Mindfulness and its close sibling, meditation, have been shown by research, particularly Jon-Kabat Zinn’s work, to truly help and make a difference in the quality of the lives for those with Chronic Pain.
But getting started with a meditation practice can be a challenge, especially for those with Chronic Pain. When you live in constant pain, by definition your mind is busy, busy constantly sending you the message of pain. How in the world do we quiet that level of mental disturbance down?
Forget “monkey mind”! Living in Chronic Pain is more like living with Gorilla mind.
In any event, where to start?
Guided meditation (having another walk- aka talk you, and too, encourage and even time you through the process) may be the most ideal form of meditation for Chronic Pain sufferers. It’s definitely a great place to start.
Like with other aspects of our lives, technology can make all aspects of starting and supporting a meditation practice easier. Three easy to use apps, with different styles and offering different types of meditations, are:
- Calm– this site offers a vast number of different guided meditations to address all manner of meditation purposes and goals from body scans to loving kindness to commuting as well as simple straight-forward timed meditations and all to a wide number of different pleasing images and soundtracks, mostly based in nature.
- Headspace– a direct, easy to use site, created by a Buddhist monk, that includes informative, short, animated You-tube clips to help you learn the basics. After that there are many guided meditations to chose from, from travel and on-the-go meditations to those to help with sleep or frustration as well as the basic timed meditation.
- Centering Prayer- a Christian form of prayer that has deep connections with meditation. This app allows you to customize your prayer practice with opening and closing prayers or biblical readings and bells, chimes, etc. A clean, direct approach to establishing a centering prayer practice.
Suspect inflammation issues may be at the root of your Chronic Pain?
Here’s a quick, down-and-dirty quiz from the “Don’t Turn Your Back On It” people. They represent “a campaign to raise public awareness of inflammatory back pain (IBP) and AS (ankylosing spondylitis). It is an initiative organized and funded by AbbVie… and the team at Arthritis Australia“.
*Sorry- this is geared to those with Chronic Pain related to the spine.
Continuing research on Chronic Pain has begun to show that Chronic Pain, to some degree (they’re still working on all of this), can be a disease of the mind.
This doesn’t mean however that there are not major injuries to or diseases of the body involved as well, but simply, given the technology and brain-imaging that is now available…
Continue reading “Chronic Pain ~ Who’s in the “Driver’s Seat” of Your Pain?”
If you live with Chronic Pain you know all about the Pain Scale-
And too, the ambiguities of it.
Today’s a ” good day”…Does that mean I’m a 5 or am I just being Melo-dramatic?!?
If l’m really having a bad pain day, like I’m dreaming of jumping off a bridge or some such nonsense, does that make me a 10?
Or is 10 “reserved” for those who are literally on fire?
Who knows?!? Where’s the answer key?
For a good laugh on the subject (and others as well) …
Continue reading “Too Serious for Numbers”
A part of Chronic Pain for many, in some way, shape or form is connected to inflammation. Inflammation occurs naturally as the body’s response to many types of injuries, infections and organ, tissue and cellular disturbances. More often then not- if something is awry in the body, the body goes into inflammation-mode, bringing the message of distress to the body-owner (the pain signal) and the rush of needed blood and cellular activity (which we experience as swelling, heat and redness) to initiate the body’s healing process.
NSAID’s (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories) were developed and are commonly used today to decrease inflammation including to lower fevers and reduce swelling.
Many NSAID’s are readily available over-the-counter and others require a prescription, but they can all have serious results and side effects. For those who live in Chronic Pain, taking NSAID’s regularly and/or taking more than recommended, even rarely, can have serious consequences…
Continue reading “NSAID’s and Chronic Pain ~ Know the Risks”