Meditation and Massage for Pain Management

Meditation and Massage for Pain Management

Millions of Americans suffer from pain, whether injured on the job or in activity, or have an illness that causes chronic pain. For them, pain management is not just a phrase, it is a life line. Doctors will typically prescribe medication as a part of a pain management plan, but medicine doesn’t always help the sufferer return to an acceptable quality of life, and often masks the underlying causes of the pain without addressing them. Many are turning to therapeutic massage and meditation as tools to help manage temporary or chronic pain.

Pain typically begins as tissue damage, but ongoing pain is affected by other factors. Stress, environment and emotions often contribute to the intensity and duration of pain. In recent years the medical community has found out what many already knew, we have an inherent ability to be a part of our own healing process.

According to a report from Harvard Medical School, researchers from Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital found that meditators in an 8 week study on mindfulness meditation experienced a decrease in pain sensation. They believe that this could be due to an “enhanced ability to turn the Alpha Rhythm up or down”  and this gave practitioners a  “greater ability to regulate pain sensation”. (Harvard Gazette, April 2011)

While meditation can help to address the psychological causes of pain, massage can address the physiological ones. Massage can promote relaxation, and facilitate the release of tension held at the point of pain.

Beginning a meditation practice is simple. You don’t need to sit in the traditional cross-legged position since that may not be comfortable for pain sufferers. Find a comfortable way to sit using pillows or blankets to cushion or support you. I wouldn’t recommend meditating lying down because it’s very easy to fall asleep that way. It is recommended that beginning meditators practice for 10 to 15 minutes to start, gradually working up to 30 minutes. Set a timer for your practice, settle into your seat, close your eyes, and for a few moments allow your breath to settle into its natural rhythm.

It will be your choice whether you’ll focus on your breathe or introduce a phrase as a way of lengthening, deepening and focusing your attention to your breath. It can be something simple like “I am”. Silently say I as you breathe in and am as you breath out. Continue repeating this phrase until your timer sounds.

We would love to help you develop tools to manage your pain. Please contact us to see how massage and meditation can help you or Book your session today.

Love and Light,
Liraz

Liraz Bergman-Turner is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master & the owner of Heavenly Embrace, a massage and energy healing practice in Boulder, CO.

Heavenly Embrace Wellness 2310 Juniper Ave, Boulder, CO 80304 (720) 515-9034 liraz@heavenlyembrace.com
The Art of Massage & Bodywork