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Emotional Wellness & Intelligence: Tips & Goals To Help You Treat Pain & Feel Better About Yourself

We talk all the time about looking our best, but feeling our best is just as important.

Sometimes, not knowing the truth about something of immediate importance can create some of the most intense stress, former chronic pain sufferer Janet Komanchuk told us.

"For me, being diagnosed with fibromyalgia was a relief - it meant that I had a name for my chronic pain," explained Komanchuk, whose pain was so intense over a period of several years that she had to quit her job.

"My diagnosis meant I wasn't crazy, that the pain wasn't 'all in my head,' as some had suggested. It meant that my flu-like symptoms, accompanied by intense waves of pain, finally had form and dimension. I understood I was just one of many suffering with chronic pain that at last had a name."

"When medical leave, morphine patches, codeine and myriad pharmaceuticals brought no relief, I tried a different approach in combination with medical treatment," explained Komanchuk, who has since enjoyed more than 13 years of pain-free and prescription-free living. 

Through the years, Komanchuk has learned a thing or two about dealing with the psychological trauma of illness. She recently shared her tips to keep in mind for those suffering from an indeterminate condition:

Trust in yourself. "At times, the pain was so intense that I was certain my flesh was tearing away from my bones," Komanchuk said, who was just like the more than 100 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, which costs nearly $600 billion annually in medical treatments. "Trust in yourself, for you know what you're feeling," she said. "Don't fall victim to the judgment and criticism of others who doubt your illness and the limitations it places on you or your activities."

Don't quit! Despite the immense scope of chronic pain, very little is spent on research to find better ways to manage pain. "Yes, the pain was excruciating, debilitating and fatiguing, yet I still felt as though my life had the potential for vitality." Convinced that there was hope for her in overcoming fibromyalgia, she persisted in her search for wellness answers.

Seriously consider alternatives. Komanchuk was able to achieve what she thought was impossible - permanent and lasting mind-body-spirit wellness. She had been to orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, rheumatologists, psychologists, underwent MRIs and took all manner of medications for her unbearable pain. In a narrow sense, it would seem as though she exhausted her options - until she looked beyond traditional Western medicine. Alternative treatment guided her to recognize the layers of stress throughout her life that she believes were a primary driver of her chronic pain. 

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