Activities to Avert Thoughts of Pain

Throughout my treatment for advanced prostate cancer with extensive bone metastasis Stage IV, I have had to deal with a substantial pain. The prostate cancer has migrated outside the prostate and into my bones in every part of my body. The pain is immense, and rarely do I experience a day without abhorrent affliction.

In my case, I have been blessed with a very knowledgeable palliative care physician who chairs my palliative care team. The palliative care team and I have worked hand-in-hand during my overall treatment path. They are quick to solve any issues I may be suffering due to my bone pain and any pain due to the side effects of my current treatment.

Turning to relaxation techniques

One course of treatment that really interested me personally concerned methods of dulling the pain that do not involve medicines. I am all about any strategies that deal with pain relief that do not include more medical prescriptions. Not only are medical prescriptions enormously expensive, they can also inevitably bring with them more ill side effects.

The area of mind-body techniques captured my attention immediately. One strategy within this field is that of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Another strategy that garnered my full attention was relaxation techniques.

Relaxation techniques involve methods that may ease muscle tension, pains, aches, and muscle spasms. Personally, I found these techniques made me experience a feeling of maintaining more control over my physical discomfort. I noted my feeling of a lack of control in this area added to my daily stress.

Thinking calmly and breathing

Palliative care introduced four methods that I immediately took hold of and tried to implement in my daily routines. First, thinking calmly. They explained this method involved spending a small amount of time each and every day imagining a very calm place. Second, breathing techniques. I believe I took this particular method more to heart than any of the others. I can often be found humming.

People ask me regularly, “Why do you hum so much?” or “Do you know that you hum all the time?”

I get tickled when people ask me this throughout the week. The very act of humming is a physical technique I was taught to help reduce my present level of discomfort caused by my bone pain. Some people have been bothered by my constant humming, however I do not let this cause me any grief. I know the reasoning behind the humming, and they are not educated in such matters.

More activities

Third, calming activities. This technique simply involves setting aside time during the day for anything you feel will relax you like indulging in a warm bath, an easy stroll in nature, reading, or doing something creative. A calming activity for me personally is grooming my horse.

And finally, progressive muscle relaxation. This method puts your muscles to use in a simple tensing and relaxing exercise. It's good to focus on breathing and take care to avoid any painful muscles. You simply progress through the muscle groups starting at the head and working down to the toes.

Trying something new

In closing, if you find you are like me and would rather avoid as many prescription medications as humanly possible, then you may consider the techniques we covered within this article. People may not understand at first. Do not become angry; simply take the opportunity to educate them on these particular pain relief strategies.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ProstateCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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