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Meditate that pain away

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by Cort, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Meditation seems like a pretty light weight tool to deal with pain but quite a few studies show that it can be quite effective. Pain is after all a signal sent by our brain to tell our mind to do something - namely stop whatever we're doing so that we can heal. Can one train one's mind to tamp down those pain signals?

    It's clear that pain signals build on themselves; that is the brain focuses on pain the bigger neural pathways that transmit it become. Therefore it should be possible to tone down those neural pathways simply by ignoring them.

    A recent study found Zen meditators were able to tolerate far more pain than people who would never meditated. It also appeared that slowed breathing rates which relaxed the body were also synonymous with reduced pain. For myself I've noticed that slowing my breathing down and relaxing myself does reduce my pain and fatigue and increase my quality of life.

    Check out this article for more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090203110514.htm
  2. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Not sure how to word this, but I have had some positive results (sometimes) by talking to my pain. I would almost call it prayer except it's not the same as prayer the way most people think of it.

    It's more like talking to my body, talking to the pained area, speaking peace and soundness to it. Sometimes it is in words and sometimes it isn't.

    It's not something that works instanteously, and it doesn't work every time. But sometimes about 20 minutes into this I will feel an ... easing. Sometimes it is temporary and sometimes it lasts, and if I do it over a period of time, days or weeks, sometimes the pain ... goes away.

    Sorry if this sounds weird, but it is something I do. :)
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    it makes complete sense to me. One of the things I think we need to do is to get to know and communicate better with our bodies. I think meditation and other similar therapies give patients a start at wellness that I think can grow over time.

    I've gotten to the point where I can at times just ask my body to calm down and it will - it will relax and ease into a comfortable state and I'll feel much better. That can only be helpful and healthful. I'm not out there running marathons or even around-the-block but I am feeling much better.
  4. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I know I have been guilty of giving light weight to the interaction of our minds and bodies.

    A few years ago I came across some books that talked about benefits of yoga, tai chi and meditation and I thought about it for like 5 minutes and shrugged it off.

    I used to do a little yoga but that was really long before I got sick so never made that connection with physical wellness, just as a form of gentle exercise, really.

    My husband used to do tai chi. And I have always admired those who could meditate.:) But I never had the patience, I'd drift off and quit.

    But learning a bit about psychoneuroimmunology has changed my view.

    That there is a science that points in this direction takes it for me, from a wishful thinking that we can heal ourselves, and makes it more a reality to shoot for.

    I still lack the self-discipline to really apply myself here -- I talk a better story on this than I actually act upon -- but I am trying to head in that direction and I am optimistic.
  5. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    I talk a better story as well. I think these things are more difficult for ME/CFS patients than people with other illnesses. I've kind of thought of ME/CFS as an anti-spiritual disease because it's so much harder (at least for me) to settle down and concentrate.

    On the other hand there's evidence - with regard to pacing, which I think is a meditative type pursuit since it requires one to watch oneself carefully - and some of the mindfulness techniques - that these kind of techniques can be very helpful. Unfortunately the barriers to using them are also higher.

    I would think that evidence of a dysregulated stress response and autonomic nervous system functioning in itself suggest that they should be at least helpful
  6. Tony

    Tony Still working on it all..

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    That's interesting what you say about talking to your pain Jody. I don't think it's weird, it just sounds that way! :)
    My take on it is that it's a type of meditative process itself, concentrating on one thing and being aware.
    I find meditation, whether focussed on relaxing the body or breathing or just drifting, letting the thoughts come and go, is nicely peaceful. And just occasionally a little energising.
  7. kitonthemoon

    kitonthemoon

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    I'm not the sit down, curl up and cross my knees and meditate in a quiet room kind of person. My art is my most effective therapy...besides that, I also yoga and chi gong which I find most calming.

    When I do it, I imagine the good 'chi' is traveling to differnt organs, and bad chi being exhaled out with specific movement. I do the same with yoga, except, I imagine with breathing.

    When I have too many really, really bad days with no chi-qong, or yoga, I can feel my muscle gets all tensed up and add more pain. Even though doing both can also be painful, but afterwards, I get energized and feeling less pain. Or, should I put it as more tolerant to pain.

    Kit
  8. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Yes, I guess it is a type of meditation and it is calming. And when it works, (which isn't all the time) it is ... wonderful.

    It also helps to build hope which I find is essential for my healing, and for being able to handle the crap in this life in the meantime, as the healing ... very slowly ... unfolds.
  9. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    I'm not one to be able to sit down and meditate in the traditional sense either. I get distracted, and impatient, it doesn't work for me.

    I'm better if I'm doing something more like walking around, and talking out loud to myself :D, or walking and singing.

    Playing the piano and singing is also meditation for me.
  10. rainbow11

    rainbow11 Guest

    sending love to pain

    Hi, all, I just recently joined... I like all of the methods you all have described. I also use, sending love to the pain... I concentrate on my heart chakra.. and then imagine "love" being sent to the area that is painful....

    Most times, this will alleviate the pain. Sometimes I will have to "sit" longer than others with this "love" in the painful area.

    rainbow
  11. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Hi Rainbow,

    Welcome to the forums.

    I like the things you've written here. Like them very much. :)

    I'd like to hear more if there is more that you have to share.
  12. rainbow11

    rainbow11 Guest

    Jody...

    Thank you for the kind words.... yes, I have plenty to share... and am grateful for the other words of wisdom on this forum.

    I will go into more detail on how to send love to pain later today... busy in the garden at present...

    rainbow
  13. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Jody,

    I always got distracted & impatient too. The more I tried to clear my mind, the more busy my mind got.

    It's only been the last 12-15 months that I've been able to "clear" & relax.

    I was determined to do it though. I still want to get off BP meds entirely one day. My blood pressure still rises from time to time, but I'm getting much better at lowering it.

    (I've got a BP monitor at home, so I can check it regularly as I "practice").

    But, suddenly one Sunday morning 15months ago, when external sounds were minimal, I suddenly realised that I could do it. And the first time I dropped my blood pressure 40 points (in 5-10 minutes) I was so excited.

    Doing everyday routines "mindfully" is a good start. Walking "mindfully" is another good practice.

    I guess it helps that I am single & live on my own - I don't have children or a partner constantly interrupting me.

    Keep trying though, Jody.

    Victoria
  14. KC22

    KC22 Senior Member

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    Meditation....

    Hi Jody,

    I also have trouble calming the mind to meditate, too. If I sit down and think about meditating, I struggle with it. The word "think" is what is slowing me down.

    I understood when you speak to your body in prayer,word,etc... I have read a lot of Eckhart Tolle and he speaks of calming the body and becoming aware of the energy within. I have found that to be very helpful when I feel the stress rise. It does work like you said, sometimes a short time and sometimes longer...

    P.S. Your my first new friend.... Cool!!!!:)



    Victoria,

    I can relate to the mindfulness of daily routines you refer to. I find I can do it when I wash my hands since that is something we do often during the day.
    When I am being mindful during my day, it is usually a good one!

    One of the things I do often is go outside and sit. We have a pond/creek in our backyard. I sit and listen.... It is amazing to listen to all of the sounds; the birds singing, the katydids that are active right now and the frogs and crickets at night.

    For me it is easier to listen to sounds than to meditate. I am just happy I have come to this place....
  15. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Rainbow,

    Hope you enjoyed the garden. :)
  16. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Victoria,

    That's fantastic about the drop in your blood pressure. Well done. :)

    "Mindfulness" is a wonderful thing. It's a concept I haven't heard about in some years, until on these forums. I am happy to be running into it again.

    I will keep trying, thank you Victoria. :)
  17. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    KC22,

    I haven't read Tolle but have heard a fair amount about what he's written and it sounds very similar to what I've experienced. Very worthwhile exploring this realm, I think.

    I thought I'd clicked that Friend button on your profile awhile ago. Just realized today that I hadn't. Ah, the intricacies of the cfs brain... ! :rolleyes:
  18. rainbow11

    rainbow11 Guest

    Sending Love to Pain

    Jody, and All...

    Yes, I did enjoy the garden....

    I have trouble keeping focused with meditating, too. My mind tends to wander.

    So I need something to do, to keep my mind occupied while meditating.

    What I do is visualize energy coming in through my crown chakra, I imagine I am breathing that energy in.

    So on the first breath in, I imagine energy (and thinking of this as light, or love energy) coming in through the crown chakra, and then you take this energy as far down as you can through your body while breathing in, the "In" Breath.

    Then on the Outbreath, I continue taking this energy down through all the chakras, and continuing with the energy through the soles of my feet, down into Mother Earth (who always has a lot of love energy to share.)

    Then I gather up more love/light energy from Mother Earth and bring that energy back up through all the chakras, lighting them up with their respective colors on the way back up....

    Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. That activates and energizes your chakras.

    At this point I send this energy back to the Universe, gather up more love/light energy and come back through my crown chakra, repeating the process.

    Then, after I have done this a few times, I then imagine Breathing In through the heart chakra, actually visualize and imagine that you are breathing In through that area, and then either take the energy up through the crown chakra, on the Out Breath, or back down through the soles of the feet.

    So, in other words, the Sacred Breath is actually transporting this love/light energy.

    I do this a few times.

    Now that your body is full of this love/light energy, if you wish, you can share it with the Universe... or direct it to a certain ache, or body area.

    For the Universe: You can breathe in through your heart chakra, and then expand that energy not only up through your crown chakra, back to the Universe, but you can also expand it in all directions, down, up, and out through your back. You can focus and send this energy to certain areas of the world that need healing, or to anyone in need.

    You can also Pull the love/light energy in through your crown chakra, again with the In Breath, and then, with the Out Breath, not only expand it Out through your Heart Chakra, to the Universe, but through the soles of your feet and out through your back.

    Once you get proficient at this..... it takes just a bit of practice and time to stay with the Breath and move this energy, you can easily, if you get an excruciating pain, instead of succumbing to the instant panic and fear that Pain seems to want to send us to.... you can focus that love energy coming from your heart chakra and take that energy instantly to the area in need.

    rainbow
  19. Jody

    Jody Senior Member

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    Rainbow,

    Sounds intriguing.

    I am just beginning to learn a bit more about chakras from my Reiki lady.
  20. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    I've worked a tiny bit with my chakras from time to time. For the most part, it has just been to do some psychic shielding. I find using them to be kinda tiring for me. I don't know if it is the concentration level or because things with them are so sluggish.

    And from prior in the discussion here, ditto with me and having trouble with meditation. Before CFS, I was starting to get into it a couple times a week. Would be good for easily 30 minutes without drifting too much. I have only a minute or two at best now before my thoughts start fluttering around.

    Lisa :)

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