Pain is a fact of life. Whether that be the emotional or physical kind, at some point in everyone’s life pain rears it’s ugly head. And while there are medications galore to help you deal with both symptomatic and chronic pain, using alternative practices like meditation and yoga might just help you to get to the root of what’s causing you discomfort in the first place.
Checkout this recent UC San Diego news post on a program being offered by UCSD called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The program is intended to help those suffering with physical pain cope with their feelings. What’s so insightful about the program is their approach. Not only acknowledging that each individual has a different experience when it comes to pain, but that in many instances, pain cannot be explained by medical reasons, the program uses meditation, gentle yoga, and breathing exercises to help get at pain’s deeper meaning.
Hickman suggests that the experience of pain and illness varies widely from patient to patient, for reasons that are not always objective or physically-explainable. The answer, he believes, comes from the emotional distress that is provoked and manifested differently in each person.
“Given two patients with the same disease or type of injury, we know from experience that they may report wildly different levels of pain. If this difference can’t be explained by medical reasons, it must be something else,” said Hickman. “One person may be angry or afraid, and the other is stoic and reserved, yet each has different amounts of physical pain. Recognizing this difference is crucial to the relief of suffering, because it means that at least part of the perception of pain is how you relate to it.”
According to Hickman, the relationship with pain and disease is cultivated and maintained in the mind so the mind is the logical place to go to potentially change that relationship in a healthier direction.
Read more on how UCSD is using alternative healing practices such as meditation and yoga to help treat those suffering with physical pain here.