Many Pennsylvania residents deal with some level of physical pain daily from illness, injuries or chronic conditions. There are many possible ways to address pain, including over-the-counter or prescription medications, physical therapy and dietary changes. While perhaps not as well-known as some other pain-relief methods, mind-body techniques may help many individuals reduce their level of pain.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, numerous studies show that the practice of mindfulness meditation may provide pain relief for many individuals. In this mind-body exercise, an individual focuses closely on his or her breathing and reduces attention paid to external stimuli and errant thoughts. The combination of these two activities may effectively reduce pain for many people. Another study cited in the NCCIH article states that pain relief from mindfulness meditation may occur without engaging the brain’s opioid receptors, indicating that effective pain management may not always require the use of opioid-based medicines.
Harvard Medical School provides information on other mind-body pain management techniques. Some of the methods listed in the article include practicing yoga, following a guided meditation and using a deep-breathing technique. The article states that these techniques may provide pain relief by allowing individuals to focus on other things besides the pain. Some techniques may also combat established pain signals, which may help individuals who have experienced chronic pain. According to the Harvard article, individuals may even find some pain relief by following a “positive thinking” technique that teaches them to focus on the good aspects of their lives. Because there are several mind-body techniques, an individual may try different ones to determine which methods provide the most pain relief.