Meditation and Pain Management: Five Yoga Exercises

Our brain circuit is a very complex subject involving a great deal of biological, cognitive and social functioning. Brain produces different chemicals that causes the feelings of pleasure and pain. When certain part of the brain is “turned on” or “turned off” , we fell pleasure or pain.  We feel pleasure when we we enjoy something like eating good food or being in love.  Our brain has its own reward system. When we do certain things, the brain rewards us by making us feel good. Reward is a great way to encourage us to do something repetitively. Similarly, there is a pain circuit in the brain. When certain things happen in our body or mind, the brain punishes us by developing bad feelings, so that we should not repeat that next time. Yoga and meditation helps people consciously control the perception of pain and pleasure.  The new understanding and perceptions relieves pain.  During pain the blood vessels serve as a radiator to cool the brain, overheating can cause neuron death.

Five Yoga Exercises Pain Management:

#1: Observe your normal breathing patterns

Try to observe your normal breathing patterns.  Do not try to control, remove or diminish your negative sensations or the private events of your life.  Try to accept the unpleasant sensations or thoughts while still persisting with your chosen tasks.

#2: Breathing Exercises:

You can breathe into the area around the pain sensation or around the belly. Yoga literature proposed several breathing techniques to overcome pain. The easiest one is;  place one hand on the chest and another on the belly.  Take a slow and deep breath, take as much air as possible. You can press the belly a little bit, with one hand. After holding the breath for a few seconds, exhale slowly.

#3: Present Moment Awareness

Present moment awareness is the most efficient and the most ancient meditation technique for pain management. Yoga literature is flooded with present moment awareness meditation techniques for pain management.  You can just bring your awareness to the activities you are doing.  Khechari mudra is a great way for pain management.  If  the khechari mudra is perfect, one can withdraw the mind from the body.

#4: Yoga Nidra for Pain Management

Yoga nidra is a very ancient meditation technique for pain management. In modern literature there are various forms of muscle relaxation techniques. This technique involves slowly tensing, briefly holding, and then releasing each muscle group in a systematic fashion. It starts  with the muscles in the toes and moving upward. During this exercise, the person should notice the differences between tension and relaxation.

#5: Meditation and Visualization for Pain management

Visualization involves imagining a scene in which you feel at peace, free to let go of all tension and anxiety. You may meditate with eyes open or closed.  Select a simple geometrical shape or symbols, with  some specific color. Think of something which may be symbolically meaningful for you in some way.  For example, you can select some green circles. You can chant any mantra of your choice during visualization meditation.

Meditation and prayers are the great ways to overcome pain. Acceptance is very important in pain management. Mentally, you may say, “It is unpleasant but I can accept it”. Pain is always unpleasant but mediation changes the nature of pain before it is perceived.

Sources:

1. “Meditation: Insights and Inspirations”  By Amit Ray

2. “Handbook of Pain Management: A Clinical Companion to Textbook of Pain”  By Ronald Melzack

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Best 5 yoga exercises to stay young

Staying Young:

Our body’s balancing systems are monitored through a series of chemical messengers called hormones.Hormones regulate the our aging process. Hormones are produced in our glands. Excessive stress, fatigue, pain, depression,nutritional deficiencies damage glands. HGH (human growth hormone) is the main hormone for staying young and long life. It improves breathing capacity and the skin glazes. This HGH hormone is largely generates during deep sleep. HGH repairs the tissues during the sleep.
In the neck area, the thyroid gland generates the thyroid hormones responsible for weight-loss and regulates the body’s metabolic speed.

Four Steps of yoga:

Step 1: Warming up: Do a few joint movements to warm up.
Step 2: Stretching to the limit: Do a not overdo anything, but stretch a little more than your usual ability.
Step 3: Correct Breathing. Do normal breathing in a relaxed manner.
Step 4: Closing: Rest for a few minutes in corpse pose before undertaking normal activities.

Proper yoga exercises regulates the growth hormones. Do stretching exercises before bed to relieve tension. It helps you to relax tension. Five most important yoga exercises are as follows:

Five Yoga exercises:

1. Twisted Chair Pose
Act as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Keep your heels in firm contact with the earth. Bend your knees and move your upper body forward at 45 degrees. Do this five times in the morning and six times in the evening, in empty stomach.
2. Upside-Down Relaxation
Lie down on your back and extend your legs up the wall.

Wall Yoga Pose

Wall Yoga Pose

3. Goddess Pose (Hip Opening Pose):
Stand in a position with the feet 2 feet apart.Turn the feet out 60 degree towards the wall. Bend the elbows at shoulder height and turn the palms facing each other and open the chest. Do this exercise in the morning 5 times daily.
4. Half-Moon Pose
Straightening the left leg towards the sky, then right leg one by one.
Do this exercise along with cobra pose in the morning three times.

5. Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose):
This is the king of all yoga poses for staying young and long life.
The yogi pushes one leg forward and one leg backwards until they are in the splits position. Once the yogi has moved the legs into position, there are several variations of arm and upper body position including various systematic kriya yoga
mudra.
If you can not do anything, you must do monkey pose once per day. If you can’t do it once per day do it at least once per month.

Along with yoga poses you may practice some kriya yoga pranayama.