When I was offered a trial of the Pathways Pain Relief App, I had seen these pain apps and been curious for a while. The basis of science and the mind-body connection as a way to help treat chronic pain resonates strongly with me. Clearly, as a yoga teacher!
When I was offered the opportunity to review the Pathways Pain Relief App, I jumped! I was given a one year trial in exchange for my honest review. Here it is!
A bit about Pathways Pain Relief App:
Educational sessions in pain science
Meditation and mindfulness
What can Pathways help with?
According to their website any pain of a chronic nature (lasting three months).
What can you expect from the app?
“We take patients on an interactive journey that starts with pain science education. Understanding that pain is much more complex (and interesting!) than a signal from damaged tissues, is an important step towards turning down the volume on pain. We then move onto breaking any behaviours that could be keeping your pain system in high-alert. We also cover physical therapy, guided imagery, visulization and mindfulness exercises, hundreds of meditations and more. Our sessions are audio based and between 2 and 20 minutes long.”
My Experience with the Pathways Pain Relief App
As a busy mama of three children six and under I don’t have the time for full on programme. I do have time for 2-20 minute audio sessions to be completed on my own schedule. In addition there really is nothing to lose, this is all natural and is bound to have relaxation benefits if nothing else. And we can all benefit from relaxing more.
The first thing I went through was the collection of meditations, there is a great selection for pain, relaxation, sleep and more. So that is a great resource.
I went through several of the lessons and then lost steam. It felt a little like we were being told that if we ignore the pain it will just go away. I understand the basis of not focusing on the pain and letting it become part of your identity. I fully understand that the brain is the main cause of the pain in fibromyalgia but I don’t believe you can just push through, ignoring it.
However, knowledge is power, and if you are at the beginning of your journey with fibromyalgia and chronic pain – this is a great way to learn. It is presented in bite sized chunks. Easy for brain fog and to implement.
If education/information is your cuppa you might like:
I ask group members regularly what topics they would like me to share about, “how to save money on physical therapies” was the top request on the last post where I asked for suggestions. So here I share how you can spend less money on physical treatments for chronic pain and strategies for decreasing your pain at the same time.
What a whopper! As soon as I read the comment, I was formulating ideas. As a person who has tried physiotherapists (many different ones), Eastern practitioners, massage therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, personal trainers (who did not get it) and more, I know the costs involved here. We run a public system here in New Zealand so none of these private physical treatments are funded at all.
When I was at my worst I was going weekly, paying $50 or $60 a session to very little benefit. As I have finally put these things into place I have reduced to three or four weekly – this is a saving of $150-200 per month! That adds up!
These are the things that you can do to reduce the amount of treatments you need from physical therapists (physiotherapists, massage therapists, osteopaths, chiropractors, etc.). If they are not necessarily easy, when are they ever?
The four ways of how to spend less on physical treatments for chronic pain
1. Remove or reduce the things that perpetuate the physical issue the physiotherapist/massage therapist/chiropractor etc. has to work on.
This might be a tough one as you may not be willing or able to do the things. For example, working full-time on a computer really exacerbates my neck and shoulders. I cannot, no matter the steps I take to mitigate it, experience less pain and keep doing it. Do you engage in something that aggravates your tricky spots? Is your bed and pillow correct for your needs? Check your breathing!
Let yourself brainstorm as there might be lots of things that come up.
2. Work on the whole of life things
So a lot of our physical issues are related to our overall health. When the fibromyalgia was worse, I needed to see the physical therapists for in search of relief (which never came).
When I changed my entire life – reducing work hours, cutting my commute, moving to a warmer climate, learning to rest (and later meditate), gentle exercise (which for me meant cutting back!) etc. – the amount I needed to see the physical reduced.
3. Finding the right treatment
This alone halved how often I
had to go. For severe, recurrent trigger points in my neck – for which I’ve spent at least $1500 per year for over
10 years trying to get some relief from – I have the right practitioner and
treatment at last. It’s a physiotherapist who places acupuncture needles into
the trigger point, leaves it to relax and then performs gentle traction and
stretches. The amount of time and money I spent on massage therapists,
physiotherapists, osteopathy and chiropractic is insane.
Ask yourself, does that
massage or chiropractic session actually help enough to justify the cost? Does
the benefit hold long enough to be justifiable?
4. Learn to do things yourself
This might be the most
important and the easiest!
For me, this is copious amounts of stretching/yoga.
Always ask a practitioner you see to give you suggestions for things you can do at home and DO them.
So these are my top four ways to spend less on physical treatments (and reduce your pain at the same time). Are you working on any of these areas? What is your favourite way to cope with physical pain?
In this post I shared 9 inexpensive items I use to fight fibromyalgia. The first I use almost every day!
So there you have it, the key posts people were searching for this year. I hope they help you as you consider what you will tackle in 2020 for your journey toward thriving with chronic pain and fatigue.
Free live talks
In 2020 I have big plans to keep supporting you with this blog, the Facebook group, more live trainings and of course, adding to Yoga and Meditation for the Chronic Lifevirtual mindful movement studio.
Do join us for the free training on the Facebook page “My Top 5 Self-Care for 2020” on the 5th February.
For more information:
Hello friend, are you new here? I’m Melissa and I am on a mission to see that everyone receives resources and encouragement to thrive with fibromyalgia. Please come and join my free You vs Fibromyalgia micro course by signing up to my newsletter. You will receive access to a free resources page too! If you are curious about me and my journey you can have a search through the archives. Check out the What I Offer Page for all of the resources here.
When you are fighting a chronic illness, especially one which limits your energy levels, it makes working in an office or physical job difficult. We still need ways to make money even with fibromyalgia. These are not “make a quick buck” ideas, these are “build a micro-business, it takes time and effort” ideas.
Affiliate notice: Some of these links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. It all helps me to keep making these resources. For more information see here.
Ways to Make Money with Fibromyalgia
I created an Etsy store to share the templates I had created and used for myself in my own journey – things like My Wellness Planner Kit and My Sleep Workbook. I share a lot of detail about it in this post, My Etsy Diaries. It took a lot of time – I created and fine tuned the templates, created the copy for the listing, researched keywords, created the images and then had to promote them on social media. This has created a small but constant stream of income. If you were focusing solely on it, dedicated to researching best practices and good keywords etc. then you could likely make much more.
One thing I haven’t done but had in the back of my mind for a long time was to be an online virtual assistant. You can choose your hours, work in the comfort of your own home and take on the type of work that interests you. It is time consuming to actually find the work and then do the work and take care of the background administration for your own company. It is the easiest way to make a full income if you can work enough hours. Here is an introductory video about it:
You could specialise in:
Working with small business owners
Social media manager
This blog has been around for several years now, when I started, I never imagined that I could make any income from it. As it has grown and people have told me how much they love it, I have had to look for ways to make some of my income from it to enable me to keep dedicating time to it. I did everything one thing at a time. Even creating blog posts is done step by step. So it is definitely a long-term plan.
I dabbled with a free site for a long time, but now I am finally settled with a host I like I am playing massive catch up. Starting with a host from the beginning and setting it up right is actually a time and energy saver. I recommend GreenGeeks– I chose a three year subscription and got a very good price. In this blog post I share how I create posts step by step and some resources for getting started blogging.
As part of the blog I have the opportunity to do affiliate marketing. This means I can promote products and services I like and receive a portion of the cost. Like when I told you about MSM supplement for pain in this post. If you decide to try it and use my link, I make a tiny commission. Eventually it all adds up. The important thing here is that I would have written the post anyway, the potential to make a little bit of income is secondary.
Some people have made very successful blogs and make a good living from them, but that takes investment and a lot of energy. It is also usually in other niches (subject areas) because nobody goes into the chronic illness niche to make lots of money.
I spent a lot of time on trial and error and then found the awesome course, Turn Your Dreams into Money, I wish I had found this at the beginning. It gives you the quick start on building the foundations of a good blog.
Do you have a good understanding of something? Perhaps your previous profession gave you some tools you can teach other people. I have lived, researched and actively worked to fight fibromyalgia – so I have created courses to help you do that too. My courses and books and coaching are shortcuts for you so it doesn’t take as long for you to figure it out. Do you have a subject like this?
I chose Teachable to host my courses. I did a lot of research around the key players in online course software and chose this one after careful deliberation and a play with a couple of the other options. It has been easy to set up and use.
Teaching /Live Services
Do you have something to teach or a service to perform in real life? Or live, virtually? I am doing this with yoga – if you are curious about yoga or coaching or a blend with me, click here. You could do it with:
English lessons (can be done virtually or in person)
Personal training (exercise)
the list is endless!
The idea is for using your skills (or honing new ones) in a way that provides flexibility around your needs. Do you need to work early in the day? Have long breaks between clients/sessions? Do you come alive later in the day? Can you do a few hours over six days, or a couple of fuller days?
One or two books doesn’t make that much money, but I didn’t write my books for that. It was a life dream to write a book. I had no idea I could achieve it while living with fibromyalgia and with two small children. With the help of my brother, I did it. My Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia book is still one of the only books written on the subject so it was necessary. I wrote my books very slowly as at the time of writing them I couldn’t sit at the computer for very long at all. They do bring in a small amount of income every month (I don’t receive it every month, Amazon holds onto the money until it reaches $100 and then they deposit into my bank account and then my bank takes $15 processing fee).
If you were able to write multiple books and focus on really marketing them – telling people they exist, then you could make much more.
Are you an expert in something? Or do you have a passion for helping others to achieve their goals? Life coaching training gave me the framework to take my expertise to my clients. It is a process to support clients to achieve their goals.
Research around coaching for fibromyalgia is in its infancy but the initial findings are that it is enormously beneficial. This article discusses the benefits on patients receiving coaching for fibromyalgia. At the conclusion of the study it refers to, 12 months results included that Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire scores improved by 35%. Illnesses interference in function was reduced by 44%.
I became a coach because it was a natural extension of the work I have been doing in my blog, books, courses and Facebook groups. I wish that there had been a coach capable of helping me back when I was beginning my journey fighting fibromyalgia. My purpose is to save people the time and energy I had to invest in order to learn what I needed to learn to start improving my quality of life.
Coaching is about more than the initial training, however you choose to train, it is ongoing professional development. I am constantly learning about treating fibromyalgia.
Freelance writer and teacher Elna Cain is a great resource for getting started in this field. She has a free introductory course. Writing articles for online businesses in a great way to make super flexible income. You do have to watch out for places that will pay appropriately for your content or you will end up writing yourself into the ground just to make a decent income. I have only written a few because I haven’t had the time to focus on finding the places to pitch to that pay well.
I have been making videos for years, mostly as a way to add to the blog posts. In all this time I have not hit the metrics required to monetize the content, so I don’t personally make money this way. If you are prepared to focus and work at it, you can make some money this way. Gillian Perkins is a great resource for learning about using YouTube to generate income:
E commerce store
This is kind of like an Etsy store except that you host it on your own website and then drive all of your own traffic there. If you create your own products, this is a great way to do it. You can also host affiliate products in your store. It is just another way to present affiliate products to your audience. If you genuinely like the products you are recommending it is a great way to make income while serving your audience (reducing the time it takes to find a good product for a particular solution).
Have you been providing something to people for free, like a blog, YouTube channel, supportive group etc? Perhaps people have been telling you they love your work, think it’s valuable and would like a way to support you?
Patreon is a really cool way to set up a pay what you can membership model. The Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Membership is the way that people who love my work can sign up to support me for as little as $5 a month. They are simultaneously supporting me to create this blog, the YouTube videos, live monthly talks and run the Facebook groups.
You can include bonus content in the form of videos, blog posts, downloads and more. You can simply provide more access to you. Or create a private group where you help people more in depth.
I hope that something here has peaked your interest if you were wanting to start making money in a more flexible way, despite fibromyalgia. Is there something you do that isn’t listed here?
There has been a lot of interest in adult coloring and meditation for the general population as well as for those of us with chronic illness. Coloring as meditation and for relaxation is a really accessible, practical way to incorporate mindfulness into your day.
What are some good reasons to use coloring as meditation?
It is a practical way to incorporate mindfulness into your day and mindfulness has many benefits. If you are curious about those benefits see my free mindfulness workshop.
You can use it to connect with your children – you can color side by side. Modelling mindfulness is the key way to help children reap the benefits of mindfulness. It is also a fantastic way to play with your children if you have limited energy.
As a low energy hobby – following on from the above point, whether you have children or not, it can be difficult to incorporate hobbies when you have chronic pain and fatigue. Coloring is a great way to be able to continue to have hobbies without costing all of your spoons.
Relaxation – when we are in higher levels of pain it can be difficult to relax, it is a gentle way to distract ourselves without resorting to “the box” (though TV has its place).
Ease anxiety – this article shares a piece of research from 2005 where coloring mandalas helped to ease anxiety
If you love the idea of adding mindfulness to your life, head on over to see my free Mindfulness for the Chronic Life workshop which takes you through the benefits and some of the ways to incorporate it into your life.
If you want to read more about managing chronic illness see:
What if you don’t feel creative? Paint by Numbers option
If you like the idea of simultaneously reaping the above benefits, taking an easier option and creating something you can display in your home – then Paint by Numbers might be for you. Affiliate notice: Some of these links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase using them, I will make a commission at no extra cost to you.
Winnie’s Picks is a premium paint by numbers for adults website that has a heap of different options to choose from. The kits include the linen canvas with the image you choose, the acrylic paint set with matching numbers for the image, a set of four brushes and the complete instructions. You can be a beginner and still get it right.
You can head on over to purchase your own Paint by Numbers kit. It would make a really cool gift. Below is my pack – it was so exciting to receive everything I needed to get started! This is going on my Christmas gift list.
Does it look a little scary to you? It isn’t! We are so used to one step at a time in our journey fighting fibromyalgia and this is what we do with our paint by numbers canvas – do a little at a time. It is a great idea to have a place you can leave it out so that it is easy for you to come back to.