Article by freelance writer Sally Writes.
Reduce Pain By Up to 90% with Mindfulness Meditation
Pain, like any other emotion, is incredibly subjective. It is information processed by the brain, which can be tackled by focusing your attention in the right way. It is estimated that the most experienced meditators can reduce pain by 90% without medication. This is not just based on anecdotal evidence, but is backed up by a number of scientific studies. The alleviation of suffering can come from living in the moment. Here are the benefits of mindfulness of pain relief and how it works.
Non-Addictive Alternative to Medication
One reason you should be using the power of the mind for pain relief is to avoid potentially addictive medication. Opioid addiction is increasing and health experts are searching for a safe alternative. Meditation might just be the answer.
Brain scans have shown that focusing on the present really does relieve pain, but using different neural pathways to pain killers. Instead of using the body’s natural opioid system, meditation targets a different area of the brain, making it non-addictive. This can be combined with other natural alternative pain remedies.
Primary and Secondary Pain
The evolution of the brain is incredible, but sometimes detrimental to our happiness. Response to pain essentially happens on two levels. There is the initial, primary response, such as the immediate reaction to placing your hand on a hot stove. You will pull your hand away before you have even processed the pain. This is a way the brain can respond to pain rapidly and keep you safe.
Secondary pain is that long lasting, chronic pain. This is manufactured and draws on memories of suffering from the past. Mindful meditation can train your brain not amplify these feelings, essentially turning down suffering. Much pain is caused by stress and anxiety, both of which we know can be managed with mindfulness. This is because brain has a bias towards negative feelings. By closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and thinking positively, you can induce a relaxed state, causing your brain to believe there is no danger and no need to feel pain.
Like any skill, mindfulness must be practiced regularly in order to have an effect. It can be all too easy to reach for a pill for quick relief. However, pain is almost entirely manufactured in the mind. If pain is intense and long lasting, you can naturally relieve it by becoming truly present and paying attention to sensations as they arise.