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In my free podcast on pain, “Say Goodbye to Aches & Pains,” I discussed many strategies to help resolve pain, from herbs to help increase blood flow, break down scar tissue, build up and increase muscular elasticity, as well as specific exercises and stretches to address the most common pain areas.
After 30 years of treating chronic pain, I did my best in this must-see video podcast to help folks understand the cause of their pain and how to address it at home. While there are many causes of pain and numerous ways to treat pain, I did not mention one of the most surprising, yet well-studied strategies that you can do in the comfort of your own home, or even in the park!
In addition to all the bio-mechanical causes of pain I discussed in my podcast, fatigue, stress and worry can also cause pain. When a trauma, surgery or injury is in combination with stress, fatigue and worry, the pain can become more difficult to address.
New studies are finding that meditation may be one of the most powerful and reliable allies for helping to literally get underneath your pain. (1-3)
In a very recent study, researchers from the Duke Cancer Institute evaluated 121 women who complained of pain, worry, and fatigue that was associated with a breast cancer biopsy. One group listened to music, another group meditated, and a third group received standard care.
The music group listened to instrumental jazz, classical piano, harp and flute, nature sounds or world music, and the meditation group focused on positive feelings and dispelling negative emotions.
Compared to those in the standard care group, women who used meditation or music had greater reductions in anxiety and fatigue levels. Those in the meditation group had much less pain during the biopsy compared to those in the music group, according to the study that was published in The Journal of the American College of Radiology. (1)
In another study, 81 women with chronic low back pain were given either standard medical care or meditation. After 8 sessions of meditation, the meditation group saw significant improvements in low back pain, quality of life and better mental health compared to the standard medical care group. (4)
At a minimum, meditation is a form of relaxation that can release muscular tension that is associated with pain, but getting underneath the pain through meditation may help the body actually heal itself.
For example, when you cut your finger, the body naturally starts to form a scab. Once the body is aware of the cut, a healing process begins. Pain is the body’s signal for awareness, but the inflammation response that surrounds the injury or pain often blocks the needed awareness.
According to Ayurveda, meditation disarms this protective nervous system by increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is the body’s repairing nervous system. (5) This enhances self-awareness of the painful area on both a physical, mental and even emotional level. Once the body has become fully aware of the painful area as a problem, the body’s natural pharmacy can kick in and help resolve the pain.
Don’t underestimate the power of the mind to heal and help resolve your pain. I invite you to enjoy the first two meditations of my Transformational Awareness Technique (TAT) for free to help with your pain. Please combine the techniques and strategies from my free pain podcast with the TAT meditation for best results.