Today I will focus on muscle relaxation as a way to lessen pain and next week I will focus on using meditation to change your perception of pain.
Lets start with the most obvious way it helps and that is with pain that originates in muscle tissue. (At the end of this article I will refer you to a short recorded meditation you can use for muscle relaxation.) What happens is that when you have strained or overworked muscles they send pain signals to your brain, in essence it is meant to make you slow down so the hurt area can have a chance to heal.
It is very effective, after all when it hurts to use a muscle you are less likely to overuse it again any time soon! BUT the problem is that too often the muscles surrounding the injured one also tense up in response to the pain and that causes a few problems:
- Tense muscles are uncomfortable and that increases the perception of pain in the general area.
- Tense muscles can slightly restrict blood flow which may slow down healing process.
- It makes movement more awkward. For example, if I have a sore foot, I walk more heavily on the other one, which tires it out more quickly, leading to new little aches and pains.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce tension and so reduce pain.
Rather than a written meditation this time I refer you to a 7 minute downloadable mp3 that you can follow along with or use as a learning tool http://totallymeditation.com/download-this-relaxation-meditation-mp3-to-reduce-stress/
I am not a medical doctor so always follow your doctor’s advice regarding treatment 🙂
To your health!