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First Person Pain Physiology Pain Rehabilitation Resources

We’re on Spotify!

Are you a fan of podcasts? Would you rather listen to the 1step2life blog than read? We will be podcasting many of our essays. Follow us on Breaker, Google Podcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Spotify, and Anchor (RSS). We will be adding new content as it comes out and slowly recording our catalog.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting Self Care

Can Stoicism Make You A Happier Parent?

Confession time I feel guilty. Why? Because there are times I feel I’m failing at my most important job: being a mom. My son hurts all the time – and I can’t protect him. He is having a hard time transitioning gracefully to adulthood. He struggled to make it through high school – it’s tough […]

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Pain Physiology Pain Rehabilitation

Acute Pain Protects Chronic Pain Harms

It’s hard to believe that pain is ever good. But it is. A friend developed a condition where she was able to move her lower body, but couldn’t feel pain and had no sensation. The biggest danger she faced was injuring herself because her warning system – pain – didn’t work. Chronic pain, on the […]

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Diet and nutrition Self Care

Are you drinking TOO MUCH water?

Hydration is important for everyone. Folks with chronic pain get really tired of being asked if they’re drinking enough water. I know my son does. But how much you should drink is a more complicated question than it first appears. And important enough to think about before rolling your eyes when asked – one more […]

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Pain Physiology Scientific Research Self Care

Are migraines caused by an echo in the brain?

Many types of pain – including migraines, amplified regional pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia – are caused by a failure of the nervous system. A negative spiral Acute pain protects us from tissue damage – we pull back from flames because we feel pain. Unfortunately, this healthy system can backfire. Many chronic pain conditions are caused […]

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Pain Rehabilitation Self Care Stress Reduction

Want To Learn To Breathe?

Learning to breathe, meditate, or do biofeedback doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to cost money. It doesn’t require you to leave your house. It’s BREATHING and focusing. It’s what people did in cold medieval churches and in Tibetan monestaries. It’s what I learned to do – and got me through – labor! […]

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Self Care Sleep Stress Reduction

Learning Biofeedback Doesn‘t Have to Be Hard

Biofeedback is a set of techniques that allow you to exert conscious control over what are normally involuntary biological functions. For example, consciously slowing your breathing and heart rate are common forms of biofeedback. With more practice, you can learn to increase circulation in your hands and warm them up. You can become more conscious […]

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Self Care

Assemble A Rescue Kit For Your Next Pain Spike

I walked into my son’s room this morning – it was immediately obvious it was one of ‘those’ days. Light sensitivity. Migraine spike. Fog. You know the gig. So I asked my usual self-care questions: Did you take your rescues? Water? Salt? Magnesium oil? Daily meds? “Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.” No eye roll (thank […]

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Resources

Follow @1step2life on Instagram!

Follow @1step2life on Instagram for information, inspiration, and conversation.

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Self Care Sleep

Weighted Blankets: For Better or Worse?

Like many people over the last few years, I invested in weighted blankets for members of my family. I’d read they are particular good for improving sleep and reducing anxiety. Because I had always slept markedly better with heavy quilts, that made sense to me. I followed the guidelines for buying them: 5-10% of your […]

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Resources Sleep

The Importance of Sleep

Why is Sleep So Important? Sleep is your body’s way of letting the brain rest. Getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night has a number of positive effects: improved concentration, metabolism, immune system functioning, reduced depression, and inflammation. Lack of sleep can block signals in the nociceptive pathways, which increases the perception of […]

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1step Comics Caring for People in Pain Pain Rehabilitation Scientific Research

The Three Components of Action

Physics has gravity (it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law). Psychology has learning theory. The basic ideas behind learning theory are deceptively simple: If you are rewarded for something you will do it more often. If you are punished for something, you will do do it less often. If something bad is happening […]

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1step Comics Caring for People in Pain First Person Resources

Making Change Happen

Last year, I wrote an essay called What’s Working? A 5-Minute Exercise for a Better Life for Psychology Today. Although everything else seems to have changed since last year, the ideas in that essay have not.  Today, I want to talk about using it to take a few steps forward that will make your next year better.  […]

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Caring for People in Pain Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

What Works For You? Rewards Today or Avoiding Harm Six Months Down the Road?

1step2life is built on cutting edge developmental and rehabilitation science. Research shows that when people live with chronic pain, continued bed rest and withdrawal from activities leads to a downward spiral. Inactivity leads to muscle breakdown, weakness, and increased pain. Withdrawal from daily activities leads to isolation, depression, and anxiety. Depressed mood increases pain leads […]

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First Person Pain Rehabilitation

Walking Dogs In The Rain

People who write love songs about walking in the rain don’t live in Ohio. In December. I do. I’m just going to say, cold rain is not my idea of romantic. Or comfortable. Miserable. It does come to mind when I think of the word ‘miserable’. I bring this up, because I was thinking about […]

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About Us Caring for People in Pain

News 5 Cleveland Talks About 1step2life

We were very excited that Taneisha Cordell of News5 Cleveland, an ABC affiliated covered the development of 1step2life. Development of the app was inspired by my son, Sean’s, struggles with intractable persistent pain. He talks here about his struggles and how 1step2life has helped him feel empowered to take back his life. For their full […]

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First Person Pain Rehabilitation Stress Reduction

Tiny Steps Towards Reducing Stress

Some days are worse than others. That’s just how it works. You can wake up today feeling refreshed and inspired to put your best foot forward. You can do all of your recommended exercises, eat all the “right” foods, think all the “right” thoughts, and still have pain flare-ups throughout your day. We can never […]

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Pain Rehabilitation Parenting Scientific Research

Following Doctor’s Orders

When teens don’t believe parents or doctors have the right to set rules, they don’t follow them.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

Kids Who Go To School In Pain

Nancy DarlingFirst published in Psychology Today: Thinking About Kids October 2014 Note: I wrote this years ago, when my son’s migraines first when chronic. Much has changed in our lives. Sending him to school with his pain remains one of the hardest things my husband and I – and certainly our son – has ever […]

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Stress Reduction

Being Organized Is Even More Important When You’ve Got No Energy To Spare

I write a lot about organizing, because I have too much to do and very few spoons to spare. I also know that if I don’t write things down, they spin around in my head and keep me from sleeping. If we try to keep everything in our head without an organizational system, we keep […]

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Pain Physiology Pain Rehabilitation Sleep

Sleep & Pain Rehab

Pain Rehab: Building Strength To Push Back Pain People living with pain are most successful at taking back their lives when they take an active role in their recovery. (That’s one of the reasons that 1step2life focuses on emotions, activities, and functioning.) For most of us, there is no ‘magic jelly bean’ that will suddenly […]

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App Development First Person Pain Rehabilitation

Want To Hear The Science?

I was excited beyond words to be asked to present the 1step2life app to the team at the Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation program on Monday. These folks are my heroes. For all the pain and trauma that my son’s migraine disease has introduced into his life, we’ve been incredibly lucky to live close to […]

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Pain Physiology Pain Rehabilitation

Chronic v. Acute Pain

Why do I hurt all the time? Healthy pain is like a good guardian. It keeps you from hurting yourself and teaches you to stay safe. This type of pain is called ‘acute pain’. Unfortunately, sometimes the acute pain system becomes too sensitive and overprotective. When that happens, you perceive pain as if you were injured, […]

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First Person

REPRESENTATION MATTERS

When we recognize ourselves in others we admire it allows us to imagine ourselves in a better future.

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1step Comics First Person

Don’t Tell Me Everything Happens “For A Reason”

Platitudes can hurt people in pain just as much as illness.

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Caring for People in Pain Pain Physiology Stress Reduction

Pain, Emotions, & the Amygdala

Pain leads to depression. Depression leads to pain. The amygdala mediates it all.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Pain, Ambiguous Loss, & Acceptance

Acceptance means holding both a painful now and a hopeful future in our minds· Death can be a harsh shock, as someone is ripped from us and is no longer present in our lives.  It has a finality to it – that’s part of the shock and much of the pain.  But it is real […]

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Pain Physiology Resources

Neuroscience 101

Feeling pain is an essential function of the brain and nervous system. Healthy pain keeps you safe when you touch something hot. It tells you to stop when you’ve exercised and your heart and lungs aren’t providing your muscles with enough oxygen. It reminds you to move when you’ve been sitting too long. Chronic pain, […]

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App Development Caring for People in Pain Parenting

Caregiver Mode: Unique to 1step2life

A mother’s despair This app began as a search for a tool. My son was in horrible pain – in bed, in the dark, barely holding on to school. When I looked at him, my first thought was always the same – How much pain is he in? Then I’d wonder if he’d taken his […]

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App Development

The Daily Check In Empowers You to Use Energy Well

The Daily Check In can help you prioritize what is important to you and build a healthier balance in your life.

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Caring for People in Pain

We’ve Launched! The Weekly Check In

Everyone’s pain is different and everyone is in a different place in their journey.

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Pain Rehabilitation Stress Reduction

Allodynia: Smell the Roses

Focusing all your attention on one manageable area of sensation can drown out the sensation of pain.

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Caring for People in Pain First Person Parenting

You Can Curse

How do you cope when things feel their worst? You can cry. Or laugh. Or curse.

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Diet and nutrition

Hydration Tip 1

Hydration is every doctor’s go to recommendation for anyone living with chronic pain. But it helps. Your cells can’t function properly without sufficient water. Not drinking enough causes pain all by itself that can’t be distinguished from pain due to illness. Plus – as I always tell my son – if you drink enough water, […]

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1step Comics Pain Physiology Pain Rehabilitation

5% of US teens live with life altering chronic pain

Acute pain is protective. With chronic pain, the pain itself becomes the disease.

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1step Comics First Person

Are You Faking It?

Faking being sick? I’m faking being well. And not that successfully.

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1step Comics Stress Reduction

How to Relax in 5 Minutes

Pain, stress, and emotional distress are in the mind, but express themselves in physical tension. You can feel it in that tight neck, those stiff shoulders, and in that clenched jaw and hands. Notice that your back teeth hurt just a little? Feel that twinge between your shoulders? Back ache just a bit? The relationship is […]

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1step Comics First Person Stress Reduction

Incomplete Acts, Everyday Anxiety, and Getting Things Done

Four strategies to organize work and decrease anxiety.

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1step Comics First Person

Thanks. I’d Rather Skip The Pain

It feels good to be recognized for being strong. Because overcoming obstacles is hard. Especially when many of those obstacles are not something that most people even see as an obstacle – like making it from your bed to the couch. Overcoming obstacles can reveal strength in us we never knew we had, shape us […]

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About Us First Person

Taking Back Your Life

1step2life started with my son’s experience with severe chronic migraine disease. It made no sense to log pain when the pain is always there. What he needed was something that helped him celebrate his victories – making it to school, getting the mail, turning down the pepperoni pizza and sticking to his low tyramine diet. […]

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App Development

Almost there . . .

We’ve been feeling like that pilot attacking the Death Star in Star Wars.

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Caring for People in Pain Parenting

School: The Big Picture

Families need to work together towards a shared goal: helping children grew into healthy happy adolescents and adolescents make successful transitions to adulthood.

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1step Comics Caring for People in Pain First Person Pain Rehabilitation Parenting

Getting Kids In Pain To School

Concrete tips on moving a teen in pain out of bed and towards functioning.

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First Person Stress Reduction

Control Your Focus

I’ll be honest. I spend my life crazy stressed. I have a job that my husband describes as ‘flexible – you can work any 60 hours a week you like’. And then I have two more jobs – I am Editor in Chief of the Journal of Adolescence and I’m also starting this company. And […]

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Pain Rehabilitation

Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this.

Doctor! Doctor! It hurts when I do this!
Well . . . don’t do this.

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Caring for People in Pain

It’s hard being a parent

It’s so hard as a parent when you are desperately hoping your child will just make it to school and squeak through to graduation. And so hard to listen to even your dearest friends fret about things that you’d give your eye teeth to be worrying about. It’s just hard.

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Caring for People in Pain

Everyone’s got a friend with ‘the’ cure.

You know they mean well. You know they care. In fact, they’re trying to be sympathetic and make a connection. But when you tell them you have severe chronic migraines and they say ‘oh yeah, my sister-in-law gets migraines too’, and then ask if you if you’ve tried Excedrin Migraine . . . . No, […]

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Caring for People in Pain

Refining the Interface

Many people living with chronic pain are sensitive to the environment. On the down side, there’s the pain. Allodynia is a condition where modest stimuli – like brushing your hair – triggers pain. It’s common in people who have migraine, regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, other conditions. I remember my son cringing from the sound of […]

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Caring for People in Pain

We are getting so close!

The developers have been working hard to take our dream and turn it into an app that you can download from the AppStore or GooglePlay. We are getting so close! We are currently working through our fourth version of the app, making sure the user interface is as clear and easy to use as we […]

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Pain Rehabilitation

Starting college? Getting the right accommodation plan is essential.

A few years ago, I wrote a piece in my Psychology Today blog for college students about how to talk to their professors about accommodations. Most professors (not all) honestly want to help. But the letters we get from the offices of disability service are usually vague and don’t tell us what students really need. […]