I don't think I'll ever remember the title of this course perfectly, but that's okay since I would much prefer to remember the content of the class. The course continues to be fasinating.
Yesterday, we were talking about the mindbody (note that it's all one word), and how thoughts effect body processes and vice versa. I liked the video we watched which showed a lot of relaxation related stuff, and had a huge focus on how that influences our bodies. One major part of that was pain. The doctor talked about how you can't separate the psychological and physical aspects of pain. I wanted to stand up and shout! It was so true for me. If I don't care for myself emotionally, I feel the pain more. If i don't pay attention to my pain, I notice psychology issues.. It's very similar to what I've written about before. It was just refreshing to see that aspect being given its due. Saying that our mind effects pain should never make the experience less legitimate. Our mind is a part of us, and I never understood the separation. But if we can harness the power of thoughts and our brains/what we commonly think of as just the mind, we'll probably do better.
I mentioned how I use relaxation to help myself deal with the pain. I didn't mention how I've started noticing that relaxation actually seems to help my feet warm more quickly and decreases the difference I feel with the temperatures. I didn't know if that was too over the top for some people. I still struggle to believe it sometimes. But if it works, that's what's important. They also talked about using guided imagery for surgery preparation. I've been working with that ever since I heard about my need to get the screws out. Filling my mind with good images seems to help me not feel so scared about the surgery.
Today we were talking about energy and magnets. They described the idea behind healing touch and therapeutic touch. I'm not sure how I feel about some of that, but some of it makes sense. They also talked about one study which showed magnets taking a group of people from a 9 to a 4 on the pain scale. I was shocked by that one! I wonder if there are any studies or anicdotal experiences with nerve pain?
There was also a discussion about using tools forr control of pain. The basic discussion theme was that using what works is what's important. No one's going to have the exact same experience. I'm really appreciating these professor's openness to both the alopathic and non-alopathic (see, I'm learning vocabulary), medicines. It's so great to be in this class. I'm learning about so many different therapies that I'm sure will come up if I get to be a medical social worker. I'm synthesizing so many concepts from other classes. Today I actually thought about Plato's Theory of Forms and social work's premise of meeting the client where the client's at in the same small section of class. I am starting to believe that we never experience what we're not ready for, even if we don't feel ready.
Oh, and one more funny story. Yesterday we experienced a traditional Native American ceremony, since our professor has experienced these herself. One thing they do is burn sage. We were told that it would smell like moxe (sp?) which is used in acupuncture and pot which is used in lots of things. When the professor burned it, I immediate flashed back to a time last year when I found myself lost at a somewhat-cary transit center. I didn't know what was being smoked, but I knew it wasn't tobacco. I now know it was probably pot, thanks to yesterday's session.