Patients looking for pain relief may start with ibuprofen. However, bed rest is rarely recommended. Some may try stretching, yoga, physical therapy, and acupuncture. And they still struggle with pain. There may be one more option many overlook.
What Is Mindfulness Meditation?
Meditation gets a bad rap. Some people think it’s woo-woo. It’s not about sitting cross-legged and saying “Ohm” over and over. What makes it different from other alternative therapies is that it involves practicing mindfulness.
There is ongoing research on the benefits of mindfulness for patients with chronic pain. The National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine has published a study called Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain. The study concludes that mindfulness meditation can improve pain symptoms and quality of life.
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of calming the mind and body to slow down thoughts and let go of negativity. It focuses on the here and now. While techniques vary, the premise is to take deep breaths while being aware of your mind and body.
How to Meditate to Manage Pain
One example of meditation is lying down flat on the floor or bed (depending on your pain level). Close your eyes while focusing on your breathing. Take slow and deep breaths. Pay attention to feeling your stomach expand and recede. Start the body scan beginning with your left toes and foot. Notice all the sensations including tingling, pain, and numbness. Try to melt into the floor each time you inhale.
Any time your mind drifts away, bring it back to your foot without judgment. If you notice any uncomfortable sensations, acknowledge it and any thoughts that come with them. Continue to breathe gently as you work through it. Observe any discomfort and help your body relax through it. Regardless if anything has changed with the foot, move to the next body part, which is the ankle. Repeat these steps until you’ve done a full-body scan.
If you have questions, contact us or call 214-823-2052. With offices in Addison and Dallas, our team serves residents in Dallas, Addison, Plano, Frisco, Garland, and other cities in the DFW metroplex.