Pain, A Nurse-Yogi's Perspective
Pain is an experience we instinctually avoid. It’s a primal communication from the body signaling something is wrong. And it’s for this very reason we need to display compassion toward our pain, sit with it, and ask about it with an open heart. Distraction and disassociation may buy us time away from pain, but truly understanding it is the only way to address it thoroughly. Kundalini Yoga is a practice for self-awareness and self-acceptance. The breathwork and kriyas encourage us to notice ourselves, our feelings, our sensations, and experience. Breathwork yoga suspends us from the instinctual panic and, in that suspension, we may gain insight to our present condition.
In the nursing model, clinicians are taught the PQRST assessment tool to help gain insight to the nature of the pain. These are questions you may ask yourself and may also help to more effectively communicate with your provider of choice -- be it a doctor, acupuncturist, chiropractor, etc.
P = Provocation:
When did this pain start? Was it sudden or oncoming for a while? What seems to agitate the pain? And what makes it feel better?
Q = Quality:
How would you describe the pain? Sharp, aching, throbbing, stinging, dull?
R = Region:
Where is the pain located? Does it feel like it’s radiating out or extending to another part of the body?
S = Severity:
How bearable or unbearable is the pain? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, how would you rate it?
T = Timing:
What were you doing when the pain began? Does it come and go? Is this the first time you’ve felt this pain?
Once you can answer these questions, you’ll be more clued into the nature of your pain and thus can make informed choices on how you wish to address it. Kundalini yoga is a self-love practice which encourages mindful awareness. Compassionately opening your mind to what ails you without judgment or blame is a big part of yoga. We hope these tools prove useful to assist you with connecting to your highest self.
----About the Author, Amanda Sobreyra RN BSN:
Yoga first became part of my life in 2014 when I pursued the wisdom in Ashtanga yoga. For self mastery, tending to the body is just as vital as tending to the matters of the heart and mind. I knew if I wanted to change the world around me, first I had to change myself. Yoga is a framework that allows people to experience themselves differently. I started with Kundalini Yoga in 2019 and am so privileged to be a part of the community.
I became a seeker of knowledge and self mastery as a youngster. I always sought truth by experiencing it directly. Mythologies from across the world provide me another framework lens to see into human psychology, culture, and core values that lend to destiny. I remain open to different frameworks, perspectives, ideas, and practices which support the relationship with the highest version of self.