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Diabetes Health Center

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Alternative Treatments for Diabetes Nerve Pain

Relaxation Techniques to Relieve Neuropathy Pain

Stress can make neuropathy pain worse, so it is important to learn to relax. Your breathing pattern is often affected by changes in emotions. That's why managing your breathing is an important tool for relaxation. By becoming familiar with your own breathing patterns, you can learn to control your breathing, stress level, and pain as well.

First, find a quiet location, a comfortable body position, and a good state of mind. Try to block out worries and distracting thoughts.

Relaxation techniques to help with diabetes nerve pain include:

  • Rhythmic breathing: Take long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly, and then exhale slowly. Count slowly to five as you inhale. Then count slowly to five as you exhale. Pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes. This will help you relax even more.
  • Deep breathing: Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling the abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon.
  • Visualized breathing: Find a comfortable place where you can close your eyes. Picture relaxation entering your body -- and tension leaving the body. Breathe deeply, but in a natural rhythm. Visualize the breath coming into your nostrils, going into your lungs. Picture it expanding your chest and abdomen. Then, visualize the breath going out the same way. Each time you exhale, imagine you are getting rid of a little more tension.
  • Relax to music: Put on some music that lifts your mood and that you find soothing and calming. There are specially designed relaxation audio tapes or CDs that are perfect for this.
  • Mental imagery relaxation: This is also called guided imagery. It is a form of "mental escape" in which you create calming, peaceful images in your mind. You also identify self-talk -- your thoughts about your illness -- and focus on positive thoughts and emotions instead.

Hypnosis to Relieve Diabetes Pain

Self-hypnosis is the path to training both mind and body to make a desired change such as controlling diabetes pain. It is a skill that must be learned from a trained therapist and involves focusing attention for a desired purpose. With practice, hypnotizing yourself can be easy. You focus your attention on an image that blocks the perception of pain -- and you feel less pain. Your subconscious has grabbed hold of that message, replaying it time and again. The mind has learned to control the body.

Scientists say hypnosis seems to block nerve pain receptors in the brain. Those receptors control sensations of pain, anxiety, and discomfort. Studies have shown that pain related to cancer, surgery, back injuries, and migraines responds well to hypnosis.

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