There are many misnomers about meditation and it has been quite the controversial topic of the last few decades. Some people question the effectiveness of this practice, while others struggle with the religious and or spiritual element. Meditation can be traced back to before 1400 BC, where it was used to achieve focus and concentration. In fact, the word meditation comes from the Latin word meditari which means to concentrate.
For the sake of remaining unbiased, let’s look at meditation in simple terms by removing any religious element and analyze it strictly as a method of reducing back pain. In order to understand how meditation can help with pain, we need to break down pain into multiple parts. The most obvious aspect is the physical form of pain. For example, if you step on a tack it will send pain signals to the brain. Many people experiencing back pain have a “physical” issue, meaning something in the body is not as it should be. It could be that pressure is being placed on a nerve, or a disc is deteriorating. Meditation will not fix these types of physical issues. However, someone without a physical ailment can also experience pain. Excessive stress or emotional pain can send actual pain signals to the brain. This is an over simplification and if you would like to learn more about this, look for our videos called The Mind Body Pain Connection.
Meditation is an effective method for reducing stress and improving your breathing, which provides much needed oxygen to the brain. Most people live hectic, over stimulated lifestyles and meditation would provide a few well deserved minutes of quiet, uninterrupted down time. Meditation does not have to coincide with prayer, although many people would tell you otherwise.
Yoga and meditation sometimes go hand in hand. The combination of mental focus and stretching actually make for a great combination for back pain sufferers. Do not be intimidated by yoga and or meditation. They can be very powerful components of your pain relief plan.
Remember, you can even practice “meditation” without being an overly spiritual person. You can take just the elements that you are comfortable with and adapt your own form of mediation. For you meditation can be as simple as you sitting in a quiet room, without noise and distractions, focusing on the positive aspects of your life and visions of a happy, pain free future.
Don’t forget, you will also have to address the underlying physical causes of your pain. You can visit the conditions section of our website to learn more about the causes of pain.