In my last blog I was chatting about the extra pain going on at the moment as my bump expands, and how I was struggling a bit with it physically but also mentally as it can all get a tad overwhelming when it’s so constant.
Even though the pain is still rubbish and it is stopping me from doing a lot of the things I would normally be able to do, I am, some of the time, able to handle it better than in my last pregnancy. So this got me thinking, what has changed? It most definitely isn’t that the pain has gone, but things don’t feel just as ‘scary’ as before.
Pilates & Yoga
I will forever be so grateful to Dervla O’Reilly, who used to run CorePlus Physio & Pilates. I remember hobbling up her drive to my first physio appointment, pretty doubtful as every other physio I had encountered up until that stage would just take one look at my notes and my back and stick me under a heat-lamp, too afraid to work on me.
But Dervla took a chance on me and eventually got me into her Pilates classes (which I thought was near impossible at the beginning). I still do a lot of those moves daily to keep my back as mobile as possible.
I am also very lucky that one of my closest friends, Joyce O’Goan at BodyRocStudio is now a fully-fledged Pilates teacher. I really believe that movement (however small) is crucial to health and I try to make time every day to get my Pilates and yoga moves in.
I’ve said this Chinese saying so often to clients and repeat it over and over to myself a lot, “where there is no movement there is pain. Where there is movement, there is no pain.”
Mindfulness & Breathing exercises
I wrote previously about the impact mindfulness had on me from when my brother and his girlfriend bought me a book on it a few years ago, and then I discovered a fantastic 8 week course ran at The Bamboo Loft by Marella Fyffe (who is one heck of an inspirational yoga teacher, see above point). It is a practise I use every time my pain cranks up, it has taught me so much about not running / turning away from my pain but instead caring for myself throughout it and therefore lessening and soothing it… I can’t recommend this technique enough for dealing with pain or stress.
Acupuncture, Cupping and Ear Seeds
I just can’t imagine where I’d be without my needles! To be able to calm my nerves when I’m in the middle of a flare-up, to relax muscle spasms, to help calm my whole body and know that I am speeding up the healing process, is a complete life line to me. The cups are amazing at targeting muscle spasms, easing out sore muscles and bringing blood flow to tight, tense, painful areas.
Ear seeds are another way of working on an area with little direct work when things are just too painful or if I don’t have time to do actual work on the area… they are amazing little things!
I really didn’t understand the importance of staying hydrated for muscle tightness and therefore pain. I thought it was all about skin and mental alertness… but our bodies are over 60% water and if we are properly hydrated it lubricates joints and reduces joint pain and inflammation, never mind eliminating the wastes and toxins that can cause pain. And then there’s the importance of drinking it a room temperature or above.. but I’ve written a whole blog on that alone so I’ll not go into that now lol!
If I wasn’t pregnant I’d be in the infrared sauna once or twice a week, taking my turmeric capsules and CBD oil…. So I know I have those waiting for me too.
It makes such a huge difference having all these ‘tools’ to access and use as much as I can, knowing they can only do me good and absolutely no harm or side-effects, as opposed to just despairing and curling up in a ball, desperately hoping it’ll pass. That bit of control and being able to be proactive has been a total game changer for me.
If any of this rings true for you, get in touch. Pain may feel like a solo journey but you are not alone!