Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

The TENS Unit and Chronic Pain

As with many of these discussions, I am going to use something to talk about that I have found useful in the management of my chronic pain. The TENS unit can be bought in any major drug store or can be from a prescription. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator. Using the pads given with the unit, the aim is to place them on the parts of the body that are sore and using different currents, it will give a message to the muscle and stimulate the nerve enough to ease the pain.

The source I am using is from a website for Santa Cruz Core, Fitness and Rehab. In the article, Jaimi Jansen explains that using the TENS unit and devices like that can help to with physical therapy and chronic pain symptoms. They describe the reason for this being that it is a non-invasive way to help patients with chronic pain due to injuries or other reasons both unknown and known. They say that post-injury patient can use this technology in order to reduce pain and swelling in the area where they were injured. Since the swelling itself can interfere with proper function or movement of body parts it can help the process of healing greatly. (Jansen, October 18, 2017, para 2-3)

The electrical currents cause the muscles to contract at different intervals allowing the muscles to regain strength and ease tension. They also explain that with orthopedic conditions or chronic conditions, it can help to help the blood flow better allowing the blood to repair and heal the body.

Another article from Verywellhealth.com explains that the TENS unit is not usually a part for the treatment of fibromyalgia but it is something to ask about. Doctors do not usually suggest it as a way of treatment. It also suggests that buying a unit on your own can cost from $25-100, but the benefit of getting a prescription is that they will most likely be sent to a physical therapist in order to learn how to use it properly since using a unit incorrectly can aggravate the muscles.

For me, using the TENS unit on a day where my pain is very high pain day is very relaxing. I can do crafts, write, or anything else relaxing while allowing the electrodes to massage the muscles that ache so much. There are a lot of muscle spasms that can happen with Fibro, and it can really work out the muscles that are tight very well and it honestly feels just like a mini massage. Though, I do know that you have to be careful. There are certain spots such as the spine and the area where the heart is that cannot have the pads on because the electricity can interfere with the health of the heart and the nerves in the spine.

It is also very important to read the directions thoroughly before using the TENS unit in order to use it. For example. Someone who has metal in their body cannot use it because the metal can interfere with the electrodes and be harmful to health. Those with heart problems can’t use it either because it can stimulate the blood vessels and the heart too much and cause problems. My mother has a double hip replacement with metal, so despite all the pain she suffers from still she cannot use my TENS because of the metal. The TENS is an amazing little device that can help to alleviate pain. I highly suggest this, but to also do research to see if it is right for the individual. As with all alternative medicines, you need to speak to a doctor before using it.

 

References

Dellwo, Adrienne. (June 03, 2018) A TENS Unit for Fibromyalgia Pain. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/a-tens-unit-for-fibromyalgia-pain-3973054

Jansen, Jaimi. (October 18, 2017) Benefits of Tens Unit and E-Stim. Retrieved from https://santacruzcore.com/benefits-of-tens-unit-and-e-stim/

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Disabilities, Mental Health, wellness

Beginning a Wellness Class

I wanted to start by saying that I have been a bit stressed the past few weeks which is why I am posting so late. I try to post.

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Wellness class: Week 1

After starting at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in June, I was happy to find out that I was able to take a class about Wellness. Since this blog is based on that aspect of life and trying to find natural ways to help with our everyday lives, I decided that while I was taking this class, I would make my weekly posts as a reflection of the previous week of class.

This week it was an obvious introduction and we were asked what the difference between health and wellness was. I am going to say again what I posted and elaborate a bit more.

I think a complete definition of health would be the state of someone’s body. Like, if they are free from illness if they have ongoing chronic pain, etcetera. Wellness I believe is the way you take care of your body to either keep yourself healthy or aid in the management of an illness you already have. Such things would be your state of mind as well as physical things such as taking vitamins as well as doing Yoga and meditation. I think the main difference between health and wellness is that health is just that. Health, which is the state of how your body is while wellness is the way you take care of your body whether it is in good condition or not.

With wellness, especially with learning natural ways to stay healthy or maintain health, there are so many ways to do it. Even the simple idea of positivity is a perfect start to a wellness plan. I think that this class will be a great asset to learning more about this topic and being able to help others who want to know more about how to use wellness.

Disabilities, Mental Health

Natural Ways to Deal With Anxiety

Some people who are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder have it so severe that they must be on prescription medication to deal with it. I feel very thankful that I am not one of those individuals. I have very bad anxiety, but I have found natural ways to deal with it instead of being on a prescription anti-depressant.

*When reading this, please do not drop all the medications that your doctor has given you to try my methods. I am not a professional. I am just here to give suggestions to help relieve the anxiety and stress that can interrupt life. I want to help people like me who wish to live a more natural life as much as possible. I take prescriptions when I really need them. I take the generic of Cymbalta to treat my Fibromyalgia symptoms. However, these suggestions can be used alongside medications to aid in easing Anxiety

One main way that I deal with my anxiety, is that I try to meditate at least five minutes a day. I found that this method really works if you keep at it. However, not everyone has time for meditation or has the energy to do so. There are some days where I am so exhausted, that I go to bed instead of meditating. There are other times where I am sick and cannot focus enough to meditate.

I found the best way to meditate is to clear and balance all the Chakras. You can find Chakra meditations anywhere online and there are some apps that guide you through a chakra meditation. Clearing out chakras not only clears your mind and anxiety but helps in various ways as well. One time, I had a stomach ache that would not go away. Once I cleared out my stomach Chakra, the ache was gone. I’m not saying that aches and pains are always stemming from clogged chakras, but sometimes they might be. It’s just an observation.

I also found that starting out learning how to meditate, binaural beats help you learn how to get to that state of mind. These beats help, because they are designed to make the brain act a certain way by giving a certain tone to different parts of the brain. I am not a scientist so I cannot exactly elaborate, but it is a great tool for learning how to go into a deep meditation. There are many apps out there with these beats, along with YouTube videos. The best suggestion is to wear earbuds but does not let the volume exceed a certain point or it might hurt your ears.

Another way I relieve stress and anxiety is indulging in my hobbies. I have many of them. I love to write, role play, belly dance, crafts, and cosplay. Role play and writing usually go hand in hand, since I have a few co-written projects with a friend and we role play them in order to work out the kinks. It is not only fun and relieves stress, but it is also productive at the same time. Instead of shutting down my brain, I am engaged in a story and new ideas.

I found that with anxiety, as long as I keep my brain active I do not feel anxiety as much as I would if I was thinking of nothing. If I keep my brain thinking of other things when I have free time, it helps me avoid thinking of negative things that could cause an anxiety attack. This is why I always try to think positive even when everyone around me is thinking negative. I find that positive thinking makes everyone’s day at least a little brighter.

However, sometimes too much brain activity can cause even more anxiety at times. For the times where anxiety is so bad that none of these ideas could quell them, I was previously at a loss until someone suggested to take CBD oil. This oil can take the form of oral or vape. It is an oil that is taken from the hemp/marijuana plant however, it does not contain the chemical THC that causes the “high” and the part that is illegal. I find that one drop of this during one of my anxiety attacks can ease the tension and let me think clearly.

I hope this information can help someone who wants to win their life back.