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Many of you who've read this blog for a while, or those who read the book, know that I use some relaxation techniques to help me deal with chronic pain. I've read a lot of information about how to use relaxation techniques, the benefits of using them and how they can help with chronic pain management. I think they're a valuable part of any person's tool box, so I present a resource list of some of the tools, tricks and links I've found helpful. We'll try to start with the general relaxation links first, then go into the chronic pain related stuff. But first, I'll cover a few good sites I'm familiar with which sell mp3 relaxation tools. Finally, if you know of resources I'm not listing here, please drop them in the comments, and of course, if you can't think of something I haven't listed, check the comments to see what others have suggested!


Sites from which to purchase relaxation mp3's, CDs'S and tapes



  • Health Journeys
    is a wonderful resource for guided imagery, meditation and general relaxation tools for anyone with or without any health problems. Many of the guided imagery sessions can be purchased as mp3s, and in most cases can be downloaded the next day.

  • Pain Support
    offers a lot of information on natural and non-drug pain therapies, but the site also offers an mp3 version of the CD "Relax and Release your Pain". This CD is excellent for pain and stress, and it's one of the best investments I could have made.

  • Amazon
    has an mp3 store, and there are several good CDS of relaxing music. Best of all, you can hear samples of most tracks and get a good idea if you might like the CD or song before you buy the mp3. Here are a few I like:

    • Mountain Stream with Relaxing Music
      This provides a nice background, and I've even fallen asleep to it. There are more from this provider which look good.

    • Beethoven With Ocean sounds/Ode To Joy
      Some people dislike the mixture of classical music with nature sounds, but I love it. This is one of my favorites.

    • You can always do a search for music by genre from the main mp3 download page. Classical and new-age categories are good places to start.


  • Rebecca K
    has excellent piano music. I highly recommend any of her CDS. Ordering information is on the site.

  • Whisperings Solo Piano Radio
    Both free and premium streams of piano music.

  • Meditainment
    offers mp3 meditations on a subscription basis, but they do have one meditation available for free. I've used some of their programs and am finding that they are worth the subscription price.

  • Empowered Within
    has several CDS available for sale, and it looks like some of them are available in mp3 format. The one I listened to and used was helpful, but I haven't had a chance to check out many of the others.

  • Soundsleeping.com
    looks like a neat tool, in which you can even mix your own sleep/relaxation soundtrack. It seems to be flash based, which I can't get to work. I don't know how much of that is me, and how much of that is a flash accessibility issue. Your mileage may vary.


Background Information, How-Tos and the basics


These are some basic resources on meditation, imagery and the premises behind them. They are generally not specific to any condition, but will give you some basics on how to get started. Remember, too, that resources in other parts of this list will also contain basic information you may want to use to get started.



Relaxation, Coping and Chronic Pain


The following are some articles which apply relaxation to life with chronic pain. A few of these are more about practical life, and many include relaxation tips.




Previous Posts and My Personal Tips


There are several posts in this blog (a few of which show up in the book), which address relaxation and mindbody aproaches to life with chronic pain. This list includes some of those, but also has some non-link tips which I feel should be mentioned here.



  • Remember that imagery doesn't have to be visual. As a blind person, I found that part of my problem with relaxation techniques were how visual they were. I discussed that with other people who are blind and my relaxation teacher, and we came up with adaptations for me. When I'm picturing my beach, I feel the warm sand and the beach towel. I feel the sun on my skin, the breeze and the warmth. I smell whatever smells I want to be on that beach. I see what I can with my light and color perception and I hear the ocean moving. Almost every relaxation technique can be adapted. Anyone who says it can't forgets that relaxation happens within us, and with the resources we have within us.

  • Use multiple techniques when your pain is bad. This one is my preference, but I think it works. If my pain is really bad, sometimes it takes more to get into a relaxed state. I'll use lavender or other aromatherapy/essential oil blends, heat, medication, elevation, and relaxation techniques. What's important is paying attention to what works in which situations and using it then.

  • Figure out when to do relaxation techniques by yourself and when to add the voice of a "guide". A guide can be the mp3 you downloaded or a friend, family member or other person adding guidance. I have learned that I do better with a guide, but that I should not use a guide when I'm out and about.

  • Don't shunn the idea of affirmations. The imagery for pain I got from
    Health Journeys
    comes with an affirmations track. It's simply a track/mp3 of various statements which you can listen to to help create changes in attitude. I thought that idea was weird, to be honest. Now, I use it, and it helps me feel better emotionally. Maybe that change can be helpful to my perception of my pain, too.

  • Investigate other options. It's good to know what's out there and what could increase your ability to relax. Look at what might be helpful.

  • Change your environment. One thing I find to be helpful is to make sure my environment is conducive to relaxation. Put simply, am I comfortable, is it quiet and do I have time for this? That's a question which is definitely important to ask.

  • Images, stories and pain
    How I use images and stories to deal with my pain.

  • The Value of Acceptance
    this is one of my best posts, and also the hardest to carry out. It discusses acceptance, which is an important concept for dealing with any situation.

  • Junior Year Toolbox/Survival Strategies
    This is an example of how relaxation skills fit into an overall strategy for dealing with life and all its challenges.

  • Further Along In Relaxation Class
    a humorous look at what doesn't work for me.

  • Julio's Notes of Relaxation
    Yep, Julio has an opinion about relaxation and my efforts to engage in it.

  • All posts tagged Relaxation in this blog

Comments

( 7 shots of espresso — Add a shot of espresso )
(Anonymous)
Jan. 26th, 2008 12:12 pm (UTC)
How to Cope with Pain
Nickie - Wonderful list! This is a great resource of exercises and articles. I hope you'll send it in for the next Pain-Blog Carnival, so it can be shared there.
puppybraille
Jan. 27th, 2008 03:57 am (UTC)
Re: How to Cope with Pain
I will definitely send it in, as soon as the next call for submissions comes out! I was wishing I'd thought of this sooner, and exicuted it. I'm glad you liked it!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 26th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
This is an amazing resource list!
Thank you for pulling this together. I thought I knew a lot of techniques for managing my pain, but this list gives me dozens and dozens more.
puppybraille
Jan. 27th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
Re: This is an amazing resource list!
Thanks! I'm glad you think it's useful. Believe it or not, there are a ton more posts, articles and links which I didn't get a chance to use.
anamacha
Jan. 27th, 2008 09:04 am (UTC)
thanks for the great resource!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 28th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
stress
That is a very interesting post on relieving stress! In fact, to find out more about other useful stress relieving techniques, check out http://www.howtorelievestress.org
, they have many great articles and tips to guide you.

capricorn_sistr
Jan. 30th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
A great resource for everyone - I agree!
Thank you for all of your hard work in putting this very detailed list together! Your suggestions cover all of the bases - as they often say, "from soup to nuts!"
( 7 shots of espresso — Add a shot of espresso )

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