Don’t Take a Vacation from Neuropathy Self Care During the Holidays!
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone, whether it’s the positive stress of gathering with loved ones or a more negative experience due to personal hardships. Of course, most of us have a mixed experience of both positive and negative stressors during the holidays.
When you are suffering from the discomfort of neuropathic pain, holiday stress can take an even bigger toll—not just emotional but physical. You’re likely to be feeling more fatigue or a chronic pain flare-up during this time.
It may seem that neuropathy self care is just another stressor during the holidays. Sticking to your at-home treatment protocol of a healthy diet, nutritional supplements, light exercise, and mindfulness practice may seem like an imposition or even just another thing on your rapidly growing to-do list!
But the truth is, the most positive step you can take to reduce neuropathy symptoms during the holidays is to prioritize your neuropathy self care above all else.
If you’ve already fallen off the wagon in terms of your neuropathy self care plan, then it’s important to realize that you don’t have to wait for a New Year’s resolution to get back on. You can start right now.
And if that feels too overwhelming, then remember that you can add in healthy habits just one at a time. Every small improvement will have a cumulative effect on your well-being and help reduce neuropathy symptoms.
Need a refresher about the basics of good neuropathy self care? Here are a few key elements of your at-home care to reduce neuropathy symptoms and holiday stress:
- A diet focused on protein and vegetables, with fewer carbs and unhealthy fats
- Good hydration with plenty of water
- Light exercise as prescribed by your medical team or NeuropathyDR® clinician, possibly including stretching, yoga, or other low-impact activities
- Relaxation exercises or meditation
Above all, try to maintain focus on the joys and pleasures of the holiday season and let go of any preconceptions about how things should go.
To read more about at-home neuropathy self care, take a look at our neuropathy “owner’s manual”: I Beat Neuropathy!
Neuropathy Self Care is Vital During the Holidays is a post from: #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment
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You Are the Missing Link In Your Neuropathy Treatment If You Are Not Implementing This Self Care Component!
The best neuropathy treatment plan is a simple one. In part, that’s because the simplest plan is the one you are likely to follow… and you are the person most responsible for your health, even (or especially) when it comes to chronic pain and neuropathy.
When you become accountable for your own successful neuropathy treatment, you will empower yourself to make significant and beneficial lifestyle changes that are the foundation of good nerve health.
One example is the NeuropathyDR Diet, which is so straightforward that you’ll not only feel much better as you follow it, you’ll even save money on groceries! This diet supports other self care protocols that you can do at home, from neurostim to stretching and other gentle exercises.
The key is to make improvements every week that lead to a gradual but significant change in how you feel so that chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms are reduced over time.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get off the self care track, especially this time of year. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll go back to the neuropathy treatment plan (diet, hydration, exercises) right after that party, or on New Year’s Day. It’s tempting to think that just a little cheat here and there won’t make a difference. You might even decide that taking a break from your self care protocol is being “kind” to yourself and that you “deserve” it.
The truth is, you deserve a life free from chronic pain and neuropathy symptoms.
What would you do to be rid of the numbness, tingling, and pain forever? What wouldn’t you do?
Ultimately, the state of your health is up to you. It probably took you years to enter a gradual health decline, and it takes time to significantly improve your health through an effective neuropathy treatment plan. Every act of self care, every single day, is what will get you there.
For more information about what you can do at home to supplement professional neuropathy treatment, take a look at our Self-Guided Care page.
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Holiday stress can contribute to worsening of neuropathy symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about how to effectively cope at this time of year.
Hands down, the holidays are one of the most stressful events we encounter in our lives… and they come every year, just like clockwork!
That’s true for anyone, but it’s also true that people with neuropathy related to diabetes or chemotherapy cancer treatment may have higher stress levels than most. In this situation, without a strategic self-care in place, you may be feeling far from thankful or joyful. Holiday stress can add a physical burden to your already overburdened body.
But there’s good news. Holiday stress can be significantly reduced with just a little advance planning. Here’s how you can reduce the impact of the holidays on your neuropathy symptoms.
First, begin by understanding the physical toll that stress takes on your body’s systems. Whether it’s mentally or physically based, stress activates the release of hormones that tell your liver to create glucose, which can wreck your blood sugar levels if you’re diabetic. What’s more, people who are stressed and tired are more likely to ignore their glucose levels or stick to a diabetes-friendly diet.
The second strategy for reducing neuropathy aggravating stress during the holidays is to know yourself and what is most stressful for you. Do what you can to control and minimize your exposure to stressful situations. For example, if driving during rush hour frays your nerves, try to vary your route to work to avoid some of that traffic or leave home at a different time than usual. Or consider alternatives, such as public transportation or carpooling. If you hate to cook but feel obligated to provide a lavish Thanksgiving meal, think of a different way to accomplish the same goal, such as ordering an already prepared turkey or asking a family member to share the cooking responsibilities this year.
Third, it’s a great idea from a neuropathy treatment standpoint to teach yourself a couple of simple relaxation exercises now so that they are easily accessed in your memory when you really need them. Start by reconnecting with your breathing—not by trying to change the pattern of your breath, but simple noticing how it feels to breathe. Spend at least twenty seconds relaxing into your breathing pattern. Progressive relaxation, in which you tense the muscles of each part of your body and then relax them, can also be an effective way to deal with holiday stress.
Be sure to talk with your NeuropathyDR® clinician about the best ways for you personally to minimize holiday stress. He or she will be able to prescribe specific types of exercise, supplements, and healthy eating that can support you best during the stress of the holiday season.
If you need help connecting with a NeuropathyDR® clinician in your area who can effectively monitor and treat your neuropathy, click here.
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Neuropathy is a growing problem worldwide. Inevitably, that means there are plenty of products out there being marketed as effective neuropathy treatments.
From pill-based supplements to creams, elixirs, and various types of gadgets, the marketplace is filled with things you can buy that are supposed to help reduce your neuropathy symptoms or even make them go away completely. This glut of products is directly related to the growing numbers of people suffering from systemic illnesses, like diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which tend to include neuropathy as a side effect.
The good news is that health conditions like these can be directly impacted through your own lifestyle choices, including reducing sugar and carbohydrates, reducing dairy, and being physically active. The best neuropathy treatments turn out to be the ones you have the most control over!
You’ve probably already experienced the fact that doctors today tend to offer medication as a first line of defense. Just take this pill, they seem to say, and your problem will be solved. Unfortunately, medications often come with their own set of side effects.
What are the lessons learned here?
One, use good common sense when you’re evaluating at-home neuropathy treatments. Is there information available about the science behind that supplement or device? Have others used it with good results? Talk with your clinician about the efficacy of the device or supplement you’re considering.
Two, there is plenty you can do to positively impact your health just through nutrition, exercise, and good self-care practices. These choices can be a great supplement to neuropathy treatments in your clinician’s office. When you combine a healthy lifestyle with scientifically based home care tools, you’ll be in great shape for beating your neuropathy.
Have you read about our NDGen Home Care Kit? This exclusive FDA-approved package bundles together everything you need for excellent home care, and we offer an unbeatable value in 24/7 support. Hands down, this kit is the best among self-care neuropathy treatments. Check out the NDGen Home Care Kit here.
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It’s all too easy to avoid dealing with symptoms of neuropathy in feet, fingers, or elsewhere, but here’s why it’s so important to address these symptoms quickly.
Sometimes I find that my patients have been ignoring new symptoms, such as neuropathy in feet or fingertips. I understand why—maybe it has to do with not wanting to acknowledge the symptom and hoping it will go away. Or maybe your experience with medical issues has taught you that there’s “nothing you can do” about neuropathy pain and tingling.
But here’s the thing. That tingling isn’t going to go away. Eventually, it’s going to get worse…. unless you seek diagnosis and treatment. Why not decide to start feeling better today?
The fact is that for many people, neuropathy in feet, fingers, or other areas CAN be effectively treated. The key is in seeking a trained Neuropathy DR clinician who can take into account the unique circumstances of your symptoms, in the context of your medical history and your current needs, and craft a custom treatment protocol for you.
What if there’s no Neuropathy DR clinician in your area? Then the next best thing is effective self-care with an informed change in health habits, coupled with effective in-office therapies from your doctor (and perhaps a long-distance consult between your doctor and a Neuropathy DR expert). Nutrition can make a huge difference in neuropathy symptoms, for example. Did you know that many patients experience a significant positive change by reducing or eliminating dairy or gluten from their diets?
I’ve put together a guide just for people like you that offers a step-by-step introduction to what neuropathy really means and how you can overcome it. If you have symptoms of neuropathy in feet or other areas, I encourage you to take a look at my book, I Beat Neuropathy.
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Ease the pain of neuropathy in feet with a simple yoga practice—even if you’ve never done yoga before.
Peripheral neuropathy can be an aggravating and chronic condition, and it’s tough to treat using traditional medications. But there’s a treatment you can do on your own—in a class, or at home—that can be very beneficial over time, and that’s gentle yoga.
Yoga isn’t just about spiritual growth or physical fitness anymore. Many neuropathy patients are finding that simple yoga poses can alleviate uncomfortable tingling or numbness in the fingers and toes. Best of all, many basic yoga poses are easy to learn and don’t require special equipment.
Some of the benefits of a regular yoga practice include:
- Increased circulation to the hands and feet. Many yoga poses use the pull of gravity to shift habitual blood flow patterns, particularly to the feet. (Don’t worry, this doesn’t require a headstand!)
- Improved body self-awareness. A regular yoga practice can help you connect with your body sensations and really notice what your body is telling you.
- Relaxation and peacefulness. A simple, non-strenuous yoga practice for 10 to 30 minutes before bed can help you relax and sleep better. Or, if you prefer, use yoga as a gentle wake-up practice in the morning to set a peaceful tone for your day.
In general, yoga is a wonderful form of self-care that can be modified for your own unique physical goals and needs.
If you have no experience with yoga, it’s best to begin with assistance from a teacher. You can look for a local “gentle yoga” class or use a beginning yoga DVD as a guide at home.
Here’s one very simple yoga technique to get you started with relief for your feet. Sit cross-legged with your shoes and socks off. Weave your fingers one by one through the toes of the opposite foot, and hold this position for about 20 seconds. Then, switch to using the other hand and foot. You may want to do this 2 or 3 times for each foot.
What do you think about using yoga as a support for other types of foot neuropathy treatment? Join the conversation on our Facebook page.
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