One thing I notice is the huge array of topics that I actually write on on this blog. I don’t see this as an issue, I just think that some people might not realise how diverse the posts become. Today, I don’t want to talk about gaming or role-playing, I want to chat about my health.
As you might be aware, and I probably should stop talking about it so much, I suffer with atypical facial neuralgia. There is a video below if you want to check out what it actually is. Anyway, in order to try and reduce the frequency of the attacks and the pain levels I have started to try some alternative approaches and, although I made a video about it as well, I felt I wanted to write about it here.
Time for a change
I have to start this post by saying that although I have a chronic medical condition, there is nothing medically which is causing it. I have been to doctors, consultants and had numerous scans and tests – I am fine. I just wanted to make it clear that I had checked out all the medical avenues and consulted before trying some of the approaches.
Many people have mentioned the use of essential oils to me to support many conditions. I often have some eucalyptus and tea-tree oils in my burner when I have a head cold and lavender has always helped me sleep better.
Using coconut as a base oil I have been mixing a skin rub for the side of my face and using oils in my burner. I think it helps me keep calm and relaxed and also helps with the initial anxiety/panic when the pain starts again.
I cant say for sure that it is reducing the frequency or intensity of the pain but I definitely smell better as does my flat!
While checking the internet about pain management, I came across a technique called ‘tapping’. Tapping is also known as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). I had already encountered something similar to this when engaging with strategies to do with my anxiety, so I was willing to give it a go.
It is very interesting. I’m not an expert but while speaking aloud focusing on the negative and then the positive you ‘tap’ various pressure points on your body – hand, eyebrow, side of the eye, under the eye, under the nose, chin, collar bone, under the arm and top of the head. It is a really interesting technique and is used for a lot more than just pain relief.
For me, I think it is really supporting my anxiety as well as my pain or how I react to the pain. Some of the chapters in the book are very interesting and I can actually relate very strongly to a lot of what is being said.
I’m actually engaging with it on a daily basis and I do feel better about things – I might even see if I can address my anxiety and lack of self confidence with it as well.
All about the chi
I’ve always been interested with the religions and practices of the far east. Although I did try a martial art for two years (TaeKwonDo) – I never really got very far with, finding it hard to get the aggression to actually hit people!
Many people engage with Yoga to support their relaxation and flexibility, but I have always found this not to work. I am very inflexible and sometimes it is difficult to actually do some of the moves.
I always enjoyed the patterns in Tae Kwon Do – so I have started to look at Tai Chai and Qigong.
Qigong practice typically involves moving meditation, coordinating slow-flowing movement, deep rhythmic breathing, and a calm meditative state of mind.
I am currently doing a basic QiGong starting routine every morning. There is a lot of breathing, which is always positive and some movement which actually supports my ageing joints. Again I’m enjoying it and feel that I need to learn more about chi (qi) and the philosophy in order to understand it better. It is definitely on my ‘to-do’ list.
I am not saying for one moment that doing all of these alternative approaches will stop my facial neuralgia. For me it is more about improving my health and overall quality of life. I do take medication for my condition as well, which does help, but I want to try everything and leave no door unopened.
No doubt, I will eventually write another one of these updates to keep you informed, so if you are interested in these approaches then do sign up for the monthly newsletter – if I can keep up with it!
Any questions and/or comments do pop them in the comments below or catch me on any of the social media platforms I frequent.
Stay safe and healthy.