Did you know that mindfulness training or meditation can help reduce pain?
It also has many other health benefits including reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure.
The National Institute of Health states that mindfulness can be used as a suitable narcotic free therapy resource because it:
- significantly reduces chronic pain symptomologies
- attenuates pain through multiple unique psychological and neural processes
- is more effective in reducing pain than placebo
Practicing mindfulness meditation may seem daunting, but it can be quite easy to incorporate into your daily routine. If you look at the pros and cons to practicing mindfulness, there are no negative consequences, and the benefits outweigh any small challenges which may present.
Not only can mindfulness reduce pain, but it also enhances and supports cognitive control, emotional regulation, positive mood, and acceptance. There are three things to remember when working on mindfulness, and those are intention (plan and complete), attention (focus and proper application), and attitude (calm and positive). Some great examples of mindfulness practices include:
- Observing nature while you go for a walk
- Pausing momentarily during work and taking a few relaxing breaths
- Putting down your phone and watch your kids run around and laugh
The main goal of mindfulness is to focus your awareness on the present moment, primarily by focusing on your senses: the things you can see, hear, feel, etc.
Not sure where to start or want some guidance? There are a few great platforms offering guided meditation that you can use. All these platforms have free options, while others offer further access with membership or a fee. Another great option if you have an Apple Watch, is to turn on your “breathe” reminders.
With this, you can change your settings for the duration as well as how many times a day you want your watch to remind you to breathe. Use this time to breathe or as a reminder to complete another mindfulness activity.
If you have given mindfulness meditation a try and believe you are not getting better or would like to utilize physical and/or hand therapy as an additional therapy resource, give one of our clinics a call or request an appointment online today. Our therapists can help by applying additional therapy techniques (other than narcotic medication) to treat your pain.