You may remember from my last Blog, “The Pain Relief Way”, that I mentioned meditation was one of the key factors in helping find some relief from pain.
So, what do you think of when someone utters the word, ‘meditation’? Do you think of someone sitting in the lotus position chanting ‘ohm’ for great lengths of time? I can forgive you for thinking that as it is often perceived that way. However, there are many different types and ways of meditating.
Meditation is in fact a type of relaxation technique that creates ‘mindfulness’. This means we are in a space where we are focussed only on what is happening now, in the present moment. Therefore, we are being mindful. When we are being mindful we are able to block out thoughts that trouble us or occupy our conscious mind. E.g, the cleaning that needs to be done, worrying about our children, or do I have a job next week?, etc.
You may or may not have noticed that when you are really relaxed those aches and pains or persistent anxious thoughts are reduced or not even there. However, how often do you stop and just relax? Mmmm, just as I thought! Not often at all!
If you are living with pain then, “Mindful mediation is an appealing option for treating your pain because it has an unusual benefit; it places you in a position of control.” Stephanie Burke, Mindful Mediation vs Chronic Pain, 11/11/16, www.spine-health.com
Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress and tension in muscles and help quiet the mind.
There are many types of meditation but most have these key features, which include:
Finding a quiet spot where you can either sit or lie down comfortably.
Focussing on one thing; it could be your breath, a picture, a tree, as examples.
If your mind is invaded by thoughts just ‘let them go’ and refocus on your ‘one thing’.
You do not need to do this for a long time. Start out with 2 or 3 minutes and gradually build it up. The more regularly you undertake this process the more relaxed you will feel and the next thing you know you might be up to 10 minutes.
In the 2017 – Annals of Behavioral Medicine, the results of a meta-analysis of over 35 randomised and controlled trials concluded that the practice of mindful meditation “improves pain and depression symptoms and quality of life.” www.arthritis.org Meditation Benefits for People with Arthritis.
So, in conjunction with your health care professionals the practice of mindful mediation has shown to have significant benefits for those living with pain, depression or anxiety, on a daily basis. You may find some helpful resources at: http://www.freemindfulness.org
Live Well, Stay Well