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Self-Care Resources

Community Resources and Supports

Local community resources and supports are a vital aspect of patient care. Our Social Work team in the Renal program frequently utilize and refer patients to various local agencies for patient assistance, financial support, caregiver support, education, and interactive community events. If you or a family member are in need of additional assistance, please speak with your social worker and care team about how they can help. For more information on what supports might be in place in near you, please see our list of Community Resources.

Pain Reduction During Cannulation

Progressive Muscle Relaxation:

Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Fistula Cannulation
One way the body reacts to fear, anxiety, stress and worry is muscle tension. The muscle tension in our bodies causes us to experience muscle aches and pains and also can leave many people feeling exhausted. Pain feels more extreme when the muscles are tense. People on dialysis who are awaiting their first cannulation of their new fistula tell us that they often experience anticipatory fear and worry about the possible pain. Progressive muscle relaxation can be helpful because it teaches us to notice how our muscles become tense when we are experiencing the fear response and also teaches us how to release and relax the tension. 

Progression Muscle Relaxation for Sleep
In addition to helping with pain, progression muscle relaxation can help people on dialysis and their caregivers with general feelings of anxiety, stress and worry, all of which can cause difficulty with sleep.  To help with this you may wish to try the Progression Muscle Relaxation for Sleep.

How it works?
Only through practice can we become more aware of our muscles and how they respond to tension; and how you can relax them. Training the body to respond differently to pain, stress, anxiety and fear is like any training - practicing consistently is the key! During the practice you may hear silence between words.  This is intended time for you to focus on your breathing.

We suggest that you practice daily or as often as you are able.

If you are having your fistula needled for the first time we suggest practicing daily for 2 weeks prior to the needling and focus on the relaxation techniques during the cannulation. If you are using these recordings to promote sleep we suggest you listen to the recording prior to bedtime. 

Select whichever practice you want as no one recording is better than the other.

There are 5 practices/recordings available:

We hope you find these recordings helpful.