Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pain empathy

This pain in my rib hurts with every breath I take. It is constantly on my mind, it makes me grumpy, it takes me out of my normal routine, and it occupies my mind making it difficult to be creative or thoughtful or compassionate. One positive outcome: it is helping me understand the experience of pain.

In Iyengar’s book Light on Yoga, he writes about the niyamas. Niyamas are the 2nd limb of Ashtanga and make up the individual disciplines (Yamas, the 1st limb, are universal ethical disciplines). One of niyamas is Santosa, meaning contentment. Iyengar says, “Santosa or contentment has to be cultivated. A mind that is not content cannot be cultivated.” And a mind distracted by pain cannot be content!

After some desperate googling I came across Epsom salts. A quick PubMed search came up with ZERO on Epsom salts for muscle pain, but I found a few answers on the Internet (though not sure of the science behind them). Epsom salts are made up of magnesium sulfate, which readily absorb through your skin helping bind “toxins” and reduce inflammation. I ran out to RiteAid and bought two big jugs, put 2 cups into hot water, and soaked for about 20 minutes. 

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I should go stock up on this too! I just pulled my back out last Friday and it was awful! I have been so worried about it but thankfully I was able to wear my husband's back brace (from when he had lower back pain) to stabilize myself. I used ice too and my Topricin natural pain cream. It is awesome to help with the pain and with inflammation! Always wondered about the Epsom salts.