Learn about Crohn's Disease and Relaxation

Everybody’s natural reaction to pain, anxiety, and stress is tenseness. Learning about relaxation and Crohns Disease will help you manage the pain, reduce your anxiety and help you cope better with the stress in your life.

Most people go through life coping with their difficulties in a way that feels natural and comes quickly to mind. But is that the best way to cope? Probably not.

They do not realize to what extent they can use their mind and specific relaxation techniques to intervene into what is happening to their body. So, one of the purposes of this website is to help you find a better way to do this.

There is ample evidence that relaxation can help.

On October 18, 1995 the National Institutes of Health had a conference that concluded the following: “The panel found strong evidence for the use of relaxation techniques in reducing chronic pain in a variety of medical conditions…”

This panel included distinguished representatives of the medical community including doctors from Harvard Medical School, University of Maryland, Cornell University Medical College, Duke University Medical Center, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and much more. So credibility is not an issue here.

The bottom line is this: Relaxation matters.

Let’s begin our study with your sleep pattern. It is while you sleep that the body works to repair itself. This is the ultimate relaxation. So if you have trouble sleeping, your body does not get a chance to repair itself the way it’s designed to.

Do you have a relaxation routine you go through at night before you go to sleep? Is it working?

Perhaps, like most people, you watch the news. But does that help you fall asleep easily? Probably not. Most newscasts are about negative events, aren't they?

Does watching events about murder, fire, war, etc. leave you feeling relaxed and help you go to sleep? Probably not. And, anyway, there’s nothing you can do to change the outcome of a news event.

Most people do not think about what watching the news does to them. And for someone with Crohn’s Disease, you already have enough stress in your life, don‘t you? Wouldn't applying a relaxation technique be better for you?

The news will be there in the morning after a good night’s sleep. You can catch up on the events then. At night, relaxation is a must. You need to help your body repair itself from the day's events.

What other relaxtion technique can you apply? Is there music, relaxing soothing music, you can listen to before falling asleep? See the difference between that and watching the negative news?

Perhaps there is a relaxing book you want to read, a hot shower or bath that calms the nerves, anything that you can develop as a routine that will relax you and make it so you sleep better and wake up refreshed.

Finally, if you still find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, talk to your doctor about getting a sleeping pill. I've used Ambien before and got much better sleep. I used it to help me get back into a sleep rhythm.

Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Do what you have to do to get enough sleep.

Visualization The mind has trouble telling the difference between reality and something relaxing that is vividly visualized.

If you are in the midst of pain, anxiety or stress, you can think back to a place and time where you felt so relaxed, so good, that just by visualizing it again, you get some relief. Does it depend on how intense the pain, anxiety or stress is? Yes. But you can develop this skill to such an extent, that you will probably be surprised how strong the relief can be.

Simply stated, one of the most effective ways to gain temporary relief from stress and pain is to redirect your thoughts by focusing on images and ideas that are positive, relaxing, and enjoyable. For example, my wife and I go to a small island off the Georgia coast every year. We’ve done that for 12 years. I feel more relaxed there than anywhere else I've ever been. So it isn’t hard for me to think about one of those beautiful days and become totally relaxed.

Many times before going to sleep or when I’m feeling particularly stressed, I just think back to being on the island, the weather is beautiful, and I feel immediate relief and drift off into a good sleep. It works. I am relaxed.

Why does it work? It works because the images have meaning to me and produce postive emotions - everytime. There's a lot of vivid details I can dwell on. Details that provide me a wonderful, temporary, mental escape from the day's stresses and any pain I might be feeling.

You can do the same thing. First, start in a room that is quiet and free of distractions. You want your mind calm, silent, and still. Then think about a place and time that makes you feel good. Practice visualizing that moment in great detail over and over until it's easy to let's yourself mentally be in that place and time.

The more you practice, the better you will get at using it. Even when you have stress and/or pain. There is an excellent book that will help you become a master at this. The name of the book appropriately is Mastery by George Leonard.

Here's some excerpts from reviews of the book:

"This is a book that will help you master any subject that you are looking to learn: Accounting, Dancing, Martial Arts, Photography, you name it..." (how about mastering visualization to achieve maximum relaxation and reduce your pain and stress? Yes.)

"This is a brief, easy-to-read book ..., but I found it remarkably enlightening about the learning process in general."

To learn more about this book or to order it, click here.

Now, if you have trouble finding your moments in time, then you need to create some new ones. That brings us to our next section.

Making time for enjoyable activities during your day.

So much of the time, life gets in the way. There’s probably many activities you can do, or people you can visit with, that would bring you great joy and relaxation. Perhaps you’ve been putting off these moments, letting life get in your way.

I know that there is a lot we have to do in life. But it’s vitally important to make the time to do those enjoyable things we want to do. Activities and people who can replenish our soul.

Don’t kid yourself here. This is important just like taking your medications for Crohnes Disease is important. There’s not just a physical side to life. There’s the spiritual side of life too. Do not neglect yourself.


Find, no seek out, the humor in life. Laughter is good for the soul too. Relaxation can flow from humor. Studies show that people who laugh and have a positive attitude heal faster and do better than people who look mostly at the negative side of life.

With Crohn’s Disease, there will be times you are negative. That’s normal. Accept it. But do not neglect the positive things that are happening too. And the funny side of life.

Want some good laughs now? click here.

Be your own best friend!

Here's an interesting thought -- treat yourself as you would your best friend. What would you say to your best friend when they are having a particularly tough day? You shouldn’t do less than that with your own self-talk. Treat yourself as you would a good friend.

And speaking of good friends, find people who can listen when things are tough. Just being listened to helps a person get past tough times. One outcome is a special form of relaxation. You owe it to yourself.

Even strangers will listen -- especially when they are going through the same situation. Join a Crohn’s Disease message board. You can vent when you need to and the people will understand. Of course, you need to listen when they vent. It’s a two-way street.

You can click here to go to the section on support groups.

Finally, be thankful for the positives in your life. While there are negatives in your life, there are also positives. Never forget this. Being thankfull will help you remember the positives. Relaxation will be the result.

more than relaxation on our Crohns Disease information page

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