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Meditation and Pain Management


Meditation Techniques Can Provide Pain Relief

Article by David L. Hebert

Meditation, in its simplest form, is simply a way of calming your inner mind and bringing it into balance with your body. This balance can let your body ease its way into providing you with relief from the pain associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, arthritis, and other disabling conditions.

Often, because your days are hectic and you have so many thoughts running through your mind at the same time, your body can go into sensory overload. As a result, it can feel like your body just wants to shut down, similar to the way a marathoner can seemingly hit a “wall” where it seems he or she just can’t go on anymore. (The 24/7 flu t-shirt compares the fatigue and pain of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia to how one feels after running a marathon.)

By practicing daily meditation, you can help your mind and your body find quiet time to mend and re-establish a sense of equilibrium.

There really isn’t a wrong way to meditate. As long as you’re letting your mind rest, you’re probably accomplishing your goal. If you find that as you try to meditate, your thoughts keep running to how you’re ever going to find the energy to get the dishes done or deal with any of those other things that coping with a disabling condition makes seem overwhelming, just gently push those thoughts away.

A particularly beautiful way of dealing with thoughts like this is to picture the thoughts being wrapped in a clear bubble — a nice soap bubble with an iridescent rainbow that shimmers on the surface. Imagine the thought inside the bubble, bouncing around lightly inside that clear, shiny sphere — and then imagine that bubble just floating lightly upwards, bouncing slowly to and fro in the breeze — until it climbs so high you can’t even see it anymore.

You don’t have to sit in a yoga position and have absolute quiet to enter a meditative state. You can meditate while walking, or bathing, or even — heaven forbid — doing the dishes. The important thing is that you let your mind take that important relaxing break.

And while you’re doing it, use your imagination to help heal your body, too. One particularly effective way is to envision your body being wrapped in a gentle pink cloud. (One of my favorites is pretending that it’s a nice big wad of sweet, pink cotton candy.) Pink is a soothing color, and you can let yourself feel the warm sensations of the color spreading through your body and carrying a nice healing glow along with it.

If you have a part of your body that is being persistently painful, send an extra bit of this warmth and color to that part. Imagine it spreading a healing energy throughout the area, and be thankful that your body has the time to indulge itself in healing. You don’t have to believe in the process whole-heartedly; you just need to go through the actions. Your body and your mind will do the rest.

Try it for a week or two. At the very least, you’ll find that you’ve been able to enjoy some nice quiet moments to yourself. More than likely, you’ll find that the pain has started to dissipate, and you’ve discovered a new way to bridge the gap between mind and body and have found a way to help the body heal itself.

This is by no means the only way to meditate. It’s just one of a million. But it’s a great start, and it really is fun to try. Let yourself indulge in it, and then hop onto the Chronic-Illness.org Forum to share your results with others.

David L. Hebert is a lawyer and writer from Manitoba, Canada. He is the author of The Everything Learning French Book, the upcoming Speak French (In No Time) (available in 2006), and Freedom of the Press . For more information about the author of this article, you can visit his Web site — Lurquer.com.

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