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.
Research has shown that mindfulness is one of the very few things truly proven to be an affective coping skill for Chronic Pain.
But what in the heck is mindfulness?
Andy Puddicombe, a former Tibetan Monk, does a wonderfully entertaining job of presenting just what mindfulness is and looks like and also covers, in a delightful manner, the benefits of practicing it for even just 10 minutes a day.
We now believe that the brain is the root of our sense of pain.
“But if the brain controls all pain, does that mean that we can think pain away? ” ~ Paul Ingraham, Pain Science
No, but, as pain is our brain’s doing (normally it works as a danger/warning sign for bodily injury and harm), we can utilize this information to have some “influence” on our pain…
Continue reading “Learning About the Mind-Pain Connection … A “Leverage Point” for Chronic Pain Management”
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”
Can clothing, one’s wardrobe, really make a difference for those living with Chronic Pain?
If merely getting dressed in the morning is a stressful event due to pain, you just might want to consider the trend of minimalism, specifically adopting a minimalist approach to fashion and dressing.
Not only is it a simpler approach to the actual physical aspect of getting dressed, it also just may help you to live better with your pain, physically, mentally and psychologically.
Continue reading “Chronic Pain on Trend: The Power of a Minimalist Wardrobe”