Meditation Articles Series


Can meditation help relieve pain?

21 Dec 2007

The simple answer is, yes it can. If you already have a meditation practice you will be able to recall the feelings of deep relaxation you have experienced from time to time. It is by being able to relax and to soften around pain that a person can move through the pain so that it disappears. As humans, generally speaking our reaction to pain is to try in some way to get away from it. For example, when a person is feeling emotional pain they may resort to overeating, overdrinking, overworking, or some other distraction so that they donít have to feel their feelings of discomfort. The same can also be applied to physical pain. However, there are of course degrees of pain. Pain management with medication is obviously very important in many areas of unwellness to maintain some sort of equilibrium. In the research that I have been doing people have reported reducing analgesics and undergoing medical procedures without anaesthetic. Their daily meditation practice has enabled them to relax and be inwardly calm and at peace.

Hereís a method that you may like to use if you are experiencing pain in your body. You may be sitting in meditation and become aware that you have some discomfort, or you may go into meditation with some pain that you want to relieve. Allow that part of your body to become your one pointed focus and observe what happens. For example there may be a pain in the right shoulder. You take your attention there and get a complete image of the pain. You become aware of the sensations, where they begin, where they end. You become aware of the size, how big the area of this pain is. Is it a centimetre or many centimetres in size? You become aware of its shape. Perhaps it has the shape of a ball, or a square or a cone or some other shape. These sensations may be quite dense or the density may vary on different layers of the sensations. You stay aware, just observing any thoughts that may be arising and passing away in the same way as the sensations in your body. Once you have an image of the pain you concentrate fully on it. You may begin to feel overwhelmed at this point as the discomfort may increase. Accept and allow what you are feeling. In this way it is possible to dissolve the pain in your body. Through one pointed focus which meditation can be defined as you relax, accept and allow and what occurs is a natural release of endorphins. Endorphins are the brainís opiate-like pain relievers. As a result a person can feel euphoric with a profound sense of relief and well being. Pain naturally dissolves.



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