Tim Parks’ story of how he used meditation to cure himself of chronic pain is a great testament to the power of focusing inward. Left by doctors with an undiagnosed pain in his bladder, Tim in desperation turned to author David Wise and his book A Headache in the Pelvis for a solution. At 52 years old, Parks began for the first time exploring the inner workings of his body. Although at first he was skeptical, what he found left him amazed.
… I lay still and shut my eyes for a full hour without meaning to sleep. Two discoveries I made that day are still deeply impressed on my mind. First, I had about the same chance of stopping the babble of words in my head as of halting a river in flood. Second, my body was a very different place from what I had imagined. I could have sworn it wasn’t tense at all. “Flex a muscle,” my book advised, “then un-flex, and focus on the afterglow”. I contracted and relaxed a thigh muscle. Suddenly, there it was: tension. And it was intensifying, expanding. The more I stayed still and focused on it the more ferocious it became. I was all ripples and throbs and weird pulses, nothing like the stuff they told you in biology lessons. At some point during my fourth or fifth attempt at this technique, the tension exploded and a great wave of relaxation broke over me. For a minute the pain was gone.
Read more about how Tim’s use of meditation ultimately changed his perception and his pain here.