Science recognizes more and more that meditation is helpful in curing dis-ease and resulting pain in the physical body.
Most pain experienced by the body as a result of tissue damage (through injury for example), usually disappears within three to six months. It takes that long for tissues to fully heal. More persistent or chronic pain that goes on even after a physical injury has healed is often the result of a more complex issue, one that stems from sensitivities in our nervous system, including our brain. Meditation can help lessen pain intensity and patients can thus bypass medications that mess with the rest of the body while shutting off the pain signals to the brain, and they are highly addictive.
As outlined by Dr. Mercola in one of his recent Natural Health newsletters, “Meditation appears to work for pain relief because it reduces brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that helps create the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is. Laughter is also known to relieve pain because it releases endorphins that activate brain receptors that produce pain-killing and euphoria-producing effects.”
In this video, you can see how to change your approach to pain and apply chronic pain management by retraining the brain and nervous system.
Dr. Mercola further refers to other research that has shown that in people with chronic pain, a front region of the brain cortex mostly associated with emotion never shuts off. The brain region remains in active mode, which eventually wears out neurons and alters the way they connect to one another, potentially leading to permanent damage and pain-related symptoms like depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and problems with decision making.
In much the same way that a person can experience phantom limb pain after losing a limb, it’s thought that our central nervous system “remembers” any pain that lasts more than a few minutes at the neuronal level. The memories can become so vivid that the pain persists even after the injury has healed, or re-occurs when it shouldn’t, such as from a gentle touch. Researchers are actually working on ways to ease chronic pain by erasing neuronal memories using capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers…but addressing your emotions using mind-body therapies may work just as well.”
Bhagawati, Osho News