Mindful meditation may be the answer to relieving chronic back pain, study suggests

I have a personal affection for this article, I also suffer from back pain and over the six months or more I have been mediating regularly and have found a real reduction in pain through meditation.  Glad to see that good research is going on in this field.  What’s funnier is that the below photo looks like me but years younger. Matt Geise By Ariana Eunjung Cha March 22 at 1:50 PM (iStock photo) In 1992, Harvard neuroscientist Richard Davidson embarked on an unusual research project to study the brains of Buddhist monks who spent thousands of hours meditating. What he found was that not only did the practice activate different parts of the brain, it also seemed to impact the body in ways that matter for health. That pivotal study has led to a number of research projects in recent years that look at what calming the brain does for specific medical conditions and diseases. The results of one of those studies is out Tuesday in JAMA. It looks at adults with chronic low back pain, one of the leading cause of disabilities in the United States and one reason why more and more people are addicted to painkillers. Led by Daniel C. Cherkin of Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, the experiment involved randomly assigning 342 adults with the condition to meditate, talk with a psychologist or continue with their normal techniques for addressing the pain, such as  medication. The first group engaged in yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), which focuses on being aware of and accepting physical discomfort. The second group participated in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to change pain-related thoughts and behaviors during eight weekly 2-hour group sessions....

Meditation Misconceptions

Meditation Misconceptions When I talk with people about meditation, I hear the same misconceptions all the time. I can’t meditate because I can’t stop thinking. I don’t have time to meditate. I’m not into the guru thing; I’m very religious. There are a lot of ways to meditate. I think for beginners it is best is to start with counting your breath. It is also important to understand what basic meditation is and isn’t. I can’t stop thinking The goal of meditation is not to stop your mind from thinking but to sit peacefully being in the Now not thinking of the past or future. We have a beautiful and intelligent mind so there is no need to try and not think. The challenge is being able to control what we think about. If you think you can, then try a little test. Put a timer on for two minutes and think only about your breath moving in and out of your nose. If you don’t regularly meditate, then I’m guessing that you won’t be able to think just about this one thing for two minutes. I don’t have time to meditate As in anything in your life you need to prioritize what is important if you want to get it done. I find that carving out a few minutes in the morning to mediate saves a lot of time during the day because I am then able to concentrate better and get more done. One of my favorite places to meditate is in my car. I have picked out a few places near work and my daughter’s school...

Past and Future

Recently during my meditations I have found the words past and future to be helpful when I find myself thinking instead of meditating. I just look and see what I’ve been thinking about and determine if it is a past event, something from my history or a future event, something that hasn’t happened yet. By doing this it immediately brings me to the Now and reminds me that I am meditating not thinking. During meditation your mind is clear and  relaxed so it is the perfect place to brainstorm up an idea or think about a subject that has been troubling you. So as soon as those ideas come into my head I name them Past or Future, and I again remind myself that I am meditating not thinking. Try it and tell me if it is...

Distance

It’s so important to have distance between you and your mind when you meditate.  Distance allows you to see your thoughts but not dwell on them while you meditate.  When you’re watching your thoughts they don’t consume you or take over, they are just there, in the distance, in your mind.  I use a visualizing technique where I see the Grand Canyon in front of me and my thoughts are on the other side of the canyon and separate from me....

Before work meditation

It’s all about a rhythm or routine, if it’s in your routine there’s a high likelihood that it will happen regularly. My routine is every morning when I arrive at work, I pull into my parking spot, turn off the car and I sit there and meditate for 5 to 10 minutes. When I first started I used to be somewhat self conscious about sitting in my car with my eyes closed meditating, although now I don’t worry about it at all. It’s so cleansing and relaxing to sit and meditate and let all the tension release before going into work. I was telling my daughter about this and she said, “what if you’re late for a meeting or something”. I told her then I definitely need to do my meditation because for sure I’ll have even more stress than normal. As I meditate I find myself thinking about what’s coming up in the day and I just remind myself that I’m here to meditate not plan my todo list and I go back to the “one thought / no thought” feeling and I continue meditating. Sometimes immediately following meditation I’ll open my phone and quickly write down thoughts that I had during meditation regarding my todo list or any other thoughts that I had that might be important later. The great thing about this new meditation app, is that it allows for quick and easy access to record all the meditation that I do, wherever and whenever I have the opportunity to...