Monday, July 18, 2011

Meditation and Pain Management

Amazing isn’t it? Activities we took for granted in the first blush of youth can cause us pain now that we’re older. Bending over to pick up the newspaper while turning to call to the dog trampling your neighbor’s flowers can result in some serious back pain. Some people carry stress in their necks and a quick glance over their shoulders can mean they’re limited to looking straight ahead for weeks at a time. Ouch!

And now the good news - research shows that learning to meditate can alter brain activity in the same way next-generation pain medication do.

Imagine delivering your own pain-killer whenever and how often you want – with no warning label or serious side-effects.

For many it can take less than two hours of training to see significant improvement.

Use the basic relaxation induction that I outline in previous blog posts, then:

·         Focus on the area of the pain.
·         Breathe into it. This might be difficult to do because we are trained to move away from pain, but trust me, this technique is proven to work.
·         Give the pain a color, shape and size. Any color, size or shape will do.
·         Now change the color of the pain, make it lighter - if it is red, change it to pink, if it is black, change it to grey, picture the color of the pain getting lighter and lighter.
·         Change the size of the pain - imagine it shrinking, smaller…and smaller…and smaller. Make the size grow, larger and larger and larger…then shrink it again, making it smaller…and smaller… and smaller… until it shrinks to the size of a pea.
·         See if you can make it disappear, if you can't, don't worry, it is okay to leave it the size of a pea where it is manageable.
·         Just rest in this place, noticing how the pain has changed, how it is more manageable.
·         Try to relax deeper and deeper, letting go of any remaining pain…

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