Why meditate for chronic pain?
MRIs show that the brain of a person meditating has a significant decrease in pain reception.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, mindfulness meditation can help alleviate the sensation of pain for even the most novice of meditators.
It's certainly worth a try for those of us dealing with chronic pain. It doesn't involve any more pills or invasive treatments, and best of all, it's completely free.
What is meditation for chronic pain?
The type of meditation used in the study is called Shamatha, which translates to 'calm abiding'.
When you practice this type of meditation, you pay attention to your breathing while letting go of any worries, thoughts or ideas that pop into your head.
Get started with meditation for chronic pain
Getting started is easy.
Don't worry you don't need to sit in the lotus position or stare at a candle.
You can do this type of meditation laying in bed or sitting in a comfortable chair.
In fact, comfort is key. Make sure that you are as comfortable as possible.
First, start by sitting or lying down comfortably. You can even get fancy & rest on a comfy pillow, relax on a folded up blanket, light a candle, or diffuse your favorite essential oil.
Next, you'll need to close your eyes. Breathe naturally. Focus on your breath and how your body moves with every inhale and exhale.
When a thought comes into your head, acknowledge it & quickly 'let it go' ... return to focusing on your breath.
When you hear a distracting noise, cars honking, children playing, etc. simply acknowledge the sound and let it pass.
Return to focusing on your breath.
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Do this for however long you see fit. 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or until you gradually fall asleep.
Getting help with meditation for chronic pain
Meditating can be difficult at first. If you can't get 'into it' straight away, that's ok, just try again another day.
You can also try a guided meditation. There is a great selection on YouTube.
If you're skeptical about the positive effects meditation has on your well-being and pain relief, give it a try and see how you feel.
It's easy to do & completely free with virtually no risk.
You never know how totally *zen* you might feel.