Effective pain management is the combination of medications and mental coping strategies, a combination that is necessary to address the physical and psychological causes of pain. Mental coping and meditation strategies are designed to relax the body and release muscle tension, which form the basis for removing attention from the pain, and refocusing it elsewhere.
It is important to keep in mind that chronic and acute pain may also require medication or other treatment, depending on its cause. Only a qualified doctor can determine the right dosages for pain medications – especially when the pain stems from an underlying medical condition – and such medications should be prescribed and monitored by doctors, since there can be risks for side effects and complications, including prescription painkiller addiction.
If you have been experiencing pain but do not yet feel that a call to your doctor is warranted, it might be especially worth your time to try the following meditative techniques.
Controlled Deep Breathing
When learning how to meditate or practice deep relaxation, a great place to start is by practicing controlled breathing. You can begin by following these steps:
- Find a quiet room that has a comfortable temperature. If possible, dim or reduce the lighting, and lie down in a reclined position. Shut your eyes, and relax your mind and body for a few minutes while breathing normally.
- Slow down your breathing. Breathe deeply – inhale and let your abdomen, not your chest, rise and exhale. If you have trouble with this, try placing one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen; this will help you feel whether you’re breathing correctly with your abdomen, and help you to keep your chest still.
- Perform the breathing exercise for 2-3 minutes, until your body is completely relaxed and your mind can focus. You may find yourself wandering in thoughts, but just continue; focus on a word like “relax” to aid in your concentration.
- From here, you can employ imagery techniques of your choice.
Studies have shown that various imagery techniques can be effective in pain control – by helping ease your body into a state of deep relaxation, it can be easier for you to employ your imagination in helping to ease the pain. According to the Integrative Pain Science Institute, guided imagery can help decrease stress and pain levels; reduce fear and anxiety and reverse depression; improve healing, sleep and self-esteem; decrease blood pressure and help to reestablish heart rhythm; and more.
Start by experimenting with the following techniques; choose a few that suit your pain management goals, and use them whenever need arises.
- Altered focus. Focus your attention on a specific part of your body that doesn’t have pain, and alter your sensations in it; this will help you to stop focusing on the pain. For example, you can imagine your hand warming up or your legs tingling, so that you can stop focusing on your back pain.
- Dissociation. Mentally separate your painful body part from the rest of your body. Try imaging that your painful lower back is an independent thing sitting on another chair. By separating it from yourself, you can then tell it to stay put and remain far away from your body.
If you’ve been experiencing chronic or acute pain and have been unable to find relief at home through rest or meditation alone, it may be time to seek out other methods to help manage your pain. Healthpointe specializes in pain management, and can help you improve your quality of life by utilizing the latest medical procedures and techniques to aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of your acute and chronic pain.
For more information on effective pain management, a complete list of services, and a list of Healthpointe’s locations, visit Healthpointe.net. Can’t wait? Call (888) 824-5580 or visit our site today, to schedule an appointment with us.