Stress Management Expert, Consultant & Integrative Therapist Mike Lawrence shares his life journey.
Mike has spent a large number of years helping others thrive, be that in the workplace or their life. Today’s episode, Mike shares his journey, his stint at Butlins as a Redcoat and how he now helps to remove stress from your life.
Click on the link below to listen
Based on the best quality studies of general population samples, the estimated prevalence of chronic pain in the UK is 43%. This equates to just under 28 million people.
Drugs are very effective and essential for many at managing and getting rid of pain, but they often have unpleasant side effects.
If you suffer or currently living with musculoskeletal pain, fibromyalgia, backache or any other chronic pain that inhibits your quality of life, there are alternative ways that you may want to consider that doesn’t involve the use of drugs.
Are you familiar with meditative walking, tai chi, breathing exercises, positive thinking, yoga and other mind-body techniques that will give you the ability to reduce your reliance on medication to manage your pain?
Studies have shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues. In particular, people who have experienced trauma and suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are often at a higher risk to develop chronic pain.
Events or stressors that make you anxious or upset, such as a death in the family or the loss of a job, release cortisol in your body causing inflammation, increased heart rate, and narrowing of your blood vessels. Those changes in your body cause you to feel pain.
Additionally, when you experience emotionally difficult times, stress can weaken your body’s immune system and make you more susceptible to colds and other infections.
Constant pain can interfere with your daily life, keeping you from doing things you want and need to do. it can be a natural instinct to eat or drink too much and skip out on regular exercise, it can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel angry, frustrated, anxious, and depressed.
The link between depression and pain is why doctors often use antidepressants as one treatment for pain relief. These drugs can help with both the pain and the emotional strain it causes. Pain also interferes with sleep and raises your stress levels. Both a lack of sleep and more stress can make pain feel stronger.
Mike Lawrence says…
“performing a combination of mind-body activities increases the effectiveness of relief from pain.”
Pain Relief Techniques To Take Your Mind Off Pain
The following techniques can help you take your mind off the pain and may help to override established pain signals.
1. Alternate Nostril Breathing
Is a simple yet powerful technique that relaxes the mind, body, and emotions. It is particularly helpful to ease a busy mind if you are experiencing anxiety, stress, or having trouble falling asleep.
With just a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing, you can restore balance and ease in the mind and body. Sometimes when we feel exhausted or find ourselves doing too many things at the same time, it’s because energetically, we are out of alignment. This breath is great for restoring that essential balance.
2. Tai Chi
Is a low-impact, slow-motion, mind-body exercise that combines breath control, meditation, and movements to stretch and strengthen muscles. Some solid research shows that tai chi can benefit people with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tension headache, and other ongoing, painful conditions.
In one trial, for example, 66 people with fibromyalgia were randomized into two groups: one group took tai chi classes twice a week, the other group attended wellness education and stretching sessions twice a week. After 12 weeks, those in the tai chi group reported less pain, fewer depression symptoms, and better sleep than the control group. The results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Journal of Pain, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Pain Society, found meditation an effective tool in reducing pain and anxiety. Meditation is about being in the present, the now moment and focusing on bringing positive energy to yourself and releasing low vibration, (negative energy) away from yourself.
Some people choose to use meditation only when they’re in pain or feeling stressed. Others, like me, incorporate meditation into their daily routine. I start off every morning with a series of meditations to help me find my energy balance before I walk out the door, during treatments and sessions in my clinic and prior to going to bed.
4. Integrative Therapy
Many people simply put up with the relentless pains that never seem to show up on scans. Most of my clients have been prescribed endless tablets to manage their various discomforts, but like you, they just grin and bear it as the doctors and the medication isn’t really helping. I have been very successful in helping many people just like you.
Aside from its calming and stress-relieving properties, Integrative therapy also provides an intensive cleansing effect by flushing out toxins from the body. The application of deep and gentle pressure on the limbs and trunk helps loosen built up toxins and transports them in appropriate pathways to be neutralised and eliminated from the body.
Allowing the body’s built-in recuperative powers to function efficiently and the body to revitalise the balance itself. In the past, practitioners discovered that the vitality travels throughout the body, head, extremities and organs along meridians via chakras, the body’s energy centres. The vitality is called ‘Yuki’ and is a positive, living dynamic energy.
While many forms of yoga practice are safe, some are energetic and may not be suitable for everybody. In particular, the elderly or those with mobility problems may want to check first with their doctor before choosing yoga as an option.
But for many people dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very attractive way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely associated but are fundamentally equal. The evidence is growing that yoga is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.
Neuroscientific studies demonstrate that our brains physically change when we experience positive or negative emotions. This plays a significant role in how well we manage pain, especially on a daily basis.
We also know that areas of the brain can be influenced by thought. For example, if you are feeling extremely anxious, your pain threshold will decrease.
The mind and body are in constantly communicating, therefore, a perception of pain can change dependent on the way we feel it. This is why shifting our perspectives about our pain is very important—it’s an effective way to control our symptoms, no drugs required.
When we turn negative thoughts into positive ones, we change everything. We stop letting pain control our lives by moving forward and growing stronger. Adopting a more positive outlook on life doesn’t just change the way we think, it changes the way we feel.
One small change can make a powerful difference. It improves our symptoms almost immediately, and when we improve our symptoms, our outlook improves on life improves.
6. Change Your Environment
Pain isn’t just rooted in your body and mind, it’s also a constant factor within your environment and your social environment.
All too often people who are in constant pain withdraw from contact with their family and friends. They feel inhibited by their symptoms or too embarrassed or distracted to reach out to loved ones.
Don’t make the same mistake. Support is a valuable asset and can come in the form of life coaching, integrative therapy and hypnotherapy. Facing challenges is easier when you aren’t alone.
7. Relaxation Techniques For Pain Relief
Relaxation exercises calm your mind, reduce stress hormones in your blood, relax your muscles, and elevate your sense of well-being. Using them regularly can lead to long-term changes in your body to counteract the harmful effects of stress.
“There isn’t a secret formula or one ‘right’ or ‘best’ relaxation technique. You may have to experiment with several to find the one that works for you.” Mike Lawrence says. Choose whatever relaxes you: music, prayer, gardening, going for a walk, talking with a friend on the phone. Here are some other techniques you might try:
- Foursquare breathing. Sometimes referred to as the box breathing technique, breathe deeply, so that your abdomen expands and contracts like a balloon with each breath. Inhale to a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale to a count of four, then hold to a count of four. Repeat for ten rotations.
- Guided imagery. Breathe slowly and deeply. For example, imagine a peaceful environment in which you feel comfortable, enthusiastic, and relaxed. Incorporate colours, sounds, smells, and your feelings. Repeat five to ten minutes daily.
- Self-talk. I often encourage clients to change how their internal dialogue and how they think about their pain. For example, I may ask a client to change “Pain prevents me from some of the activities that I used to do – I don’t care anymore” to “I can achieve anything that I want to when I put my mind to it. I can visualise it already done.”
- I’m a registered holistic hypnotherapist, therefore, I would induce hypnosis with a client and implant suggestions, such as, “You’re going to sleep soundly tonight.” Provide an audio recording of the session so that the client can listen at home.
I would love to help you on this journey.
As always, I hope this helps. Feel free to share this with your family, friends and colleagues.
“The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body” – Publilius Syrus
Customer Service Excellence Award 2019 – South Yorkshire
Following extensive preparations, research and deliberation, I am absolutely delighted to confirm Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies as one of our chosen winners’ for the 2019 Alternative Medicine & Holistic Health Awards hosted by GHP-News!
These awards were designed to recognise those who go above and beyond for their patients and customers, striving to offer relief and reassurance in places where more traditional medicine cannot.
Having looked into the work of Mike Lawrence Holistic Therapies, in particular, the client/customer relationship, company growth, dedication to innovation, we feel as though we have been able to do just that!
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, according to Friedrich Nietzsche – although he probably wasn’t thinking about the ageing process when he penned this famous statement. Nobody would claim that living with chronic back pain or neck pain, anxiety, migraines or diabetes makes you stronger.
Pain Relief and Chronic Pain in the UK
The trend is clear in most places: average life expectancy is going up, in part thanks to better health care offerings. However, studies also shows an increase in chronic disease and pain. We are able to survive diseases that previously killed us, but we live longer with non-fatal diseases.
“Almost half the adult population is living with chronic pain,” the Daily Mail reports. A major new review suggests that around 28 million adults in the UK are affected by some type of chronic pain (pain that lasts for more than three months).
The World Health Organisation defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage”.
Pain does not just affect the body. It also affects how people feel mentally and emotionally. We can experience many losses because of pain, for example jobs, relationships, finances and home life, which sometimes leads to loss of confidence and low self-esteem.
Thought patterns can become negative, low and full of frustration. Pain can take over, disrupting sleep, making tempers short and memory and concentration poor. Such feelings can also affect you’ ability to cope with pain and even the levels of pain experienced.
Many people have persistent physical complaints, such as dizziness or pain, that don’t appear to be symptoms of a medical condition.
They are sometimes known as “medically unexplained symptoms” when they last for more than a few weeks, but doctors can’t find a problem with the body that may be the cause. Medically unexplained symptoms are common, accounting for up to 45% of all GP appointments and half of all new visits to hospital clinics in the UK.
This doesn’t mean the symptoms are faked or “all in the head” – they’re real and can affect your ability to function properly.
Many people with medically unexplained symptoms, such as tiredness, pain and heart palpitations, also have depression or anxiety.
People must take responsibility for own health, says Matt Hancock
The Health Secretary called for people to adopt healthier lifestyles. Prevention is also about ensuring that people take greater responsibility for managing their own health. It’s about people choosing to look after themselves better, staying active and stopping smoking. Making better choices by limiting alcohol, sugar, salt and fat.”
Many people simply put up with the relentless pains that never seem to show up on scans. Most of my clients have been prescribed endless tablets to manage their various discomforts, but they just grin and bear it as the doctors and the medication isn’t really helping. I have been very successful in helping many people.
Through an adaptive approach of Bodywork techniques, modern day Shiatsu styles, Thai Massage, Indian Head Massage, Kinesiology, Acupressure, Chakra Balancing, Reiki, NLP Holistic Hypnotherapy, my clients have benefited from a high success rate in pain relief – all without a single pill. Doesn’t that sound better?
Aside from its calming and stress-relieving properties, Integrative therapy also provides intensive cleansing effect by flushing out toxins from the body. The application of deep and gentle pressure on the limbs and trunk helps loosen built up toxins and transports them in appropriate pathways to be neutralised and eliminated from the body.
Allowing the body’s built-in recuperative powers to function efficiently and the body to revitalise the balance itself.
Tui Na Traditional Chinese Massage
During recent months I have been studying and practicing Tui Na, or tuina. It’s a therapeutic form of massage and has been used in China for more than 4,000 years. Defined as “the ancient healing art of fingers and strength,” tui na (pronounced “twee nah”) has been gaining international attention for its safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Tui na massage therapy is used for giving special treatments to people of all ages, from infancy to old age, including pain relief.
The greatest advantage of tui na is that it focuses on maintaining overall balance with both physical and mental health. Anyone who prefers to find a natural solution to the use of drugs or a chemical-based treatment can adopt this effective massage technique to alleviate their pain. Tui na massage therapy is now becoming a more common therapy method due to its focus on specific problems rather than providing a general treatment.
Using fingers, hands, elbows, knees to apply pressure to a specific body location. This complementary and alternative Chinese massage makes use of a variety of techniques along different energy channels of the body to establish harmonious flow of qi throughout the body and bringing it back to balance. By applying pressure to meridians, acupoints, and groups of muscles and nerves, tui na removes blockages and works deeply with the positive energy of the body.
A typical session of tui na massage may vary from thirty minutes to ninety minutes. The session timings may vary depending on the patient’s needs and condition. The best part of the therapy is that it relaxes as well as energises the client. The main benefit of tui na massage is that it focuses on the specific problem, whether it is an acute or a chronic pain associated with the joints, muscles or a skeletal system. This technique is very beneficial in reducing the pain of neck, shoulders, hips, back, arms, highs, legs and ankle disorders. It is a very effective therapy for arthritis, pain, sciatica and muscle spasms.
Other benefits of this massage therapy include alleviation of the stress related disorders like insomnia, constipation, headaches and other disorders related to digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems.
On completion of my studies which incorporates Chinese anatomy and physiology, tui na theory and a rigorous practical examination, I will be integrating these techniques within my holistic practice.
“When you can’t remember why you’re hurt, that’s when you’re healed.” Jane Fonda
I would love to help you on this journey.
As always, I hope this helps. Feel free to share this with your family, friends and colleagues.