Have Fun!

People in pain tend to give up the fun things first. They continue with duties and work until these are all they have left in their lives.

This needs to be reversed. When you are in pain, choose a different path where self-care and fun is a priority. This will help you feel better.

Make a habit of including at least one fun activity each day, such as:

  • Nurture some indoor plants
  • Add to a scrapbook
  • Make something
  • Arrange your photos
  • Master a special dish
  • Muck around with friends
  • Find music you like
  • Schedule radio and TV shows you enjoy
  • Have a chat on the phone with a friend
  • Go to places you love
  • Have a hot chocolate at your favourite café with someone close

The habit of having fun helps you take charge. By scheduling good things into your day, you boost your mood and that helps with pain.

Movement: Managing Pain by Walking

By Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nick Cooke

We believe a walk is as good as an antidepressant. Walking stimulates your brain so you can think more clearly. You will quickly feel better, and you’ll feel proud of yourself and your powerful new habit.

Here’s how you are going to do it. Start Small. Walk a distance you can easily manage: to the letterbox; neighbour’s letterbox; to the corner; around the block; and, perhaps, two blocks.

Do whatever is easy and repeat that every day, stick to your plan and be disciplined. Never do too much – always what you can do with ease. You are building a habit. Each week you can add a little more distance. But only by a tenth (10%) each week. Bit by bit, build your routine over weeks.

Add a little more very gradually. Take your partner, take the dog. Or just take yourself. Every day.

You are walking because:

•  It boosts your mood
•  It helps you think
•  It aids your digestion
•  It helps you sleep
•  It helps your fitness
•  It gets sunlight on your skin
•  It reduces inflammation
•  It calms your nervous system

New Year: A Good Time to Establish Healthy Goals and Habits

By Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nicholas Cooke.

Simple changes can improve the lives of those in chronic pain considerably - make these good habits your own and rewire your pain:

·       Walk daily

·       Pace yourself

·       Increase non-sweaty movement

·       Be mindful

·       Don't worry, train yourself to avoid negative thoughts

·       Focus on nice things

·       Nourish yourself

·       Set great goals

·       Use positive words

·       Be aware of medication impact

Rewiring your pain is possible with a daily set of choices.

Start making those choices now and have a wonderful 2017.

Sleep Well

Disturbed sleep can increase pain, and pain can disturb sleep.

The immune system works best when you get a good night’s sleep.

Here are some tips to get sleep back in the bed:

•       Avoid exercise just before bed

•       Avoid taking daytime naps

•       Have a modest evening meal

•       Adults – avoid stimulants like coffee, nicotine, and tea with caffeine

•       Adults – avoid excess alcohol to reduce snoring and sleep obstruction

•       Associate your bed with sleep and intimacy and nothing else – no electronic screens in your bedroom

•       Read a book using a bedside light until you feel sleepy, then turn the light off and put your head on the pillow

•       Think about pleasant, peaceful things

•       Notice and move on from distracting thoughts

•       Practice relaxation

•       Establish a familiar bedtime routine every night and go to bed at the same time –

get up at the same time every morning if you can

•       If you have a planned early start – go to bed early

Clinical psychologists with an interest in sleep can provide coaching on behavioural options including sleep restriction.

Take Breaks

'Always make time for breaks and split large tasks into manageable portions. 

Tea breaks, rest breaks, daydreaming breaks. If you are in school or university – let your teachers know what you need. Let those breaks be an important time.

Breaks are constructive in achieving goals and completing tasks.'

- Dr Nicholas Cooke

Speaking Event at Fibromyalgia Support Network's High Tea for Hope in Perth

  Rewire Your Pain authors Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nick Cooke were at the Fibromyalgia Support Network's High Tea for Hope in Perth last month. For more information go to:  www.fibronetwork.org.au

Rewire Your Pain authors Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nick Cooke were at the Fibromyalgia Support Network's High Tea for Hope in Perth last month. For more information go to: www.fibronetwork.org.au

The event was a great success - the day filled with laughter, jokes and raffle prizes. We had the chance to engage with guests and answer questions. As Mel, a FSN committee member mentioned in her speech, patients with fibromyalgia need to give themselves permission to shine and they all did. Nick will also be speaking to FSN at the South Perth Library between 11am-1pm, on November 2, 2016. - Dr Stephanie Davies

Reprint for Rewire Your Pain as Sales Exceed 2000

Rewire your pain blue cover

More than 2000 copies of Rewire Your Pain have been sold, since its launch one year ago, and the book has been reprinted in an attractive and calming blue

Rewire Your Pain: An evidence-based approach to reducing chronic pain – a joint collaboration from Dr Stephanie Davies, Dr Nicholas Cooke and Julia Sutton – is packed full of transforming tips on how to manage pain and get the most out of your life. 

"The book offers simple and effective ideas about managing pain that can have a dramatic and positive impact", says Dr Davies.

She said ongoing pain affects many people:

  • 80% of people will experience ongoing pain during their life
  • 70% of people can’t trace the start of their ongoing pain to a single event
  • 15 to 20% of people have pain most days

Dr Stephanie Davies and Dr Nicholas Cooke’s Top Tips to Help Manage Pain

Rewire your pain walking

Turn down the alarm in the central nervous system

Top Tips to Help Manage Pain for People in Pain, and Their Carers

  1. Turn down the ‘alarm’ in the central nervous system. A painful experience triggers a danger message in your brain’s alarm system and the sensitivity can be hard to dial back down to normal. Each day you can gently coach your brain to a peaceful place. 
  2. Focus on some minor everyday actions such as a sip of water or a snack. When ongoing pain disrupts your life, introducing new small daily actions can make big changes to it. 
  3. Avoid stirring up the nervous system by overdoing physical activity, being stressed or angry or focusing on negative thoughts. 
  4. Make good habits part of your daily life. These could be short or long walks (depending on what you can manage). Walking boosts your mood, helps you think clearly, aids digestion, helps you sleep, improves fitness, gets sunlight on your skin, reduces inflammation and calms your nervous system. 
  5. Mindfulness meditation is a simple daily habit you can teach yourself and offers relief from tension and a way to reduce pain. 
  6. Train yourself to worry less. Deal with your worries in a step-by-step approach. Solve problems, resolve issues and conflicts and dissolve your worries. Sometimes sharing with friends helps dissolve them. 
  7. Say no to things you can no longer manage. 
  8. Structure in fun activities to look forward too. This could include music, visiting special places or even gardening. 

Your chance to meet the authors

Dr Nick Cook and Dr Stephanie Davies

Pain Management Experts, Dr Nick Cooke and Dr Stephanie Davies, to Speak on ‘New Frontiers to Rewire Your Pain’ at Fibromyalgia Support Network High Tea for Hope in Perth

Perth-based pain management experts – Dr Nick Cooke and Dr Stephanie Davies— will speak at the Fibromyalgia Support Network (FSN) High Tea on Saturday, 27th August, 2016 at 1.30pm. Each year the FSN hosts a High Tea event to celebrate together and raise awareness of Fibromyalgia.

The doctors, authors of Rewire Your Pain, will present a joint presentation on ‘New Frontiers to Rewire Your Pain.’ 

Rewire Your Pain author Dr Nick Cooke said: “Healthy habits are as good as antidepressants. A daily walk can stimulate the brain, so thoughts are clearer which can help patients feel better and calm the nervous system.”  Rewire Your Pain, the book, has sold several thousand copies.

Dr Cooke and Dr Davies have five top tips for managing pain:

1. Practice mindfulness meditation each day.

2. Avoid situations that incur stress or anger.  Physical activity can relax the nervous system.

3. Concentrate on daily activities and live in the moment, feel the water of the shower etc.

4. Teach yourself to worry less about the small things. 

5. Always remember to have fun and plan activities to enjoy.

FSN President Stuart Woods said: “Fibromyalgia can be a severely debilitating condition; between 4-6% of Australians suffer from it. The High Tea for Hope is our way of celebrating with each other, to form friendships, connect with new members and pass on information.”

FSN is the only support group of its kind for Fibromyalgia in Australia, with members from interstate. There are more than 2000 members, in WA from Karratha to Albany, notably 300 members under 35 years old. The support group was established by Dr Kaye Brand in 2007; she was diagnosed in the 1990’s and found a lack of support on hand that inspired her to form the FSN.

Tickets for the High Tea for Hope can be purchased on the group’s website for $40 www.fibronetwork.org.au or by emailing info@fibronetwork.org.au or Susan@FibroNetwork.org.au. Tables can be reserved for ten guests per table and there will be gluten-free food options available. A raffle will be held along with spot prizes and generous awards on the day. If you suspect your or a loved one may be suffering fromFibromyalgia, please contact us as there are resources available.