The funny things about Chronic pain..is that it is always present. It is always there, behind every smile, every chore, every wince, every meeting or chat on the phone. It is there. In the background…stealing the joy. Reminding you to not move that way, not laugh too hard…to not live as well as you could.
This post is in no way going to lie to you and tell you to do these 3 simple things and your pain will be gone…POOF in 5 minutes. We both know that is not true. But there are things that you CAN do as a chronic pain or chronic condition person that can help you adjust your pain levels, so that you can do more, have more and be more of who you really are outside the pain.
Infra-Red Sauna Blanket.
I bought this beauty 18 months ago. I did a fair amount of research into how infra-red heat helps with pain relief for chronic pain. So here is what I have discovered. It is true. On my high fibromyalgia flare days, my pain is all over my whole body. My understanding of fibromyalgia is that it is so individual that what works for one person, doesn’t for another. No-one really knows what causes it, there are a lot of theories, but it basically comes down to your nerves. The nerves under your skin, and throughout your body are firing sending signals to your brain that it interprets as pain. Why do they send these signals…no-one really knows…but they do. Is the pain really there, or is it a misfire…To be honest I don’t really care. All I know is that your nerves cannot feel two things at once.
The infra-red radiation heat blanket sends the heat into your bones, deep into the tissues of your body…and because they cannot feel two things at once…the heat over rides the pain and you get pain relief.
It is bliss. It takes about 10 minutes for me to be in that blanket for me to feel that relief and the relief lasts very nicely for about 2 hours and I have less pain for about 12-24 hours after a 1 hour sauna.
I purchased mine from Ebay and they are around $180-$250 AUD. Mine has 3 Zones so I can change the heat settings depending on what I need and where. No I do not sell them, I am only telling you what I use. Similar to this one.
Alternate theories of fibro suggest an inability to get rid of excess toxins in your cells through, so the sauna blanket helps detox your body, thus alleviating the toxin load and relieving pain that way. Sweat is one pathway for detoxification. It has also been suggested that infra-red radiation helps activate the mitochrondia in your cells and therefore increases a cells ability to function. So long term use is said to benefit cellular activity, and therefore also help with chronic ailments.
All I know is that I love mine. It helps me with my pain management, circulation, detox and I feel better after a session. There are some days when the pain in my arms, legs and ankles is so great, that I can barely move. Having a sauna helps get me through. I lie on my bed, watch something on Netflix and just relax. Make sure you have a water bottle with a little salt in it, the phone nearby and set aside the time to use it.
I used my sauna 3-4 times a week in the beginning and then I found 1-2 times a week was enough to maintain the benefits. For me, I have to time it with my migraines. Some migraines heat helps…others need an icepack on my head. So I have that to work around.
I hope that you have found this useful.
Please note: if you are pregnant or have a chronic illness like lupus, heat is not recommended for treatment. Please speak to your doctor to see if Infra-red heat may be of benefit to you.