If you've got chronic pain, then you know the road I'm talking about: Starting with something as simple as Ibuprofin or Naproxin, physical therapy, perhaps a "course" in coping with chronic pain, and maybe some support group.
At this point, your doc isn't too keen on giving you a bunch of opiods, what with all the press about the epidemic. Maybe (s)he has told you about mindfulness meditation. Maybe you've even tried it....and it's helped, but only for a little while. And then the pain returns. So you've decided that it's a temporary fix.
Or maybe you've heard about it and decided in advance that it's a bunch of rubbish.
What if it isn't?
Study after study has shown the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation when it comes to stress reduction and pain.
But let's be clear - mindfulness will not necessarily take away your pain. It is not a magic bullet that works after a few tries and shazaam! Your pain is gone. Over time, it can greatly reduce your pain. And that's the key - over time. You have to keep at it.
Mindfulness is about being mindful of what happens within your body and focusing on that. So why would you WANT to focus on the pain when most of the time you would do anything to keep yourself distracted from it and try to ignore it as much as possible?
It seems counter intuitive but by actually paying attention to, and embracing all sensations in your body, you are doing a few things:
The first is that you are noticing that your pain is not static In fact, like your thoughts, your pain and other physical sensations are constantly changing, ebbing and flowing. Even if it is all pain sensations, the sensations themselves are different, not solid, immutable.
And then there's this: you are ceasing to resist the pain. You are letting it flow through you and making mental notes of how it feels. Maybe you've heard the expression ‘’what you resist, persists’’. Resisting pain is the most natural response to constant pain, but the fact is that it doesn’t help.
And lastly, perhaps the most beneficial element to the mindfulness meditation practice is stopping the secondary suffering in its tracks. Much of the misery from chronic pain is not from the pain itself but rather the anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression that can come with it. It’s almost inevitable that you will experience secondary suffering if you have been in chronic pain for some time. How could you not?
If you're interested in learning what the 3 biggest mistakes people with chronic pain make, I've got a PDF with your name written all over it. Just click here to download it. I hope you find it useful! Scroll down and leave a comment for me, letting me know - I'm interested in hearing what you have to say!
You can learn more about meditation through sound healing at Elemental Sound Healing