The practice of meditation has been going on for centuries. The power of meditation is intense and is often harnessed for deep peace and relaxation. Studies show that meditation is highly effective in relieving stress. Since stress plays a large factor in contracting illness and disease, meditation is a powerful prevention. Furthermore, there is evidence that meditation relieves chronic pains better than opiates!
Meditation has been found to best relieve three types of pain:
- Chronic back pain
When pain doesn’t go away, a lot of the time chronic pain sufferers are told, “You will just have to learn to live with it!” This is not something that anyone with pain wants to hear, but there are ways to do just that! Meditation gives people with chronic pain the skills to “live with it.” The practice of meditation can help to control and lessen the pain.
To learn what meditation truly is and to distinguish the truth from myths, read the post, Learn What Meditation Truly Is ─ And What It Is Not! This post will help you to understand that meditation is a heightened state of awareness, not a forced state of concentration. Furthermore, stay tuned for a post for beginners and learn about the correct techniques for meditation!
But first, let’s look at why meditation relieves pain better than opiates and how you can accomplish it!
How Meditation Relieves Chronic Pain:
Meditation nurtures an awareness which develops when you are paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment. Therefore, the idea is if you can calm and focus your mind and your body, you may be able to control your pain and the degree to which you feel it.
How Meditation Can Work To Relieve Your Chronic Pain:
1. Face the pain and release it ~
Along with your pain, it is important to face the irritability, sweating and body tension that comes with it. The idea is to become completely relaxed and be aware of your pain ─ but not to focus on it. While in this state, you want to come to address your pain and come to terms with it. While addressing it, you are controlling it.
2. Take the focus away from the pain ~
You can’t experience pain if you don’t focus on it. For example, say you are experiencing pain and your phone rings. You answer the phone, and it’s an important message from a family member. As you shift your focus to the family member and the message, for a short period, you will forget about the pain. Of course in this example, the focus shift is short lived, but imagine what you can do with meditation where you purposely shift your focus for a longer period of time?
3. Lay down while meditating instead of sitting ~
Since sitting for too long can cause even more pain for some people, lay down instead, or find a comfortable position that works for you.
4. Meditate as normal then do a full body scan with your mind ~
Begin your meditation as you normally would. Once you reach your heightened state of awareness, focus on how your body feels in the present moment ─ from the bottom of the foot up the leg, through the trunk, and up to the head. Try to train your mind to remember this state, even when you are out of the meditation state. After some practice, you might be able to mentally control your pain through focus, which will result in you feeling less pain.
In conclusion, meditation relieves chronic pain with practice ─ and finding your heightened state of mind! So, if it doesn’t work at first, keep on practicing. Once you have mastered the basics of meditating, you can work on controlling your focus and relieving your pain. As I mentioned previously, I plan to write a post on meditation steps for beginners soon!
Robin, and The Zen Team!
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*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
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