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Did you know that about 1 in 6 people in New Zealand live with chronic pain? (1) Facing it every day, waking up with it, and going to sleep with it – no wonder it can drive you mad!
The pain can be constant or it may come and go. It may be mild or debilitating and severe. Unfortunately, we find that it is a common situation for people experiencing pain to be also experiencing emotional pain; from frustration to anger, anxiety, and depression.
Tip 1 – Don’t Ignore The Pain
You may be able to ignore what you feel for a given period of time, but eventually it will catch up to you. As the saying goes, what we resist persists. The harder you may be pushing the pain away, the worse it may feel. Turning towards the pain, understanding it and accepting it may not be an easy process but it can be essential for your recovery and living a life with less pain. The way to deal with pain is through it and not avoiding it.
Tip 2 – Self Compassion
Self-compassion is critical in helping you heal and live a life with less pain. Understanding that the pain will affect your life, both physically and emotionally is important. You want to go back to the person you used to be but no matter how hard you push, the pain seems to push back harder. Accepting the pain being there, accepting its negative effect on your life and moving forward with unlimited self-compassion and understanding will help you live a happier and more content life. You didn’t choose this for yourself and you have suffered a lot, isn’t it time to show yourself some unconditional love? It is not your fault.
Tip 3 – Live Mindfully
Mindfulness is about being able to recognise and appreciate what you feel without judging it or reacting to it, it is about realising that ‘you’ are not defined by what ideas your brain throws at you or how you feel, you are you. Practising living mindfully, either alone or in a group setting can help you immensely in living a happier life with chronic pain.
Tip 4 – Stop Blaming and Take Control
All too often, people give up and accept failure with a passive attitude. Realising that you are in charge and you have the ability to make choices is critical to making you feel empowered. Feeling that you have no control over something and suffering usually go hand in hand. What you do today is a choice. You may not be able to do as much as your friends who have no pain, but you can do something small, a step or two. You are in control.
Tip 5 – Seek Help
It is important to realise that you are not alone in what you are going through. It is important to talk to others who understand your situation and can offer assistance. It is also important you talk to your doctor as medications can help alleviate the pain that you feel. There is no need to suffer alone.
What’s Next? Can Medicinal Cannabis be a Possible Treatment for Chronic Pain?
The Cannabis Clinic is here to support those with chronic pain who want to try alternative treatments to help them live a more comfortable life by using cannabis oil. Cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive extract of the Hemp plant (a type of cannabis plant) and is thought to possibly have pain reducing effects (2,3). Medicinal Cannabis has many different types of chemicals called cannabinoids, and the body produces its own cannabinoid chemicals. These chemicals work all over the body, from brain, lungs, skin, adrenal glands (responsible for stress), gut, fat cells, and kidneys (2,3,4).
Some people have found a benefit from using medicinal cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain, especially if pain medications are not helping or their side effects are not tolerable. Medicinal cannabis does not make you high and has been shown to be very safe.
While medicinal cannabis is not an approved medication for pain, it can now be prescribed by your doctor on a case by case basis. The Cannabis Clinic can provide information to your GP on recommended dosage and treatment.