TV and can still be seen on Iplayer. I have been looking at this and believe it will give give heart to everyone out there who is living with chronic pain.  The programme explains the strange and still not well-understood, working of placebo. We have always known that a placebo can make a difference to pain, but we have not understood why very well. But we are now just beginning to…

    What is Clinical Hypnosis?

      I am often asked the question, ‘what is clinical hypnosis?’ and I always start my reply by saying it is a therapeutic tool, rather than a therapy on its own. For me, it’s all about what works for the client, and I find hypnosis helps me work successfully with a client by bringing their beliefs, emotions and ways of seeing the world into the process of therapy. I love hypnosis, but convincing people that it is a part of serious therapy can be an uphill battle. There are two big misconceptions about hypnosis. One is the belief is that it is ineffective; a weird, untrustworthy unscientific and new-age bit of nonsense. The other is that a hypnotist can make clients do things they do…

    The psychological impact of cancer and some tips to manage it: Part 2

      Part 2: Going through treatment Moving on, into the unknown world of medical treatment ….depression and cancer are linked. Feelings of sadness and despair are not uncommon, wherever in the cancer journey you are. If depression interferes with your daily life and has lasted for two successive weeks, talk to your GP. Clinical depression is treatable through medication and /or psychological therapy. In fact approximately 25% of cancer patients are clinically depressed. Signs to look for include loss of interest in daily activities, persistent sadness/emptiness, sleep disturbance, weight gain/loss, loss of concentration, fatigue, suicidal thoughts or behaviour Remember sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish if symptoms are coming from cancer such as loss of sleep or loss of appetite related to medication or are symptoms…

    Coping with chronic pain in the summer. Dr Sue’s top tips

    Most of us feel better in the summer, warmth often seems to ease chronic pain and the sunshine lightens us all up, doesn’t it? A better mood makes it easier to cope with chronic pain in many circumstances, so get out and enjoy it.  You will enjoy the sun even more if you watch out for some pitfalls which can come when you get out and about in the nicer weather.  Heat and joint swelling Watch out for heat and especially humidity if you suffer from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis as changes in temperature can cause swelling in your joints, which of course can increase your pain. Many of you may already notice that changes in barometric pressure can lead to a spike in pain….

    Sleep Talk

        It’s been a busy few weeks, I have had the pleasure of talking to the ladies of Sandy WI about 5 steps to successful sleep.  To give you a little flavour of the talk, I outlined the 5 steps to successful sleep based on: S – the science of sleep L – let it go! E – environment E – excuses, no more! P – your own personal sleep programme. The science of sleep – I started the talk by explaining briefly about the different stages of sleep in non REM and REM sleep, and what happened to our bodies during each stage. I talked about how the circadian rhythms and sleep wake homeostasis mechanisms worked together to remind us to sleep. This…

    Getting to Grips with Fibromyalgia

      Getting to grips with Fibromyalgia There is no doubt that living with chronic /persistent pain, fatigue and brain fog is challenging for people with fibromyalgia. However, you don’t have to put your life on hold waiting for these symptoms to go. There are ways to learn to live with fibromyalgia. Yes, it often means making adjustments, to many aspects of your life, but if you do, you can still achieve things and have fun, just perhaps in a different way to what you originally thought. By taking charge of your condition, you can feel a sense of control over your life and your self- esteem and confidence improve, enabling your quality of life to improve. Working with many people suffering from fibromyalgia, I have…

    Endometriosis: so common, so painful and so ignored

    Dr Sue Peacock

    Endometriosis: so common, so painful and so ignored. As it is International Women’s Day I thought I would focus on a medical condition which is often ignored or at least not taken seriously enough. This is endometriosis. It’s astounding we do not hear more about it when as many as one in 10 women in the UK are suffering from the condition. Many doctors are still woefully ignorant of the condition and it is very hard to diagnose as the symptoms can be very different from woman to woman. Endometriosis happens when cells from the womb enter the pelvic cavity, or other parts of the body, yet still behave like the cells in the womb. Like the cells in the womb they break down and…

    Focus On Pain News

    An inspirational story of a lady who manages her chronic pain If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know some of the things I recommend as part of my pain management regime. I know these work for the clients I see in my pain management clinics in Bedford and Milton Keynes. While I was looking around the web I found this lovely story from a lady call Beth Thorp about how she manages her pain. She has a coping plan, she exercises even when she is in pain, she gets out in the fresh air even if she does not really feel up to it as a change of scenery, she belongs to a support group saying ‘until I joined this…

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