The language of pain - what chronic pain and discomfort is signalling to your body

The Language of Pain – What Chronic Pain is Telling Your Body

Did you know your body communicates with you around the clock?

 

Many of us are often too busy and stressed with everyday responsibilities, like work and childcare, or distracted with television and technology, to recognise and receive the messages our bodies are sending us.

 

But, you can gain valuable insight into your current state of health when you tune into what your body has to say.

The Language of Pain…are you listening to your body’s signals?

Besides our love language fueled by the hormone Oxytocin, another one of the most common languages our body uses to communicate with us — is PAIN.

 

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as, “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”

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The Physical Effects of Low Mood and Depression | Emma Simpson, Structural Integrator

The Physical Effects of Low Mood and Depression

Depression is a very prevalent mental disorder affecting 340 million people globally and is projected to become the leading cause of disability and the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by the year 2020.

 

While we think of depression as more a mental health issue, it also affects your physical health and well-being – in more ways than you can probably imagine!

 

Having experienced depression myself in the past, I can attest to the fact that it’s a full-body experience. Interestingly, living with chronic anxiety and depression are what actually got me into remedial massage, yoga, and holistic & functional movement as a profession as I personally experienced the healing powers of these “touch therapies” myself.  

 

Let’s learn more about some of the most common symptoms of depression, including how it can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

 

(Please remember that if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression — you are not alone, there is nothing “wrong” with you, and there IS support for you!)

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Full body response - how stress affects health | Emma Simpson, Structural Integration

The Stress Response: How to Curb the Destruction of Health!

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on STRESS and how it impacts your health, body AND your mind…

 

Being chronically stressed (as in being in a state of nonstop, unrelenting stress!), as so many of us are these days – you might think that it only affects your nervous system. After all, that’s where you perceive it to be in abundance – because it’s quite literally is unnerving!

 

But, the truth of the matter is that stress also compromises your digestive system, immune system, reproductive system, other major organs, and even your posture and alignment.

 

It truly IS a full body response – health, body AND mind!

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Stress - Health effects | Emma Simpson | Structural Integration

Stress Impacts Health: It’s a full body (and mind) response!

 This is Part 1 of a two-part series on STRESS and how it impacts your health, body AND mind…

 

According to the Australian Psychological Association (APA),

“Seventy-two percent of Australians admit that stress affects their physical health, and 64% of us claim it’s not doing us any good in the mental health department, either.

The three main causes for stress in Australia are: financial concerns, health issues and family issues.”

Considering that being chronically stressed has become so mainstream these days, and it is such a regular (daily) occurrence, you might think that stress only affects your nervous system?

 

After all, that’s where you perceive it to be in abundance – because it is quite literally unnerving!

 

In actuality, stress, whether the source of it is physical, mental, real or imagined – also compromises your digestive system, immune system, reproductive system, most major organs, and even your posture and alignment. It really is a full body response!

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Hips Have Heart: The powerful connection between your hips and your emotions

Hips That Have Heart: The Powerful Connection Between Your Hips and Your Emotions

What if I told you that that tight feeling you have across your hips (better known as cranky hips!) had more to do with your feelings than your daily activities or an old injury?

 

Sure, our lifestyles these days are a contributing factor:

 

We sit a lot.

We drive in cars a lot.

We spend time hunched over tech devices…A LOT.

 

And, yes these things can all cause tightness through the front of your body, including your hips.

 

But sometimes there’s more to the story…literally.

 

What if I told you that your hips are tight because of your emotions?

 

You might think I’m crazy, but read on, and you’ll see that there’s actually a HUGE connection between our emotional wellbeing and those chronically tight spots in your hips.

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7 Best Stretches for Chronic Pain & Discomfort | Emma Simpson Structural Integrator

In Pain? There’s a Stretch for That – 7 of Them!

I love my job. I really do.

I love that I can help people achieve pain-free routines, and sustain active healthy lives. When a client comes to see me, I consider it a sincere privilege to help them find relief and more simply – to move better.

But I do have my limitations…

Truthbomb: as a Structural Integrator and Massage Therapist, there’s only so much I can do.

There’s only so many times I can treat each individual client each week. Not to mention that I can’t follow them around all week in between our appointments to make sure they’re watching their posture or lifting that big heavy object properly.

Pain management, especially that for long-standing, chronic pain – is a joint venture between the patient and practitioner. When my clients “do their homework”, their results are much better and long-lasting.

This is why I frequently assign clients take-home strengthening exercises and stretching routines. These exercises help them manage their discomfort in between appointments AND also minimize the likelihood of an injury recurring.

 

Some of the most common issues I treat are:

  • low back pain
  • tight neck and shoulders
  • sciatica
  • tight pectorals
  • tight hips
  • TMJ pain (jaw pain)

 

And the good news is that I have an exercise or stretch to help with each and every one of these conditions.

Ready to live with less pain and move more freely? I thought so!

Here are 7 stretches for every area of your body that you might be experiencing pain in.

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Why the “No Pain, No Gain” Concept is Complete Crap!

My client was in to see me recently and told me about some knee pain she experienced in her last run.

 

While she was running, she felt a sharp twinge toward the outside of her knee. The twinge turned into a burn and by the time she saw me — a stabbing pain.

 

“Did you stop?” I asked her.

“No way. I’m training for a marathon, so I can’t. No pain, no gain, right?” she said.

 

I hated to differ with her, but no…wrong. All wrong.

 

We’ve been conditioned to think we need to push through pain in order to be successful – in so many areas of our life and of our health.

 

And while it’s normal to experience some strain and discomfort during exercise or even in our day-to-day life, pain should never be ignored.

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Sciatica: How to Get Rid of That Pain in Your Butt!

Sciatica: How to Get Rid of The Pain in Your Butt

Carol came to see me after returning from her most recent vacation. While she looked lovely and tanned, she was also in a great deal of pain.

She and her husband had gone on a road trip and the long hours spent sitting in the car had wreaked havoc on her back.

When I asked her about the pain, she described it as being “a sharp pain that starts at the top of her butt and goes right down her leg”.

I knew what it was right away – and it’s quite literally a pain in the butt.

SCIATICA.

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What are triggers points and myofascial pain syndrome?

Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome

TRIGGER POINTS (TrP’s) are actually very common and can occur within any muscle of the body. Patients of mine who have trigger points often report persistent, chronic pain that results in a decreased range of motion of that particular muscle.

 

The most common muscles affected are in the head and neck area, which can lead to symptoms such as headaches, jaw pain, ringing in the ear(s), and even eye pain.

 

“The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other puzzling physical complaints are actually caused by trigger points, or small contraction knots, in the muscles of the body.” ~ Clair Davies

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Self Myofascial Release Techniques (SMR) with Emma Simpson

Self-Myofascial Release (SMR): What it is and Why You Need it in Your Life

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a massage every single day? Imagine how great it would feel to get rid of all your tight knots and sore muscles on a regular basis.

 

Practically heaven right?

 

For most of us, it’s fairly unlikely that we could fit this into our busy lives. However, there is a way to get that “ohh, I just got a massage feeling” every single day! And the best part is it doesn’t take a ton of time, it’s inexpensive, and it’s really quite simple.

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