Meditation and Chronic Pain
Millions of patients deal with chronic pain. The source almost doesnt matter. Pain relief becomes the major focus of their doctor visits, clinic appointments and self-experimentation, which could be as mild as prayer or as dangerous as illegal drugs. Chronic pain can be defined as pain that persists longer than the time it takes for natural healing to occur or pain that lasts longer than six months. Succinctly put, it is pain that has outlived its usefulness.
What to do? Attack it with pain-killer injections, a pill-taking regimen, or other drastic treatments? Better yet, change the way you look at the problem. Instead of being a patient, become the person leading the way to managing this problem. Become the driving force in your own treatment.
Working with your doctor, nurse, or other health care provider obtain a thorough assessment. Together make a pain control plan. The plan most likely will include a psychological component. This could include traditional approaches such as medication management and talk therapy and non-traditional ones, such as aromatherapy, music and sound therapy, acupuncture, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Eye movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and others.
Bio-feedback is one especially useful modality. It demonstrates physically the strong connection between body and mind. Watching the gauges measuring such things as heart rate, skin temperature and galvanic skin response is very convincing of the connection between ones thoughts and the bodys response.
The routines presented in biofeedback sessions are so close to the practice of meditation that one system naturally leads to the other. Meditation then becomes the method by which the chronic pain sufferer implements the skills gained in biofeedback.
– Deep breathing
– Repetition of affirmations or mantras
– Gentle Persistence
The next challenge is making meditation an everyday habit. Knowing that success was achieved in biofeedback sessions should persuade the patient that meditation is equally effective. The stronger the desire to succeed the more effective the meditation will be. Two statements used in the meditation aid this process. They are “I give myself permission to meditate” and “I thank myself for taking this time to meditate.”
Establishing a particular time of day is helpful, but not absolutely essential. More important is to do it everyday in some fashion. Just like learning to ride a bike, one can learn to meditate.
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