Helping you deal with chronic pain

Millions of us live with chronic pain, relying on painkillers in order to cope.

However, complementary therapies can address underlying causes of the pain which your doctor may be unable to identify.

The Bowen Technique is a wonderfully simple and effective tool which can be integrated alongside treatment received through GPs.

Managing and resolving chronic pain and long-standing complex situations often needs complex integrated solutions. The NHS in the North-East of England uses Bowen alongside medication, surgery and physiotherapy, as part of their chronic pain management services.

Bowen therapists work on the fascia, the connective tissue that wraps around muscles, bones and organs. It is thought this can become twisted after injury or illness and be the cause of pain, presenting somewhere in the body, which might not be the original site, known as referred pain.

Bowen Therapist Mary Macfarlane works to release this tension and strives to “unstick the places that are stuck” by stimulating nerves and softening tissue, relieving pain in the process.

Bowen is used by celebrities such as Elle Macpherson, footballer Dwight Yorke, explorer Bear Grylls and even the Chancellor’s wife Frances Osborne.

As well as chronic pain, Bowen therapists also report success with infant colic, bed-wetting, hay-fever and arthritis.

Myofascial Release Therapy, (pronounced ‘myo-fashal’ therapy) sounds like a mouthful of unpronounceable words, but don’t be put off!

Joanna Payne at The Payne Clinic says: “It really works and can profoundly help with many chronic pain conditions.”

Like Bowen, Myofascial Release Therapy centres on the fascia, releasing it anywhere in your body where it has become tight and restricted, causing you pain and loss of movement (either externally or internally, which can be less noticeable).

Fascial restrictions lie at the heart of most chronic pain, whether a result of a physical trauma (accident or surgery), disease or illness, or even emotional trauma. Tight fascia creates a Catch 22 situation where the tight fascia causes pain and the pain tightens the fascia in turn, as your body braces against the chronic pain.

To break that circle, you need to release some of that tightness.

Myofascial Release Therapy feels like deep, slow stretching and releases the fascia at whatever level the body needs it.

Surprisingly, emotional trauma can also be at the root of physical pain. EFT Practitioner Sarah Naylor says, “I’ve often seen clients’ physical pain vanish once emotional issues or trauma have been cleared.”

EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a simple therapy that uses tapping on certain points on the body to clear negative emotions. Sarah, who transformed her own health using EFT, helps clients to identify and clear the issues that may be affecting their health and causing tension and pain in the body. Even when there is a clear physical cause for the pain, for example a slipped disc, our own emotional state and our beliefs about our condition can have a huge effect on the amount of pain we experience and on our ability to heal.