What if I told you that your mind is a powerful tool that you can use to change things around you? What would you do if your brain could alleviate pain simply with thoughts? No, this isn’t some new science fiction story, your mind can work wonders if you just apply it in the right ways.
“Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis can learn mind-body techniques to assist the body and mind in relaxing,” states Janice M. Singles, PsyD. of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Those who have to deal with chronic pain can experience debilitating consequences. It is possible to use your thoughts to help alleviate that pain. It may sound unrealistic, but the research says that the mind can help to relieve some of the symptoms of chronic pain. Use your brain to alleviate your physical pain with these tips:
Daydream About Food
Thinking about your favorite snack or meal can have an impact on your physical pain. A recent study shows that fantasizing about a favorite food took away the pain of submerging a hand in ice cold water. Thinking about your favorite food can help to alleviate the painful symptoms of migraines, menstrual cramps and other types of pain.
Meditation can work wonders for those who are looking to relax, but did you know that it can help alleviate chronic pain? One recent study concluded that mindfulness meditation and a focus on breathing helped to alleviate pain intensity anywhere from 11 percent to 70 percent. Even researchers are currently looking into the effect that meditation has on the pain sensors in the brain.
It may sound simple enough, but have you ever tried distracting your thoughts when you are feeling pain? Chronic pain can become an emotional issue, “it keeps getting in your face and demanding attention,” explains Singles. This means that if you focus elsewhere or try progressive relaxation, your pain level may decrease. “Positive distractions are very helpful because the more you focus on pain guaranteed the worse you’re going to feel,” states Singles. Watch a movie or read a book.
When you are experiencing debilitating pain, imagine your pain as a large red mass. Imagine it slowly shrinking smaller and smaller until it is completely gone. This can help get your mind off of the pain and help you to better relax. Visualization exercises can have a tremendous impact on your pain levels.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health advice.
Image Credit: Lake-Meditation by useitinfo. Used under a creative commons license.
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