When the doctor says, "You will have to learn to live with this pain (or illness)," then what? You've been told to learn to live with it, but you are not taught how.
Over 30 years of evidence-based research has shown that the practice of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) can greatly improve the outcome of patients who suffer from chronic pain or illness. Since the medical community has said that it has done all it can do for your pain from a physical perspective, MBSR utilizes our much underutilized mind to help us adapt to the intense discomfort and find our own inner peace and harmony as a result. This is not to say that because your mind can help you overcome your debilitating pain that the pain is in your mind--no, absolutely not! Sensory impulses that originate in a body part are transmitted through nerve fibers to the brain, where these impulses are interpreted as "pain." You actually feel the pain after the brain has interpreted the sensory impulse that originated in your lower back, or neck, or head, or wherever you suffer from pain.
"In the new paradigm, pain is not just a 'body problem,' it is a whole-systems problem. There are many other pathways within the brain and central nervous system by which higher
cognitive and emotional functions can modify the perception of pain. The systems perspective on pain open the door for many different possible ways to use your mind intentionally
to influence your experience of pain. This is why meditation can be of great value in learning to live with pain. So, if a doctor suggests that meditation might help you with your pain, it
does not mean that your pain is not 'real.' It means that your body and your mind are NOT two separate and distinct entities and that, therefore, there is always a mental component to
pain. This means that you can always influence the pain experience to some extent by mobilizing the inner resources of the mind." Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom
of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York: Random House, 2009, (287-288).
Mindfulness is purposeful awareness in the moment. It is an art that takes little time to learn and offers relief from both physical and emotional stress, pain, and discomfort.
At Stress Management Counseling Center we will teach you MBSR and how to use it to treat your pain through tapping into the power of your mind to influence how you experience pain and help you to start to live your life to the fullest! Please don't hesitate to call for an appointment and begin your journey to better pain relief!
Chronic Pain & Illness--How Can Psychotherapy Help Me Improve?
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