Guided Meditation for Pain

Experiencing pain can be a devastating experience, particularly the older we get. From back pain to migraines, pain can quickly become the center of our focus, making us unable to experience anything pleasant. Once we begin to experience pain, all we want is for it to go away. We might invest money in physiotherapy, medication, or other fixes that help us solve this burning problem for good. So, whether you’re experiencing pain from an accident, fall, or some other devastating effect, eliminating it is a necessity. While a guided meditation for pain won’t solve a slipped disc, it can be practiced in between appointments to help you bring your focus on something else, so that you can enjoy life again.

What Is Meditation for Pain?

Meditation is the act of focusing on your breathing and noticing sensations throughout the body. And pain is that alarm bell that tells you exactly where the sensations are. So these two things go together hand in hand.

Meditation isn’t a magic spell that’ll heal you of your pain. If something’s broken, you still have to fix it. But healing doesn’t happen overnight. So, sometimes, you need something to distract you from your pain or at least change your relationship to the pain, that won’t further harm you.

An interesting thing that happens when we practice a meditation for pain is that we’re able to actually notice little details about the pain. We might notice the pain get weaker. Interestingly enough, sometimes we realize the pain is in a very specific part of our body. When you’ve got a throbbing pain in your body, but aren’t mindful about it because it’s just too much, sometimes you miss out on the details that might actually help you get rid of the pain at your next doctor’s appointment.

Alternatively, meditation for pain can also change your relationship to the pain. When we practice a ten-minute meditation for pain daily, we become aware of things that our pain prevents us from noticing. We might notice how grumpy we’ve been with our family members because our suffering has taken a hold of us, or that when you did a specific activity your pain temporarily “went away” so you start to do that activity a bit more frequently. We might also have an epiphany about a specific exercise, diet, or tactic we can do to minimize our pain. Having a moment to clear your mind can fill you with problem-solving ideas to get rid of your pain for good.

Guided Meditations for Pain

The following practice is available in two time lengths: fifteen and twenty minutes. You’ll also find this meditation on the Declutter The Mind app. Meditation allows you to practice mindfulness, so that when pain strikes you can still be the best version of yourself despite experiencing it. That’s why we recommend practicing this meditation on a daily basis, instead of only when pain strikes. With enough practice, you’ll be able to practice breathing exercises on your own when experiencing sharp or throbbing pain.

How to Meditation Reduces Pain

Millions of people experience pain every day. While opioids have helped people manage their pain symptoms, they can sometimes cause death by slowing your breathing and heart rate. This medication can also be addictive. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you manage your pain without medication: guided meditation for pain.

When you meditate the brain uses neural pathways that are more pain resistant. It even bypasses the opioid receptors found in the brain naturally, so you get to benefit from less pain. So it’s not magic. It’s science.

However, meditation also reduces pain because it focuses on the present moment. As you breathe in and out, you become more focused on breathing, which helps distract you from noticing the pain. You might still feel it, especially if the pain was severe to begin with, but it’ll likely be a lesser severity of it.

While meditating, you can also help yourself relax by ensuring you’re in a comfortable position. If you need to lie down because the pain is too much to bear, then by all means lie down. Get yourself in a position that feels comfortable for you in this exact moment, so you can help minimize the pain.

Studies show that you can reduce pain by 22% by practicing meditation for pain relief. Another study showed that those who practice meditation regularly are scientifically proven to feel less pain when their brains were scanned using an MRI, in comparison to a control group.

How to Meditate for Pain

1. Sit down comfortably

On a chair, meditation cushion, or couch sit down comfortably with your back upright. If it’s too painful to sit, you can choose to lie down while practicing the meditation for pain relief. You should sit in a position that you can hold for between 10-60 minutes depending on the length of the meditation you choose, so you can concentrate on the meditation for pain instead of being distracted by your meditation posture.

2. Open the Declutter The Mind app

After you download Declutter The Mind, open your app. Depending on the type of pain you have, such as whether it’s emotional or physical, choose a meditation that works best for you. Alternatively, you can simply search for “pain” to find the best meditation practice in general to do. The two pain meditations vary in length: fifteen or twenty minutes. Alternatively, you can choose another topic, such as how you feel emotionally in relation to having pain to find other meditations that may work for you.

3. Next steps

Set a reminder to practice meditation for pain again tomorrow. After all, daily meditation practice is scientifically proven to reduce pain. Below, you’ll also find other suggestions to reduce pain along with your pain meditation to help you feel less pain without needing medication.

The Benefits of Pain Meditation

1. It works

As you learned in the how meditation reduces pain section, meditation is scientifically proven to lower your pain. Scientists are still trying to understand exactly which neural pathways meditation uses. However, brain scans do show that people feel less pain when they’re active meditators. A 2020 study found mindfulness helps manage chronic pain. And since meditation helps you become more mindful, it makes sense. Those who have pain over a long period, should consider starting a daily meditation practice to manage their symptoms.

2. It’s safe

There are many methods at reducing pain symptoms. The most popular solution is a quick fix Advil, opioid, or other pain-killer medication. For the odd time, using medication could be a good solution. However, over a long period spanning weeks or months, certain medications could pose risks. From accidental overdoses to organ damage, there are side effects to using medications.

So what’s the alternative? Guided meditation for pain. When you meditate, you’re doing healthy things that you already do every day, like deep breathing, becoming present, becoming mindful. A ten-minute meditation every day poses no risk or harm to the body and is actually proven to benefit it in a lot of ways.

3. It helps other symptoms too

A meditation for pain helps much more than your pain symptoms. You might notice a relief of depression and anxiety for mental support. As for physical benefits of meditation, you might boost your immune functions, improve your sleep, decrease your risk of heart disease, manage inflammatory disorders, and even live a longer life. You can learn more benefits of meditation.

Other Ways to Reduce Pain

1. Try some exercises

Some pain is caused by performing tasks with bad postures. Whether it’s bending down to pick up boxes incorrectly or spending eight hours of the day sitting at a desk hunched over. You can browse YouTube or search for articles on exercises for your specific pain. Of course, not all pains can be reduced with exercise, but a lot of them can. Finding time to practice mindful walking every day before work, during lunch, and after work can help prevent pain. Plus, walking is often a light activity which makes it possible for the average person. If your pain worsens with walking, consult a doctor or specialist regarding the best exercises, if any, for you to do.

2. Attend physiotherapy

For people who’ve suffered an accident at work or a car accident, you might be recommended to try physiotherapy. In physiotherapy, you’ll likely do exercises that specifically help with the pain you have. It’s like having a personal trainer who specializes in rehabilitation. You can get the physical support you need so you can heal properly without worrying about potentially hurting yourself from overstraining. If you have severe pain from slipped discs or broken limbs, physiotherapy can help you recover. The best part is that most insurance companies cover physiotherapy in their plans, so it’s possible that your workplace insurance policy can pay for it.

3. Eating a balanced diet

The food we eat can sometimes cause inflammation. If you suffer with gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and so on, you might find that you can alleviate your pain through your diet. Often, high carbohydrate diets can cause inflammation in our bodies. Keep in mind, all bodies are different. So what causes inflammation in you might be different than someone else. However, you can try one of several anti-inflammatory diets to see which one your body responds best to. Diets include keto, low carb, anti-inflammatory diet, or even the Mediterranean diet. These diets tend to trade french fries for broccoli, canola oil for olive oil, and beans for nuts. Mindful eating can be transformative in pain reduction.

4. Stretch

You can pair a guided meditation for pain with your daily stretch. For example, a body scan meditation can help you become aware of all your body parts and you can use it to think about which parts of your body to stretch. When you wake up in the morning, stretch your body to help you loosen your muscles up before you start the day. You should also stretch before and after your workouts to loosen any kinks in your body.

5. Hire a masseuse

For people with chronic pain, visiting a masseuse to get a massage can help you reduce your pain. Deep tissue massages are often very painful during and just after. However, they often work at removing kinks and knots that cause us pain. A benefit of using an RMT is that most of the time your insurance company will cover it. You might be capped on the number of visits per year. However, you’ll likely be able to visit a few times to resolve your pain issue.

6. Use a heat or cold press

If you suffer from pain occasionally, a heat or cold press might do the trick. These might help you relieve pain, such as headaches or menstrual cramps. They’re easy to use at home when you need some fast treatment. You can wet a towel (cold or warm) depending on your preference and place it in the area you feel pain as you lie down. Some people even buy heating pads online if they suffer from cramping on a regular basis. Be sure to do your own research on its effectiveness and safety prior to using those devices though.

7. Try acupuncture

Acupuncture has been proven to relieve pain in many individuals. An acupuncturist will place tiny needles into your body, which feel like small pinches but can also feel relaxing depending on the location. It relieves pain by releasing endorphins, which help with pain relief naturally. But it also helps improve mood too. So you’ll feel better physically and mentally after an acupuncture treatment.

8. Distract yourself

Aside from meditation for pain, distracting yourself can be a great way to manage pain. Doing activities that help you get into a flow state, keep you busy, and distract you from your pain will be a game changer. You can go to a concert, out to a dinner party, or watch a movie at home. Whatever it is that helps reduce your pain will help. Sometimes, when people feel strong pain in an area of their body, they’ll pinch another part of their body like their arm or leg. This can temporarily distract your attention from where the pain is coming from.

9. Spend time with others

Believe it or not, but being with others has been known to reduce pain. Those who are often alone will feel more pain than those who spend most of their time with others. Being around people can be a healing experience, especially if you like the people you’re with. So, if you’ve been noticing more pain in your body lately, aim to spend more quality time with your friends and family. Be there for the people you love and care about the most. As long as the time spent is positive, you should see a reduction in pain.

10. Smell essential oils

Inhaling essential oils can also help relieve pain. So, whether you’re plugging them into a diffuser or smelling a bottle or using it as an air freshener in your home, a strong scent can be therapeutic. The best scents for pain include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemongrass, and more. You can head to your local essential oil store to buy the right scents for your specific needs.

Get the app

Download our free guided meditation app and use Declutter The Mind to help you study.

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