Spirituality and Healing

Surgery
Pain management is an important consideration when you’re having surgery – not only to minimize discomfort, but also because good post-operative pain control plays a vital role in optimizing your recovery. The sooner you are able to get up and about, the less likely you are to develop complications like blood clots, hospital acquired infections, and respiratory problems.  
“Is there hope?” is a question I hear often. One of my patients struggling with a low back injury recently mentioned that doctors keep telling her that there is no hope. The look on her face told me how upsetting this was for her, and she asked me, “What do you think?”   Before I tell you my answer, I first want to be clear about why both the question and the answer matter.  
Christine Hirabayashi
Christine Hirabayashi is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board-Certified Art Therapist. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration, and subsequently her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University. Since 2004, Christine has been at the Bay Area Pain and Wellness Center.
Our contributor Dr. Peter Abaci joins The Elysium Project podcast to discuss chronic pain treatments provided by the Bay Area Pain & Wellness Center in Los Gatos, California. You can hear Dr. Abaci's segment starting one hour into the podcast embedded below. About The Elysium Project podcast:
Getting a truly restful night’s sleep is such a key ingredient in your cellular health and overall well-being. Missing out on even one deep sleep and REM cycle can reduce your vitality for the next day by 50 percent – it cuts your vitality in half! This increases your tendency to develop poor eating habits and overdose on caffeine, and it stresses your brain function, vision, hearing, and basically overtaxes your entire body.
Optimize your mind-body connection with information and resources that empower you to reduce pain and its impact on your brain and body. (1) Understanding Pain in less than 5 minutes, and what to do about it! (5:00) View it here. (2) Learn out Pain Psychology (12:47) View it here.
Read about the national needs assessment that was conducted in almost 2,000 individuals across 6 key stakeholder groups in the U.S., and published in Pain Medicine earlier this year. Learn why a major solution to the pain treatment crisis includes better integration of pain education into mental health education at all levels of training.
I recently met a a very kind man, Dr Chuck Wall, a retired professor and our local motivational speaker. He has been on Oprah and invited by Presidents to the White House on several occasions. Out of his kindness, he is helping me improve my public speaking skills for free. He is blind but is living a full life. I have a great time with him – we go walking, we go for lunches, we spend many valuable and enjoyable hours together in which I always...
In May of 2012, I completed the Meditation Teacher Training program at the Chopra Center for Well-being in San Diego, certifying me to teach Primordial Sound Meditation. While at the world-renowned center, I got to listen to Deepak Chopra, one of my role models. Somebody in audience asked him: ’Deepak why did you start to meditate?’ His answer was simple: ’Because I wanted to quit smoking and drinking. It was many years ago.’
Think of pain as being your “harm alarm,” a signal that is designed to get your attention, to motivate you to escape whatever is causing it. After all, pain—potential harm—could mean injury or even death.  In this way, pain serves a useful purpose because it is functions to keep you safe and alive.  This all works quite well if you simply cut your finger while dicing vegetables for dinner.

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