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3 Ways to Cope with Sickle Cell Pain — That Aren’t Meditation

July 25, 2017 by Andrea
Photo: Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

Photo: Photo by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash

Don't get us wrong -- we're all about meditation and self-hypnosis as a coping method for those less-severe moments of sickle cell pain. They're backed by research and work really well for some people. The key word there, though, is "some."

To be honest, many others simply just don't like meditation and can't get into it. And if they don't like it, they won't practice it, and therefore, won't reap any of the benefits. Sound like you? #NoShame. Try these alternative coping styles and stick with the one(s) that work best for you.

1) Turn up that playlist. Listening to your favorite jams not only helps to lower stress -- which can intensify feelings of pain -- but it can also help boost your mood in general. "As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction at the same time it helps to explore our emotions," explains this Psych Central article.

2) Choose your support squad. Sharing your experiences with others who truly understand what you're going through will help you feel validated, give you a safe space to release any pent-up frustrations, and provide you with even more coping methods -- tested by other Warriors.

3) Try a Swedish massage. Massages loosen muscles, increase oxygen levels in the blood, improve overall circulation, and reduce stress and anxiety, just to name a few. And the Swedish modality is a less intense form, which makes it a promising alternative for people living with SCD. As Sickle Cell Warriors recommends, though, it's best to seek this type of treatment when pain is less than a level 5, as triggering movement of already-sickled cells may worsen the pain.

And as always, take care to prevent a crisis before it occurs by staying hydrated, avoiding extreme temperatures, getting plenty of sleep, and doing light exercise. You can also try adding Xickle RBC-Plus to your regular routine to aid in reducing the incidence of cell sickling.

What other ways do you use to cope with sickle cell pain? Share them in the comments below!

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