There are is so much more to neuropathy than some burning and tingling. For those whose neuropathy is caused by Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) the pain is listed on the McGill Pain Scale as one of the highest there is. For diabetics, their neuropathy is often referred to as “painful diabetic neuropathy”. Certainly that’s true of most neuropathies.
Pain, lasting longer than three months is considered chronic. So, what do you call pain lasting years, or decades? They don’t have a word for it, but many of us live it and it weighs on us.
Chronic pain, no matter the cause can lead to so many other impacts to our health and in our lives. One of the biggest, hardest impacts is the state of our mental health. Brain fog, anxiety, depression, long lasting grief, malaise, and isolation are words that only begin to scratch the surface. While mental health issues are not “neuropathy”, neuropathy and mental health issues are so closely tied we feel we need to address them hand in hand. And so, we often address it as a related topic.
This is a lot to take in so start with our highly recommended ** options (the ones with two asterisks). These things in particular are the self-care tools to consider first. We believe in these tools based discussions with people we’ve spoken to who have had success using them; and, these are the tools we’ve found the most supporting research for. These lists will keep growing, so keep checking back.
Did you know meditative exercises grow the part of your brain responsible for both pain and emotional processing. Meditative practices come in many shapes and sizes. Body scans, breathing exercises, tapping, yoga, prayer, Tai Chi, Qigong… maybe best of all walking in nature mindfully.
It was hard to pick this featured resource but chose breathing exercises because it is the easiest to do, anyone can do them, and you can “take” it anywhere. And… the benefits are profound.
This post was written for the CNA by Dr. Nikita Burke, a postdoctoral researcher examining the neurobiology of pain, with a focus on microglia and opioids.
Image Source: CNA/Canva
Our own Sylvia Donley provides an overview of Tapping, also called EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique. People use tapping as an alternative method for treating negative emotion and physical pain. Tapping uses the same meridian points as acupuncture. In this video, Sylvia provides a summary research on its effectiveness and a short demonstration.
This resource provides the option to download the presentations slides.
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