Mindfulness and Meditation: A Holistic Approach to Manage Pain

It is a well-established fact that mindful living helps in stress reduction. But did you know that the same principles can be used for effective pain management? The approach involves various meditation and relaxation techniques including Hatha Yoga. Since its inception, thousands of people tried it. A quick search on the internet will give you a fair idea of how well it has been received by patients around the world. Today, more and more modern healthcare centres are offering mindfulness and meditation programs as a part of holistic pain management services.


To understand this trend, let’s start with the basics. Firstly, pain is a complex emotion. The way each individual experiences pain is different because pain perception is dependent on many psychological factors. This includes the emotional state of the individual, his/her belief system, expectations, and environment. With this knowledge, experts have now concluded that mindfulness can help hasten the healing process. Please remember that it cannot make the pain go away but it can help you by reducing your suffering caused due to pain.


Yoga & Meditation

Simply put, mindfulness means giving your full attention to the present moment. Some mindfulness techniques employ your breath as the focal point to redirect your mind. You can practice mindfulness meditation by sitting cross-legged on the floor, sitting in a chair, or even while walking. Alternatively, you can try the body scan technique. All you have to do is lie down in a quiet place and focus on your body parts, starting from the feet and gradually moving upwards, towards your head.


The practice helps you get in touch with your current feelings and pain sensations with the goal of acceptance. It has been found that when patients with chronic pain recognize that they can control the response to physical pain sensations, they are able to maintain a positive frame of mind and reduce their suffering.


Patients with chronic pain are more inclined to suffer from bouts of anxiety and depression. They are also more prone to suffer from poor sleep quality and an altered sense of functional status leading to poor quality of life. In such cases, mindfulness and meditation play a very important role in maintaining the patients’ mental health. Given below are some ways mindfulness and meditation help in reducing the psychological impact of pain:


1. Breaking the loop of thinking about pain and how it occurred.
2. Greater acceptance of the unpleasant sensations.
3. Improved mind-body connection.
4. Increased levels of self-compassion.
5. Decreased levels of stress.


If you have the willingness to try something new, make mindfulness meditation a part of your daily routine. You can also opt for guided meditation with the help of an experienced professional.

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