Meditation and the Media Part III

September 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm (Uncategorized)

This article will finish the one started last week and will deal with the effects of meditation on pain as reported in the article ay Dr. Oz and Dr Roizen in my local paper.

Two aspects of pain

Pain has both physical and mental dimensions. The physical dimension is the actual nerve reaction to a particular stimulus. Externally, this might be a cut or abrasion or a broken bone. Internally this might be some tissue damage or some organ malfunction. Whatever it is, some physical thing is out of order and the nerve endings are responding with a message of pain to the brain.

This part of pain is fairly straightforward and consists of the neural message to the brain that something is out of order.

The mental aspect of pain is by far the most complicated. It starts when the physical stimulus comes and then is interpreted by the brain according to the nature of the pain, past experiences, sensitivity to pain and a host of other mental and emotional parts of the exerience.

While meditation does not heal the abrasion, it is very important and effective at mitigating and managing the mental aspects of the pain experience. The next blog entry will deal more extensively with the mental and emotional aspects of pain as a separate topic. For the rest of this blog post, I will list three ways suggested by the article to use meditation skills to help ease pain.

Three Quick Pain Relief Tips

First is mindfulness meditation. We have talked about that in previous posts. Mindfulness is letting your mind focus on the present. Breathe slowly and deeply and focus your attention on the breath. Feel each breath go in and out of your lungs and fill all parts of your body.

This focus tends to increase blood flow, and lowers pulse and respiratory rate and will reduce the sensation of pain in your mind.

The second quick tip is to use guided imagery. This technique suggests that you focus your mind on a pleasant and happy scene or situation from your past. Remember a beach, or a park or a pleasant place that brings good feelings or memories. Live the memory as completely and fully as possible with all the sights, sounds and emotions.

The third quick tip is muscle relaxation. Close your eyes and focus your mind on a particular muscle group. Start with your fists. Clench them for 7 seconds or so, and then abruptly let them relax, and feel all the tension drain away out of your hands and arms. Repeat this cycle with every muscle group in your body. Arms, toes, calves, thighs, buttocks, stomach etc. and feel all the tension drain away from your body.

These three quick techniques are useful to divert your attention from the pain that you may be experiencing and help you manage your immediate circumstance.

They are also tools for beginning to learn to meditate. Go to the website for greater detail and I will see you next post.

Have a great and relaxing day!!

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