Relaxation and Pain Management Strategies CD

The Relaxation and Pain Management Strategies recording is a program of relaxation techniques and cognitive exercises featuring Alvin E. Lake III, Ph.D., a national expert in biofeedback and pain management.

The recording is available both in CD format and as an MP3 download via CD Baby. Yes, this is the same recording that was formerly available on cassette tape.

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Overview (4:30 minutes) This recording is an extension of relaxation and psychological strategies found to be helpful in our experience with thousands of patients with chronic headache and other pain disorders. It is our sincere hope it will leave you feeling relaxed and assist you in developing your own personal methods for managing pain and coping with other difficult or stressful situations. After a brief introduction, the program begins with four relaxation techniques.

Breath Meditation (4:16 minutes) reviews deep breathing, which has been a foundation for relaxation since the dawn of the written word. This selection is accompanied by a string quartet playing Mozart (Eine kleine Nachtmusik) and Bach (Air on a G String).

Relaxation Phrases (6:23 minutes) uses self-talk to focus attension on feelings of heaviness, warmth, and a calm mind. The phrases are based on a technique called autogenic training developed early this century and later combined with biofeedback training for migraine therapy in the early 1970s. Here it is integrated with the quartet playing the well-known Canon by Pachelbel.

Self-hypnosis (7:15 minutes) merges with the sound of a soft rainfall. Self-hypnosis is often particularly helpful in quieting verbal thinking which can lead to a state of deep relaxation, such as when a person is attempting to fall asleep at night. These first three selections are designed to flow easily from one to another and can be combined for a more extended period of listening.

Relaxation Journey (24:00 minutes) is the longest of the relaxation selections and is accompanied by a variety of water sounds, bird songs, and other sounds from the natural environment. This section begins with a discussion of goal-setting and planning, and concludes with suggestions for maintaining relaxation once it is achieved.

The remaining three selections review aspects of cognitive therapy, a therapeutic approach that emphasizes the relationship between thoughts (cognitions), emotional feelings, and pain-related discomfort. Although Self-Talk, Correcting Distorted Thoughts, and Thought Framing are not designed as relaxation techniques in the classical sense, patients tell us that repeated listening can, in fact, create a feeling of deep calm.

Self-talk (12:34 minutes) is a technique that can be used to reduce the emotional distress that often accompanies headache or pain.

Correcting Distorted Thoughts (7:17 minutes) addresses common errors in logical thinking that can amplify negative emotions.

Thought Framing (7:43 minutes) describes a specific technique that can help set limits on our human tendency to obsess or dwell on the negative.