Meditation is one of the most popular of alternative chronic pain treatment methods for pain relief. Practitioners say that when people meditate, they can increase the amount of natural painkillers in their body and stimulate the production of pleasurable chemicals. Meditation can encourage a sense of well-being, happiness, connectedness, and wholeness.
Common Practices in Meditation for Chronic Pain Treatment Include:
- Breathing. Practitioners become aware of their breath and how they can control it. Slowing breathing helps to calm the mind. Focus on the breath as the “object of meditation.” It helps to slow the heart, lower the blood pressure, and often decrease the pain.
- Transforming the view of life. Meditating helps practitioners alter their view of themselves. Instead of feeling helpless and out of control, you can get a sense of the possible, a self-induced calmness with inner peace and harmony. As your view of yourself changes, you also can create greater balance in your life.
- Visualization. This is a commonly used technique to help with relaxation. You simply visualize a place or activity that brought happiness into your life. This technique often can be facilitated—a guided visualization.
Any meditative techniques can be done alone and in silence, or with an audio track in the background, or in groups, which can be very powerful, and often with the verbal guidance of a teacher. One specific meditative practice is called the body scan, which is adapted from an ancient Burmese practice used by many practitioners, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., an internationally known scientist and meditation teacher. This guided meditation encourages you to scan through your body much like a CT scan machine might. It utilizes the breath to affect and decrease tension and pain. Each time you encounter these feelings you can replace them with a sense of spaciousness, relaxation, and freedom. This blog post is an excerpt from A Day Without Pain (Revised) by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP). photo credit: HTB via photopin cc