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What you eat can help your control your pain? My simple tweaks to make this easier.

I have often posted about how eating the right foods can help with chronic pain. So I will start with a quick recap. If you know the science behind your food choices it is much easier to make good choices.  It is all about inflammation, which lies behind or worsens much chronic pain. Your immune system works largely through your digestive system. The microbiome, in your large intestine, contains beneficial organisms which control inflammation. If you eat the wrong foods you can become inflamed. This can send pain messages to your central nervous system and you feel awful.  Later I will share with you a list of some of the foods you should eat and some you should avoid. You may already know this, and...

Uncertain times. Some tips to control anxiety and keep pain under control.

We know that anxiety can increase pain and our perception of pain. At the moment we are living in a world situation that feels very unstable, uncertain and indeed dangerous in places, and it makes most of us more anxious than we would usually be. For some of you, this may be leading to a spike in chronic pain. It seems a good time then to go through some ABCs about anxiety. If you can control your anxiety, then you may find it is easier to work to lessen your pain. There are some very basic things you can do which might just get that anxiety down a little bit.  There are some common triggers to anxiety. You will not have all of these but...

Long Covid and Fatigue

When I wrote my book on Long Covid (with Shelia Granger) I dealt with fatigue at some length. I know it is one of the major problems people who are dealing with Long Covid have to face. This week I am going to run through one of the main issues which people have to cope with and I hope to give some tips to lessen the symptoms. Long Covid brings a special sort of fatigue Fatigue is a symptom of modern life. It is estimated about 10 percent of people are experiencing some degree of fatigue at any time. But the fatigue which Long Covid brings does seem to have some unique symptoms. It is severe exhaustion not just tiredness. It is not relieved by...

A little silver lining in the Covid cloud. New research could point to a breakthrough in what we know about Long Covid

There is not much good to say about the Covid pandemic we have lived with for years now. But there is one thing which I think we can welcome. That is the huge amount of research that is going into Long Covid. This is the post-viral syndrome that is affecting large numbers of people who have had Covid. I co-wrote, with Sheila Granger, a book about the syndrome of Long Covid last year Coping with Long Covid. In the book, we detailed the range of symptoms that people are suffering from, what we know about them, and what sufferers could do to alleviate them or to live with them.  Anyone who has studied, or who has suffered from other post-viral syndromes, such as chronic fatigue...

The power of the mind

In my last blog, we saw last week how we can improve our mental attitude and how this can help us live with chronic pain. In this blog, we are going to look at some more direct help. How we can use our minds directly to lessen our pain. So here we go.  Understanding chronic pain This is not simple; it is not just how the signals go from the site of the pain to your brain. It is also about how you process these signals. If these signals are provoking strong negative reactions, such as fear, then the pain will feel worse. If you learn how you can decrease the pain you will feel less afraid before you even do anything.  How to decrease...

Managing negative thoughts when you have chronic pain You create thoughts and you can change thoughts

Do you recognise these scenarios?  You have pain and you are in; you are tired. A thought comes into your head and will not leave. You begin saying to yourself, I am always tired, there must be something else wrong perhaps the doctor has missed something important. You begin to think you will not be able to do your regular activities if this carries on. You might have to spend all your time in bed and no one will come to see you. You will get worse and be alone., How does your pain feel now?  You have a pain and you are worried as you have an important work meeting. You are not sure how you are going to get through it, you can...

Improve your social life despite chronic pain and improving your communication skills

If you are going to get the most out of your social life, even if you suffer with chronic pain, you need to learn how to ask for what you need. Watchwords here are: ask clearly, ask kindly, ask firmly. You need to be able to tell people your feelings and your needs in terms they can easily understand. Your family or friends deserve to know how you feel and what they can do to help you manage your chronic pain. In this blog, we are going to look at some communication skills to do this. Make communication a habit Practice makes perfect and there is nowherethis is truer than in communication. If you have been quiet about what you need for years, then you...

Living with Long Covid

This month I am very happy to post this guest blog post by Thana, who has been affected by Long Covid. He details the interactions he has had on a local level to try to get more help. It is a perspective which most therapists will be very familiar with: the time is takes to get anything done and the lack of understanding and which is still out there are particular problems. If you have any stories to tell, or any advice to give, then I would love you to contact me. The more information we can exchange the quicker we will get things moving. Impact of long-Covid 19 as an invisible disability Thana Narashiman The Covid-19 virus pandemic has left some with the legacy...

Coping with chronic pain in this strange summer

We are now well over halfway through the summer. And it is a strange time for most of us.   Confusion and uncertainty for us all   We have to put up with a lot of confusion and uncertainty about so many things: • where we can go on holiday • if we should go back to the office • if we want to go out to a restaurant or a pub • how often we want to see relatives. Some of us have loved this opening up of our choice and are thoroughly enjoying things at the moment and their increased freedoms. They love being able to get out and about again. Others are finding things harder. They feel anxious and confused about what...

Dealing with change

How are you coping with the thought of restrictions being lifted soon? I’m seeing  quite a few clients who are finding the change difficult. This blog will look at why. First things to say, if you are worried about the change, we are going through you are not alone. Many people find change difficult. It can be uncomfortable. And this is normal! I will tell you why. How we stayed safe It is a natural part of our human nature to want to stay safe. It is part of our theory that the is part of our human nature. And there is a good reason.  For most of our existence as a species, we lived close to the natural world. And it could be a...
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