The Art of Living with Chronic Pain speaks to the needs of those individuals facing the daily complexities of living with chronic pain. Andrea Bowen has lived with chronic pain since 1974.
The CDs (or download) and accompanying 28-page booklet offer a powerful process designed to help folks live constructively with the pain. There are no empty promises given here, only a process and information for them to use at their own pace.
The Process takes listeners to deep levels of relaxation where they can explore the pain and their relationship to it. Regaining control over their response to pain over time leads listeners out of any sense of helplessness into feeling hopeful again. The recording allows time for exploration and discovery, providing the foundation for forming a healthier, more balanced relationship with the pain and the responses to it. Truly getting to know all the tiny facets and details of pain evolves into a sense of peaceful co-existence instead of the tug-of-war, who's in charge here conflicts. Pain perceptions change.
"I found it was the everydayness of pain: the relentless, often illogical qualities that over and over continued to pull me out of the mainstream of life. I had read a few books on chronic pain, searched out many opinions and done the best I could at the time. Trapped in a sequential pain cycle, from which I felt helpless to extricate myself, the question I kept asking was, "How can I function in the world with the amount of pain I am in?" And as the days became longer and my suffering deepened, I knew I needed more. Therefore, I share "the more" with you as this process on the CD has allowed me to function in the world."
“For anyone who has ever felt a victim of “the mind/body problem” of a complete failure in the “battle of mind over matter,” Bowen’s material serves as an invaluable, integrative tool. Learning to live with your pain results in resonant, pain-free living.”
“In a voice that rings true out of her own depth of experience, Andrea Bowen attempts the very difficult: to guide us toward a radical, personal inner change. In the most direct way she tells us the steps to take toward a fresh and liberating relationship to pain. The voice in this tape reminds me of the wise guides in the myths and fairy tales I read as a child. Listening, the inner “hero” of “heroine” can learn How to Approach It, How to Talk to It; and even if not always how to win through completely, How to Live with It as part of a meaningful life.”
“After sustaining a work-related back injury and receiving years of chiropractic therapy, I was in the habit of taking Tylenol or aspirin every night before turning in to bed. But on the evening that I first used these tapes, I became so relaxed and free of pain that I hit the stop button on my tape recorder instead of hitting the medicine cabinet.”
Andrea has lived with chronic pain for over 45 years and continues to refine her pain management strategy to this day. Her Masters thesis centered on the psychological aspects of chronic pain. She was a biofeedback therapist and counselor for 8 years and worked with others suffering with chronic pain. Andrea retired after running a preventive adventure-based K-5 school Guidance program for 19 years. She volunteers at the Veterans Administration in her home state of Maine. There, she tells her “gritty little pain story” in hopes it will be helpful to others.
My dismal success rate in managing my pain indicated that something was missing. My concept had always been that pain was bad, something to be shunned and feared. I had linked this with the expectation that all pain could be taken away or controlled by surgery or medication. My pain certainly wouldn't last longer than was useful as a warning signal that something serious was wrong! I had tried living with it, ignoring it, or just putting it aside and getting on with life. This strategy for pain control was unsuccessful over and over again. The fight against the pain was exhausting me and it seemed as though my options had run out. I was going to be in pain for the rest of my life.
To say that accepting this fact was difficult would be an understatement. To view a lifetime with pain was overwhelming. However, I was able to accept the fact that, for today, I have pain and, in order to live my life, I had to find the courage to change the way I was looking at the pain. Acceptance of the pain as a fact of life, for today, helped bring me into the here and now. It brought the pain into the present and helped me get on with assessing my priorities.
We must remain creative in the way we look at our lives with pain. For me, pain management is a reality, filled with ups and downs, a flow of life events and pain events. Pain "control" implies enclosure and requires ultimately being devoured by the pain. Changing the way I attend to the pain or respond to it is key. This change, however, has many dimensions and has led me on a journey I never before imagined, one which led to a healthy relationship with pain.
The CDs include general relaxation skills for living with chronic pain, guided instructions to relax around, into and then through the pain, cognitive skills (changing what you think about your pain) and how to move your attention away from the pain.
A woman’s voice, soft and serene.
It is designed for any type of chronic pain and can be part of your overall pain managment strategy.
It is a 2 cd set, with the first cd approximately 53 minutes and the second approximately 38 minutes.
Cognitive skills involve changing your thinking concerning your pain.
Instead of focusing your attention on your pain, shift your attention and focus on other things. Pain is always trying to get our attention, and while sometimes this is a good thing, at other times it is very useful to be able to shift attention away from the pain. Pain management requires having many skills to choose from.
The skills you will learn from the CDs, “The Art of Living With Chronic Pain,” will become part of your pain management strategy. The hope is that your suffering will decrease and your perception of the pain will change for the better.
My ability to manage my pain was awful. I was desperate to find something other than surgery and drugs, so I turned to biofeedback where I first experienced deep muscle relaxation and the concept of responding to the pain rather than reacting to it. I then explored deeper levels of consciousness through a process called Guided Imagery and Music with a therapist where I discovered relaxing around the pain, into the pain and through the pain. I also recognized that I was in an unhealthy relationship with the pain and began to look at how to bring balance back into that pain relationship.
Our powerful yet simple to implement pain management techniques were designed so that all chronic pain sufferers can use it. Learning these techniques require practice and commitment.
Since the pain was my only constant companion, I realized I had already developed a relationship with the pain. Now I needed to bring some balance to my pain relationship since the pain was calling all the shots. I was unable to manage the pain until our relationship improved. I needed to get to “know” it better..
Andrea has an M.A. in Counseling with her thesis on the Psychological Aspects of Chronic Pain. She also has many years of personal experience managing her chronic pain.
Yes - relaxation, imagery, cognitive skills and distraction skills are accepted in the pain community.
You must consult your physician to make this decision and keep the current component of your pain managment program that are beneficial to you.
Consult your physician. Remember, medication can be a useful part of your pain managment program.
No, listen to whatever part(s) you feel comfortable with at this time.
It’s fine, you probably needed it. As you know, chronic pain can be tiring.
Andrea is beginning to write on issues facing folks with chronic pain. She volunteers at the Veterans Administration in her home state of Maine. There, she tells her “gritty little pain story” as part of their pain management program.
Yes we would gladly speak to you about our multiple discount offerings for the CDs and booklet, "The Art of living with Chronic Pain". 30 copies or more would be $19.95 each.
21 Maxwell Road
Weld, ME 04285-9720
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