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Are self-healing techniques (Mental Tools, Guided Imagery, Reiki etc) helpful in pain management?
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steve500 posted:
I was in a car accident a few months ago and mostly recovered. However, I still suffer from considerable pains and aches and occasionally headaches too. I do use OTC pain medication, but don't want to become dependent on it.

Has anyone practiced self-healing visualization techniques such as "mental tools", "guided imagery" and reiki? What is the difference between them and which one is most effective? Any recommendations for books?
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ctbeth responded:
You will not become dependent on OTC analgesics.

It can take months for post-injury aches and pains to resolve on their own

Have you been evaluated by an MD to assure that your injuries are, indeed, going to get better.

There is a gentleman participating in this group who has has successful results using biofeedback.
 
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abzaky responded:
As ctbeth noted earlier, you won't become dependent on OTC pain medication. However, as a physical therapy practitioner, I know many people who use some of the techniques that you mentioned above, some with extraordinary results. I don't believe in feel-good stuff of some techniques, but the mind-body connection is real. Especially, with the "mental tools" techniques you can experience the cessation in pain as you practice it. Here's my take on the three that you referred to:

Reiki: Personally, it is hard for me to believe in any of that stuff. I read those books, but the concept of a healer sending the energy remotely sounds science-fiction to me.

Guided Imagery: Some people I know have used it successfully though with varied results. Involves visualizing a positive end result.

Mental Tools: This takes a radical approach and involves visualizing yourself as a surgeon and using "mental tools" such as a surgeon's scalpel, to remove the ailing body part first, and then visualizing the regrowth with healthy cells. (It is a bit more complex than that, but that is in nutshell). Honestly I can't fully explain why it works, but this is enormously more effective than all other techniques that I practiced. Probably, the body's fight or flight response goes into fighting mode when you imagine a scalpel.

Hope this helps!
 
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steve500 replied to abzaky's response:
Thanks, you may be correct that mental-tools based self-healing is faster and effective than passive visualization. I have just started practicing based on a book I found in online books stores. The author calls mental tools techniques as "active visualization" as opposed to "passive visualization". I still have to get the full hang of what the author calls the "zone", but it seems that even trying to reach that state is being helpful to me in reducing pain levels.
I think that the "zone" is similar to a deeply meditative state or a self-hypnotic state, except it seems that with the mental tools techniques the subconscious (and the body immune system) is in auto-drive mode focused intensely on pain relief. Well, I just started, but seems to have promise... will keep this forum posted on my progress. Thanks again for guidance.


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