Do you have a dog? Or a cat? Or maybe something more exotic? (My friend Celia has llamas!)
We have a dog, Bez, he's a toy Manchester Terrier and is 12 pounds of toughness if there's a motorcycle nearby, or pure love when there's not! He's almost 5 years old and makes me smile every day!
It's widely known that pet ownership is good for your health.
Petting a dog or a cat has been shown to decrease blood pressure. Walking a pet improves your cardio fitness. Even taking care of an animal encourages connection and boosts feelings of well-being.
But, how does this work?
We've been exploring chronic pain over the past few weeks and the research shows biochemical changes in people who have been experiencing pain for 3 months or longer. In fact, this is the definition of chronic pain - if you've been feeling pain for 3 months or longer, you have chronic pain.
The body recognizes that it shouldn't be feeling these symptoms of pain and so biochemical and even anatomical changes in the brain can occur in response to these symptoms. What these changes do is perpetuate the cycle. It's almost like the body says, "Yes, yes, I get it. We're in pain!" And then EXPECTS to be feeling these symptoms.
That's NOT ok!
In order to break this cycle of chronic pain, we have to reverse these biochemical and anatomical changes. This is ESSENTIAL for recovery!
Why then is this not widely known?
If you've had pain for over 3 months, has anyone told you that you have chronic pain?
If not, why not?
The strategies needed to resolve CHRONIC pain are very different from those used to resolve acute or subacute pain (pain lasting less than 3 months).
In order to reverse the biochemical changes caused by chronic pain, seek out activities that decrease stress hormones and boost happy hormones. This will help to rebalance the abnormal biochemistry.
If you have a pet, spend some quality time with them today! Either petting them, walking them, grooming them (if it's something they enjoy!) or just hanging out with them! This WILL decrease your stress hormones and boost your happy hormones, including your endorphins!
Start breaking the pain cycle today!
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Did you know that my book, Tennis Elbow Relief supports an animal rescue? Get your copy here and help a pup in need.