Author: Nancy Darling

  • Want To Learn To Breathe?

    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! […]

  • Programs to Treat Children in Pain

    Programs to Treat Children in Pain

    There used to be just a few dozen practices in the world that specialized in treating childhood pain. Now there are 100 in 16 countries. Check out the updated list.

  • Cyles of Five: Another Way To Disrupt Anxiety

    Cyles of Five: Another Way To Disrupt Anxiety

    Cycles of Five is a simple technique to break pain and anxiety cycles.

  • Five Finger Breathing

    Five Finger Breathing

    Stress and anxiety make pain harder to cope with. This simple technique uses no tech and no equipment. Just use a finger and a hand to help you time and slow down your breathing. Focusing on the touch can make it easier to focus on breathing. You can repeat this exercise as often as needed. […]

  • In Gratitude to Kind Teachers

    In Gratitude to Kind Teachers

    We all know that in the United States under the American Disabilities Act, children have the right to a public school education. Many of us also know that what makes or breaks the success of this initiative is teachers and administrators. Some fight rules. Some hit the letter of the law but begrudge and guilt-trip. […]

  • NYTimes Says There’s Never Been A Better Time To Have a Headache

    NYTimes Says There’s Never Been A Better Time To Have a Headache

    Sunday’s NY times published a front-page article on headache. It talked about the decades (centuries) of neglect of headache disorders – a disease identified as one of the most disabling diseases in the world today. It talks about the FINALLY rising awareness of the seriousness of these diseases. It talks about new headache treatments – […]

  • The 1step2life Podcast

    The 1step2life Podcast

    Do you enjoy podcasts? Follow the 1step2life on Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other major platforms.

  • Beating yourself up about parenting?

    Beating yourself up about parenting?

    I have studied parenting on five continents for close to four decades. I’m also a mom — the mom of two sons, one of them who is very sick. I know what it is to beat yourself up about not being a perfect parent.  But too many parents beat themselves because they are trying to meet two entirely different, incompatible, and […]

  • Podcast: Parenting a Child With Migraine

    Podcast: Parenting a Child With Migraine

    I am so honored to be interviewed for the Living With An Invisible Injury podcast.  Listen here:

  • Why did a psychologist who studies families develop an app for tracking pain?

    Why did a psychologist who studies families develop an app for tracking pain?

    The fact that the 1step2life app grew completely out of our experience as a family is so deeply ingrained into the fiber of my being that I forget to tell people about it. Hence this post. I was asked for information about 1step2life by the editors of MyChronicBrain – an online magazine and newsletter for […]

  • Reminders Of Progress

    Reminders Of Progress

    It’s been discouraging lately. Things seem better. Classes finished. Social life opening up. Exercise improving. But the setbacks still get you. The mourning for where you think you should be instead of where you really are. That’s where I was today. Until I got into my car. I opened the back door. The dog jumped […]

  • How does multi-disciplinary pain treatment work?

    How does multi-disciplinary pain treatment work?

    Understanding pain helps people understand why they feel the way they do. It can be part of a multi-disciplinary approach to treating chronic pain. Here, I talk about the bio-psycho-social model of pain, focusing on different parts of the pain process and how they can be modified. I gave this talk on May 17, 2021 […]

  • Chronically Ill Teen? Fighting the Dread

    Chronically Ill Teen? Fighting the Dread

    I remember that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every Sunday afternoon. Sunday at 3:00 was youth orchestra. When my son first developed migraine disease, attacks came like clockwork. Every Sunday around 2:30, he’d begin to yawn. Then the auras would start. I’d see him start wincing from light and then, just as […]

  • Raynaud’s Syndrome

    Raynaud’s Syndrome

    The first time I noticed I had Raynaud’s was in the kitchen. My hands felt kind of funny and I looked down and they were green. Not a little green. Like GREEN. And entirely numb. I started to move them and they completely spasmed. No pain. Just bright green hands that were spasming. Then they […]

  • Mind the Gap: Neurons & Synapses

    Mind the Gap: Neurons & Synapses

    Migraine disease, fibromyalgia, long-COVID, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other chronic medical conditions are all caused by problems in how the nervous system functions. All medications for controlling pain work by changing how nerves – and particularly how neurotransmitters and synaptic gaps – work. So how DO they work? This short introduction provides basic information […]

  • Pain Is In Your Head. It’s Still Real.

    Pain Is In Your Head. It’s Still Real.

    Pain is invisible. That means any time, any place, someone can just kick you in the stomach by telling you that your pain is ‘all in your head’. That’s why it is so important for the people we love to believe us when we describe what we feel and it’s why we so value medical […]

  • Why the Definition of Pain Matters

    Why the Definition of Pain Matters

    In July 2020, the International Society for the Study of Pain redefined pain. It doesn’t sound like a big deal. We all know what pain is, right? Not something that would take a bunch of scientists several years consulting with many different stakeholders. But it is. Here is what they wrote: Pain is: “an unpleasant […]

  • Overwhelmed By Socializing?

    Overwhelmed By Socializing?

    Two weeks post-vaccine, it’s been liberating getting out of the house. Even walks in the woods seem freer, less worried about folks strolling by mask-less and much too close. I am excited about chatting with folks at the dog park – still socially distanced and faces obscured. It felt ridiculously friendly to have a face-to-masked […]

  • Keeping What’s Good About This Crazy Year

    Keeping What’s Good About This Crazy Year

    This year of COVID has been a year of loss. Loved ones. First dates and coffee with old friends. Shared worship. Beach parties. From the profound to the trivial. For many who live with complex illnesses or who struggle to get out of the house and make it to school or work, it’s also been […]

  • Challenge, Support, & Love

    Challenge, Support, & Love

    Helping my son get out of bed when he was in pain was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I knew how much he hurt. But we both knew that the worst mistake we’d made when he first got sick was to let him withdraw from the world and into his bed. The light hurt […]