Well, you heard this right, you can reduce or manage pain through meditation. A general concept of meditation is it is a technique that helps to treat emotional, psychological and mental conditions by relaxing your mind. However, meditation is more than that. Meditation also works on the physical level. You can use meditation to reduce or manage chronic pain. In recent times, doctors are widely recommending meditation for the patients of Fibromyalgia, Musculoskeletal conditions, and other diseases where patients experience excruciating pain.
Meditation was originally used as a form of mental exercise for liberation in Hindu and Buddhist tradition. For a long time, only those interested in spiritual gains performed meditation, therefore, meditation methods were unknown to common people. However, after Hindu Mystic Patanjali wrote Yog Sutra, probably in the 2nd or 3rd century Common Era, meditation was accessible to general people. People started using meditation for physical and mental problems like managing stress, finding happiness, managing pain, etc.
Western science did not take interest in researching meditation until the 20th century. However, in the last 50-60 years, there has been a lot of scientific studies on various meditation forms and it has been established that meditation has a positive effect on mental and physical health. The studies have also found that you can cure or manage your physical pain if you practice a certain form of meditation regularly. If you are experiencing acute pain or chronic pain due to various diseases, here are some meditation techniques that you can practice right now to reduce or manage your physical pain.
Reduce Or Manage Physical Pain Through Body Scan Meditation
Vipassana Meditation, also called Insight Meditation by the English language users, is an ancient Buddhist meditation technique. Vipassana was primarily used for achieving awareness, however, these days this meditation method is more commonly used to treat and cure various mental disorders including stress, anxiety, depression, migraine, as well as manage and reduce acute and chronic pain.
Vipassana involves two steps. In step one, you are taught to develop deep concentration by focusing on your breathing. In step two, you do mental scanning of your body from head to toe and then again toe to head. If you want to manage or reduce physical pain, you can use step two or Body Scan Method. Some people also refer to this method of reducing physical pain as Body Scan Meditation Method.
Find a place without any distractions and sit in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and focus on the crown of your head. Now, lower your center of concentration to the wider area in your head, focus on your forehead, eyes, face, neck, and shoulder. Just like a scanning machine, you use your mind to scan your body from the crown of the head to the toe in your legs. Once you are on your toes, you gradually move up your focus on the upper body.
When you are scanning your body with your mind, you might be distracted with thoughts; however, as soon as you are distracted, you need to pull your mind back to the scanning process. As you scan your body, you also need to become aware of the different sensations arising in your body.
Practice this Body Scan Meditation at least 30 minutes every day. If you do Body Scan Meditation regularly, you will be able to reduce your physical pain. You can also do this meditation in a sleeping position. However, when you are in a sleeping position, you are more likely to fall asleep.
Mindful Meditation To Reduce Or Manage Physical Pain
Mindful Meditation is a meditation technique where you become mindful of your physical, psychological and emotional situations without reacting to any of these situations. When you are doing Mindful Meditation to reduce or manage physical pain, you become aware of your pain, yet do not react to this pain.
You begin by concentrating on various parts of your body. You become aware of each and every sensation inside your body. As you concentration on your sensations, you will find that sensations will come and go, sensations are not long-lasting, sensations arise and then vanish. When you do Mindful Meditation to manage or reduce your pain you also concentrate on parts of the body where you are experiencing pain. You become aware of the sensations arising from your pain. In the beginning, you will find difficult to do this, however, when you make this meditation your daily routine you will find the pain is substantially reduced.
Pranayama or Breathing Meditation to Reduce or Manage Pain
There are various ways to do Breathing Meditation or Pranayama to reduce or manage pain.
Sit in a relaxed position and inhale a deep breath and exhale deep breath. As you inhale and exhale a deep breath, you just concentrate on your breathing, nothing else. The basic idea is to fill more oxygen inside your body so that your nervous system and circulatory system begin to perform better, thus helping in pain reduction.
Close your right nostril and take a deep breath from the left nostril. Now, close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Take a deep breath from the right nostril while the left nostril is still closed, then exhale through the left nostril by closing the right nostril. You repeat the process for at least 15 minutes every day. This breathing exercise triggers your neurotransmitters, thus helping to reduce or manage pain.