I am...

Newly diagnosed

Learning you have a chronic illness can bring on many emotions and questions -- 'What exactly is chronic pain syndrome? Will pain relief ever be attainable?' Adjusting to the diagnosis and getting on with life can be tough. Even though you may feel overwhelmed, know that you are not alone.

You are here now, and we are here for you.

So are other patients that have gone through or going through the process with you. And so are your loved ones.

Woman comforted through a community seeking chronic joint pain relief.
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Stop, take a breath, remember you are not your condition.

Pain and disease can start to take over your life if you’re not careful. We recognize how hard it is to accept at first. We hear you, we understand you, and we want to assure you that you have the full support of the Mayv community behind you.

Stay physically and mentally active. Remain engaged with the people and things you love. You’re the same person you always were. You just have new challenges that you will overcome!

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Your doctor is doing their best AND they might not have all the answers

Some patients are diagnosed on their first visit, but for some it takes years to come to the right diagnosis. And we understand how frustrating that can be. But remember, your doctors are doing their best to help you, it’s just that they do not have all the answers.

Let’s explain it another way. A doctor is like an investigator or FBI agent we see on TV shows. They see clues (symptoms) and they try to figure out the perpetrator of the crime (disease diagnosis). Though they may not know the exact cause of your pain, they make the best intelligent decision given the “clues they have” to try to halt the progression of the condition and ease the symptoms. Unfortunately, unlike the investigators on TV, they sometimes make mistakes, especially when it comes to chronic pain.

Group of people hugging and seeking chronic back or knee joint pain relief.
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Don’t let a scary diagnosis take away your hope

There is now enough research to suggest that the diagnoses—and therefore treatments—often given for chronic pain are inaccurate. Still other studies have shown that when there is no injury or disease still present, effective treatments must focus on the brain rather than the body. While this new research is becoming more widely known among doctors, physical therapists and mental health professionals around the world, the unfortunate truth is that most providers are still unaware of it. The Mayv Foundation course will provide you with free, easy-to-understand lessons that sum up this latest research. We will also provide you with a link to find doctors who are well-versed in the Mind-Body connection and have treated thousands of patients with chronic pain.

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There are good days and there are bad

Flare ups come and go. You need to recognize that some days will be easier than others, but they are just “some”. When they do come, you need to focus on taking care of your needs. There is no trick, there is trial and error until you find what works for your body and your life. The good news is that in many cases, chronic pain CAN be treated or significantly reduced; you just have to hang in there during the hard times while you figure out the healing path that’s right for you. 

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Yell, talk, scream or even whisper… Just express yourself!

Don’t fear asking for help. We all take pride in our independence; from learning how to walk without holding someone’s hand to being able to pay your own bills. It is a basic human instinct. But asking for help can be courageous and strong. It gets easier the more you do it.

Also, account for the people in your life, they want to help but aren’t sure what to do; they too understand how important independence is to you and don’t want to offend you. So talk honestly about everyone’s needs and expectations. It makes everything much easier.

Hands sharing the experience of chronic pain syndrome.
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Find the right community for you

Sometimes it feels like everyone in your life is treating you like a patient. There is no doubt that family and friends can be a great support system, but sometimes the support you need might come from others in your community, resources that you hadn’t thought to tap into.

Find people where you can be yourself and feel a sense of normalcy; it can be your neighbors or fans of your favorite sports team or it can be others with your same condition–when you need to talk to someone who gets it.

We at Mayv are here for you, and you are now part of our community. Most foundations (link to resource page) have support networks or facebook groups with local chapters in certain communities. Take advantage of them.

Man stretching in bed due to chronic neck and back pain.
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Sharing is caring

Remember, you are part of a community. You can do your part by sharing what works and what doesn’t; you never know who out there will find your experience useful. And we are stronger together; with the collective knowledge of everybody who has lived with chronic pain, we can help the generations to come.

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An Integrative Approach For An Integrated You.

Your Mental Health = Your Physical Health

It’s not easy to deal with the feeling that your own body is attacking you. It’s no light burden! One patient told us that “it feels like my own body has betrayed me.” It’s a daunting thought. Please, please please, recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed and try to talk about it. Know that there is hope. Many people we’ve worked with have found a way to reduce their symptoms, and still others have found ways to live more harmoniously with whatever lingers. Find time for some stress relieving exercises, meditate, or just talk to someone who will truly listen. If these don’t help, don’t be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional.

Our Mind and Body are integrated. When we are anxious we get butterflies in our stomach, when we are scared our heart beats fast, when we are sad we feel like our energy is drained. Our systems do not work in isolation, our heart is connected to our gut that’s connected to our nerves and so on. They are so very much integrated that it requires an “integrative approach”  to maintain well-being; one that appreciates the whole human body: mind and soul as systems that are interconnected.

When things are thrown off balance, we need to look for the full toolbox of possible solutions. This may start with conventional medicine, or finding a medical professional that understands the latest research on mind body connection—trust us, they’re out there!. Then, there is complementary medicine (think mindfulness, yoga, hypnotherapy, etc) to fill in the gaps.

You see your doctors every few months, but you have to take ownership of your care between appointments. It’s important to keep track of your condition, stay honest in your journey, and have a team of experts, therapists and resources to support you every step of the way. To learn more about taking an integrative approach, visit our intro to integrative medicine page.

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