Taking Natural Pain Relief to the Next Level: Becoming Athletic Again

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

June 19th, 2010 • Mind-Body MedicinePrint Print

With the exception of some setbacks here and there, I’ve gotten myself to the point that I have no pain or, at most, mild pain, doing functional activities like cooking, doing laundry, cleaning, typing, sleeping, walking, and going up and down stairs — activities that used to be challenging if not impossible for me to do. Not only am I not taking pharmaceuticals these days, but I’m not even taking supplements except in the case of pain flares, and I’m only jumping in a jacuzzi once a week.

In addition, I have for the most part recovered from the thigh/groin injury I sustained working with a personal trainer about half a year ago. So I’m ready to get back in the saddle and once more pursue taking my natural pain relief to the next level: becoming athletic again.

In my late teens and 20s, I jogged up to 12 miles at a shot, swam up to 6 miles at a shot, and biked up to 60 miles at a shot. I hiked, camped, trained in full-contact self-defense, and danced for hours and hours straight – with little or no break in-between.  I feel fear when I think about biking or hiking today, because I never know if I might experience a pain flare when I’m far from home — which will make it difficult to get back to safety. But as I have challenged myself before, I intend to once again move forward in baby steps:

For example, I can bike on the roads, not on the beach, until I feel strong enough to get back on the path. And instead of hiking out into the hills, I can begin by walking on the beach or staying within half a mile of the parking lot in nature areas.

I have this vision of myself: I wake up at 6:30 am, eat breakfast, drink coffee, take a hot shower,  do a gentle morning dance routine, bike about 6-9 miles, then come back and do gentle Feldenkrais and physical therapy exercises with weights, until about 9:30 am. At that time, I start my work day, taking a break mid-day, at about 2:00 pm, do a longer dance routine, and go for a walk. I continue working until about 6:00 pm, when I eat dinner and relax for the evening, going out a few times a night. I start winding down at about 10:00 pm, doing meditation and some gentle movement, and I go to sleep around 11:00 pm.

The problem is that I have this stubborn resistance to going to sleep before the early morning hours. But I’m going to keep putting it out there that I want to change my ways, and I’m going to keep setting my mind on this new lifestyle, until I manifest it. I’ll keep you posted how it goes. But now, I’m going to get my ass into some biking shorts and go for a gentle ride.

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