Why Smart People Use Meditation For Pain Relief [And How]

meditation for pain relief

Enlightened people know that the real way to get pain relief is with meditation.

For millenia, the spiritually enlightened have used techniques like mindfulness to relieve pain.  And finally in the 21st Century science is catching up.

Here’s the deal:

Pain is mostly in the mind. And because of that, you can use your mind to stop pain.

It has been proven that there are more than 100 benefits of meditation. Among them is the fact that meditation stops pains like headaches and migraines. 

As Buddha said:

twitter-icon“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.”—Buddha.



Pain is both physical and mental

Pain affects you both physically and mentally. Even a type of pain that seems wholly physical (like a broken arm) will have psychological manifestations.

That is precisely why placebos work (and remember, placebos are more effective than medication).

Do you know how placebos cam about?

The history of placebos is fascinating:

In World War II, Dr Harry Beescher was treating soldiers for wounds. One day he ran out of morphine, so he switched to a saline solution. It was a switch that should have been obvious. Saline solution should not possibly be as effective at treating pain as morphine. Otherwise, why would doctors in hospitals give you morphine when you’re in pain…?

But 40% of the soldiers that Dr. Beescher treated said they didn’t feel the pain after being treated. [1]

This wasn’t magic.

And it wasn’t some miracle salt that Dr. Beescher was using in his saline solutions.

It was the power of placebo.

A placebo is when you are healed simply because you think you are being healed.

If, for instance, your mother tells you that chicken soup will get rid of your cold and it works, it has worked because you believed it would (because chicken soup actually does nothing for a cold).

Science has proven that placebos are as affective as medication. What matters when you are medicated is that you believe you are being healed.

This is how we know that pain is most in the mind.


Pain is caused directly by emotional problems

Physical pain is the direct results of what is happening in the subsconcious mind.

In the 1960s Russian spare scientists discovered that every thought and every feeling produces chemical responses in the body.

Thoughts and feeling cause chemicals called neuropeptides to be released.

Biologist Candace Pert learned that cells produce hundreds of neuropeptides, including endorphins, cortisol, hormones and adrenalin.

Different emotions produces difference frequencies that cause different neuropeptides to be released. [2]

Prolonged negative emotions will cause an overabundance of stress hormones, which will damage the body.   

This is why experience a wide range of happy emotions helps reduce pain and inflammation [3].



You Can Stop Pain With Mind Power

Physical pain is caused by emotional suffering. And that means that emotional healing can cure physical pain.

If you have mood swings or continual negative emotions, you can turn negative emotions to positive emotions, which in turn will reduce pain and inflamation and help with headaches, migraines, sore muscles and other problems.

One of the best ways to heal emotional pain is by meditating.

When you meditate you silence the mind and give your mind a chance to heal itself. This cures emotional suffering and in turn cures physical pain.

This is why meditation has been proven to help with pain relief  and other types of pain.

Essentially, the healing powers of meditation start from the mind and extend to the body.

This is perhaps why meditation can even help relieve pain for cancer patients.



If your doctor prescribed painkillers…

Opioids (medications that relieve pain) have become one of the most abused drugs in the country.

Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center investigated the truth behind prescription pain killers after it surfaced that more than 52 million people over the age of 12 are taking the medication.

The researchers investigated precisely how pain killers are made available to people. They made some shocking discoveries.

“The bulk of opioid prescriptions are distributed by the large population of general practitioners,” said Dr. Jonathan Chen, the study’s lead author. “Being a physician myself, I am acutely aware of the emotional angst that can occur when deciding whether to prescribe opioids to a patient who may have simultaneously developed a chronic pain and substance-dependence problem.” [4]

The researchers discovered that many general practitioners are intentionally overprescribing the medication.  They discovered that 10 percent of opioid prescribers accounted for 57 percent of opioid prescriptions and 63 percent of all types of drug prescriptions. Bear that in mind if your doctor prescribed painkillers.

This news is particularly concerning because of the nature of opioids, which serve to reduce the brain’s interpretation of pain signals. This makes them highly addictive. It also means that they are one of the main drugs that the phrmaceutical industry sells. More than $3 billion are made through sales of opioids every year. And there is mounting evidence that shows that not only are opioids addictive but highly dangerous too.

About 45 people a day, more than 16,600 people a year, die from overdoses of the drugs, including methadone, morphine, and oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone combined with acetaminophen (Lortab and Vicodin). And for every death, more than 30 others are admitted to the emergency room.


So, here are the facts about opioids and pain killers :

If your doctor presribed painkillers they’re not alone. Doctors are over prescribing opioids across the country.

  • $3 billion is made on opioids every year
  • Opioids are highly addictive
  • Use of opioids can potentially be fatal.

A better way to stop pain is with meditation.


Meditating For Headache Relief

The World Health Organisation’s official statistics show that 47% of the world’s population suffers from at least one headache per year. [3]

Headaches are one of the most common pain disorders.

Migraines are on the rise too, with more than 11% of people suffering from them.

Perhaps it’s should be no surprise that headaches and migraines are becoming more and more common.

After all, one of the most common causes of headaches is tension and stress, and the causes for stress and tension seem to become more and more every year.

No doubt you’ve experienced a tension headache at least once in your lifetime.



Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Relieves Headaches And Other Pains

Mind body techniques, including mindfulness, have been scientifically proven to help alleviate the symptoms of headaches, migraines, and other pains.

A report in Psychosomatic Medicine magazine recently revealed that individuals who practice meditation regularly are significantly less prone to headaches. [4]

Especially helpful is mindfulness based stress reduction [official site],  which was created by spiritual guru Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor and meditation teacher.

Kabat Zinn’s studies reveal that individuals who practice Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction have 1.4 fewer migraines per month than the average individual. When they do have headaches, they are shorter and less intense.

Here’s how it works:

When we do Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction we non-judgmentally accept the pain we are experiencing. The aim is to perceive the pain precisely as it is: as pure energy. This acceptance of pain has been proven to significantly reduce suffering. This relieves the stress, which reduces the pain, and it also reduces the psychosomatic aspects of pain.

The most important meditation for pain relief is a body scan meditation.  


Taoist Meditations help arthritis and muscular pains

If you suffer from muscular pains there’s good news too: Taoist meditations help.

Taoist meditations are all about self acceptance and harmony. They are designed to cultivate the flow of chi (prana) around the body.

Especially useful for muscular pains and arthritis are tai chi and Qigong. These are slow movement meditations that improve coordination and help to reduce inflammation [5].


Mudras Relieve Pain Too

As well as using meditations for pain relief, we can also use mudras.

Mudras are body and hand positions used in Hinduism, Buddhism and yoga. For instance, the famous Anjali mudra is the same hand position as the Christian prayer position.

These mudras have beneficial effects on the mind and body.

I’ve written an article about using mudras for health and well-being. Try combining these mudra with meditation for powerful pain relief.



Meditation stops pain. Headaches, migraines, arthritis… your mind can stop it all

The world is finally beginning to awaken to the power of the mind. And with the combined strength of science and spirituality, we are learning that there are natural remedies for pain relief.

The world of Ayurveda is also coming on strong and offering yet another healthy way to stop pain.

In 100 years we will all wonder why we ever used medication when nature has the cure.

For now, the enlightened among us can stop pain using spiritual techniques.

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About Paul Martin Harrison 495 Articles
Paul Harrison is a meditation teacher, author and journalist based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Paul has helped thousands of people to discover their true potential. Don’t miss Paul’s inspirational and enlightening book Journey To The Buddha Within You.

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