What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

What No One Told Me about Chronic Pain

The pain is the easiest part. In my mid-20s, I consulted an orthopedist when my wrists started to feel warm after typing. He recommended ice packs and ibuprofen. In a thick Brooklyn accent, he asked, “You wanna take a couple days offa work?” The couple days stretched into months, and then years. Though neither of us knew it, this was the beginning of a chronic illness, and his prescription for Advil seems almost quaint to me now. The pain spread from my fingertips to my neck, and I couldn’t press a button or…continue reading →
Conquer Fear of Water and Manage Chronic Pain: Swimming and the Alexander Technique

Conquer Fear of Water and Manage Chronic Pain: Swimming and the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a set of skills that helps improve our performance with less stress and tension. It's a natural complement to swimming. By applying the AT to swimming, students have been able to overcome fear, stroke with greater efficiency, and breathe easily. That's why I am offering a special – you guessed it – Surf & Turf package that combines the two. The Alexander Technique helps to:  Improve the body's coordination, from as "simple" a movement as sitting, to swimming the front crawl.  Improve posture and natural muscle strength.  Dramatically increase…continue reading →
The Importance of Being in Pain

The Importance of Being in Pain

Some people in severe pain can't even fold the laundry, let alone try to keep the house as perfect as you'd see in a Clorox commercial. The dream of a perfect life – unlimited upward mobility, floating in a comfortable financial hammock – all this is off the table, for now at least. The dream has been shattered, so who are you now? The advantage of being in pain, or dealing with a disability like this, is that you aren't waiting to live a more present and meaningful life. You aren't waiting until…continue reading →

Quick Tip for Helping Neck Pain

Here's a quick tip to help with your neck pain. The way we move our head and neck, and even the way we think about our spine and head, determine how much tension accumulates in the neck which often causes pain. In this short video, I'll offer a helpful way of thinking about your neck and head while working and going through your day, so that your head feels less like a bowling ball and more like it's floating on top of your spine. If you're interested in learning more how the body…continue reading →

Why Bother with Compassion for Chronic Pain?

Maybe you think that you'll start to be compassionate with yourself as soon as you get over this injury, or as soon as this repetitive stress injury heals and you can get back to work or playing violin. Sometimes it can feel that by "accepting" our pain or injury, that we are somehow condoning it or giving up on trying to get better. In my experience, it's exactly the opposite. When we invest both in the physical aspect of the healing process (whether it's Alexander Technique or physical therapy or exercise), AND invest in healing…continue reading →
Good Pain Management Is Not Micromanagement

Good Pain Management Is Not Micromanagement

As anyone who has been asked to select from the adjectival menu at a Pain Management clinic, you know that pain comes in many flavors: burning, sharp, throbbing, tingling, dull, achy, intermittent, roving. It’s like a torturer’s crossword puzzle! Regardless of its unique characteristic, we almost universally try and stop the pain, stuff it back down, or mute it somehow. It's only normal – it's only human to want to feel less pain. However, most of our knee-jerk reactions to pain involve some kind of tightening, bracing, or stiffening. This makes a great…continue reading →