Observing the Pain Body to Reduce Body Pain

Feb 2nd, 2010 | By Body Pain Admin | Category: Body Pain

If you follow any of the practices of mindfulness, you have probably heard of the pain-body. Oprah talked about it a few years ago, and it refers to the idea that we each carry around with us a group of pain that we must find a new relationship with in order to be healthy and whole.

The pain-body arises when you feel any kind of negative emotion, such as anger, irritation, annoyance, frustration, disappointment. For those living with chronic body pain, these feelings are likely to come up frequently, maybe even several times per day.

While it is important to get the best possible pain management you can have- and to practice good health habits to reduce your pain, it’s also important to develop the skills of observing your pain rather than just reacting to it.

Learning how to observe your pain, without feeling triggered by it, is an important step towards mindfulness and shifting your perception. Now, of course, changing your awareness isn’t all you need to do, but, sometimes, shifting the way you relate to your pain can help that last little bit, when you’ve done all you can by way of diet, sleep, exercise, and pain relief supplements.

So how do you start changing your awareness of your pain?

One technique involves visualizing your pain as being mapped to a set of degrees on a thermostat. By visualizing the thermostat and consciously “turning the dial down”, you might be able to get relief from your pain. This is why, for some people, guided imagery works well for pain management.

Another technique involves noting the edges of your pain- the places where your pain seems to stop, or even recedes slightly. For most of you, there will be ‘edges’ around your pain- places where the pain isn’t as bad. By focusing on the edges, you can sometimes reduce your felt perception of pain.

Again, I want to stress that these techniques should not take the place of medically validated and scientifically proven interventions. But, for those days when you might need a bit more, you can practice observing the pain body as a way to reduce body pain.

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