Laniece Clausell’s 5 Mind-Body Approaches to Easing Pain
In her role as an anchor therapist with Lucid Lane, Laniece Clausell, LCSW, offers virtual surgery pain management services for clients who have an upcoming surgery. With Lucid Lane’s support, clients are able to receive evidence-based services for stress and anxiety while also having an exit plan for prescribed pain medicine following their procedures.
Laniece coaches her clients on alternative approaches to pain management, including many mind-body therapies that have been proven to ease pain. “A large portion of my patients have opted not to use opioids because they feel that the treatment modalities and exercises we do in sessions are effective and sufficient to control their pain without medication,” she says. These include:
1. Guided imagery
Also known as visualization, this science-backed technique invites people to imagine their pain retreating. “Really focusing on the positive in your life—the good things—can distract you from feeling pain,” Laniece explains. “If you teach someone how to focus on a positive memory, it’s helping the patient learn how to refocus their attention off the ache.” Practically speaking, guided imagery can take a person from focusing on their pain to visualizing a peaceful scene in which their body is able to move freely. Engaging all the senses—sight, sound, smell, hearing, tasting—can help deepen the experience, which can be done in just 10 minutes a day.
“If you teach someone how to focus on a positive memory, it’s helping the patient learn how to refocus their attention off the ache.”
2. Mindfulness meditation
Experts say that practicing mindfulness is to live in the present moment without passing judgment. Staying in the “here and now” can prevent people from overthinking their pain and putting too much focus on it—for fear of what it may become in the future. “When patients learn how to breathe effectively, they can increase their focus and concentration, center their thoughts, and balance emotional/mental health–all while gaining better control over pain,” Laniece says.
3. Deep breathing
Breathing exercises have been shown to relax the body’s major muscle groups and decrease stress hormones. For people experiencing pain, learning to hone in on the breath is especially important, as it can promote healthy blood flow, release toxins, and usher in restorative sleep. According to research and evidence from patient feedback, Diaphragmatic breathing is a deep-breathing exercise that works by activating the parasympathetic system, which controls your body’s relaxation response.
Improved flexibility, reduced inflammation, and decreased pain perception are among the many benefits of this ancient Indiana practice. Classes usually open with mindfulness exercises and weave together meditation and breathing exercises for a well-rounded approach to healing. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that people with chronic low back pain benefitted from a weekly yoga class to increase mobility more than standard medical care.
5. Pain Coaching
Pain Coaching involves efforts to change thinking patterns, and it is one of the key components of Lucid Lane’s pain management philosophy. “Pain coaching is based on the idea that problems stem in part from faulty thinking patterns,” Laniece explains. “So in regard to pain; first, it changes the way people view their pain. It can change the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors related to pain, improve coping strategies, and put the discomfort in a better context.”
Whether it’s with deep breathing, music, or yoga, these mind-body therapies for pain management can set patients up on a path for success. To learn more about the personalized programs, support, and mind-body therapies that Lucid Lane offers its members, click here.