Over the past decade or so, studies have shown that the mind has more power over pain than once thought. While scientists have always known that the mind plays some role in pain and sickness -- think placebo effect -- they are learning more about the link. Fortunately, the news is good. Studies have shown that people who faithfully practice mental pain management techniques have less pain and are better able to deal with the pain they do have. While mental pain management is usually combined with conventional pain management methods, there's no denying the power of the mind. Following are three ways you can use your mind to lessen your pain.
Distraction and Imagery
If you can train your mind to focus on something other than the pain, you may experience less pain overall. For example, learning a new mental or physical skill requires more concentration than performing tasks you already know how to do. If you concentrate on learning something new, your brain will automatically focus on the new task and push your pain into the background.
Some people have had great success with imagery as well, which is the practice of imagining a picture or memory that invokes a strong, positive emotional response.
Manipulation and Mental Movement
Although it takes a great deal of practice, some people have had success with manipulating their pain signals. This practice involves using the brain's power to change pain sensations to other types of sensations, such as the sensations of hot and cold. This practice can also be used to mentally move pain from one area of the body to another. For example, lower back pain might be moved to the thigh or lower. To use these techniques, you have to try to visualize the pain as something else or elsewhere in your body.
Anticipation and Pleasure
Natural pain killers, called endorphins, are released by the brain each and every time you feel pleasure or anticipate pleasure. You may be able to reduce your pain by anticipating a certain food you like or by thinking about a pleasurable activity.
As you can see, there are several ways you can use your mind to reduce the amount of pain you're in. While all of these techniques take practice, many people have enjoyed a significant reduction in pain for their efforts. These methods are often used in conjunction with conventional treatments and medications. For more information, contact Pain Treatment Center or a similar location.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.