Mindfulness for chronic pain

Post your questions on chronic pain here.

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by susie on Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:35 pm

Mindfulness for chronic pain

Everyone seems to talk about mindfulness in helping with chronic pain which I have suffered from on and off for many years, but I don’t really understand what this is and where on earth do I start as there seems to be so much information out there on the web.

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Simone Gilbert
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by Simone Gilbert on Thu Jul 04, 2019 3:19 pm

Re: Mindfulness for chronic pain

Hi Susie
Firstly I'm sorry to hear that you have to deal with chronic pain. I'd be interested to understand what is causing this pain for you.
We do hear that mindfulness - in particular our breathing - can help with chronic pain and in my experience it can do.
Where to start. Indeed it can be a confusing thing to try and sort through all the (often conflicting) information available to us now.
In this instance I'm going to focus on breathing (as said a form of mindfulness). In particular "conscious breathing". Our breath is powerful. So how about I share a technique for you to try ..

Where possible whilst standing or seated with back very straight, head so that the eyes are focussed "straight" forward.
Place a hand on your heart and a hand on your belly button and breathe. Close your eyes and connect with your breath. If you don't already, relax your tummy so that you breathe down into it.
Next, using nose breathing, inhale for 4 counts, hold it for 7 and exhale for 8. Repeat this as often as you need and for 4 or 5 repetitions. It re-oxygenates our body and is a signal for it to calm and relax.

To understand a little more about our breath and its power, consider what happens when we get a fright, are stressed and in "fight and flight" mode. We tend to mouth breathe, puff, heart beats fast, and we're ready to protect or flee.. that's a response that originated to get us away from things chasing us. Its still our body's stress response and it doesn't what the stress is caused by (pain is a physiological stressor)
When we come out of the stress state our bodies relax, we naturally nose breathe and we (hopefully) go back into "rest and digest" mode which is our body's natural state.

When you are relaxed, perhaps triggered by using the above noted technique, tension is eased in the body. That's why there is reference to mindfulness for pain relief...it's about allowing our body to calm and relax rather than "fight" which causes tension and stress throughout and doing so consciously / mindfully.

So mindfulness - conscious breathing - helps to put your body into a relaxed state.
Some use yoga to support this process as well.

I hope that makes sense. If you have any other questions please do post them. I hope too that helps you.

Simone x
Health & Vitality Coach
Simone Gilbert
B. Ec, IAHC - Health & Wellness Coach

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... ilbert.php

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