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Meditation and physical pain

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Hello everybody, I’m comparatively new to meditation and I’ve been fascinated about this for some time;

Would or not it’s doable to meditate with the intention to relieve your physique from bodily ache, even when solely quickly? I’ve been experiencing some minor throat ache for the final 6 months, however the medical doctors could not conclude any correct analysis, so spending a while every day in a painless state would make my life simpler.



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4 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely. I began my meditation practice 3 years ago (11-1200 hours), and moderate pain doesn’t bother me much if at all anymore off-cushion. Even headaches have begun dropping below the does-not-annoy line. On-cushion just about any pain is but another experience to accept and welcome in, without reaction.

    There is probably specific practices aimed at pain acceptance that might produce relatively quick results, otherwise it’s something that comes by itself with enough practice.

  2. There is evidence suggesting that mindfulness-based practices may allow the practitioner to dissaccosiate a sensory experience (heat, throbbing, pinching) from an executive and emotional translation (there is pain, I feel bad). You find some studies on this, for example Austin, Zen and the Brain. Funcational magnetic resonance imaging of the brain suggests that the executive part of the brain of practitioners activates later than in non-practitioners.

    Note that there is no evidence suggesting that the sensory experience is affected by meditation. There will always be heat, throbbing, pinching or whatever the experience is. In a nutshell: it seems that mindfulness-based practices can be beneficial when it comes to dealing with pain. It will, however, not address the root of the pain. Thus, if you are having chronic pain, you may want to look into mindfulness-based treatment. However, if you have a broken arm (or any other treatable pathology for that matter) you should go see a physician, not a spiritual guide.

  3. From everything I’ve read and seen, meditation doesn’t cause you relief from pain in the literal sense. The physical stimulus isn’t going to change-although I suppose it could if muscle tension or stress was contributing and you were able to relax it. Meditation lets you change your pain experience, though: how you react to that sensation, how much distress it causes. Personally I started meditating largely to help cope with chronic pain, and while it hasn’t changed my pain itself, it has definitely made me better able to handle it.

    Tara Brach and Jonathan Foust have a [guided meditation series on working with pain](https://imcw.org/Talks/Series/SeriesID/41) that I’ve found really helpful.

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