Managing pain is a real issues for many people. Managing pain in meditation is almost a 'given'. We have long lost the ability to sit still for periods of time without fidgeting and hurting, we have long lost the sense of what the body 'feels like' when the cocktail of stress hormones have seeped away (which happens when we relax or meditate). Ouch .. my knees hurt, I have a headache that is far worse now than before, or my shoulders ache .. I hear these things all the time.
There is some amazing research being done around meditation to assist with managing pain .. please check out the wealth of online information and research by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) who for almost thirty years has witnessed the practical, hands on, real life experience of those with chronic pain and the application of mindfulness practices to assist in managing pain.
Researchers link meditation and pain-reduction : from USA Today
A recent article that appeared online with USA Today reports that a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Neuroscience found that ‘meditators slashed their pain levels by 57%’ although scientists at the time were unsure how the mindfulness practice worked to provide relief.
Mindfulness (the practice of observing thoughts and feelings from a distance) has been shown to help with pain, partly by increasing activity in the brain regions linked to processing sensory information according to the journal Cerebral Cortex.
"During the state of mindfulness, meditators seem to be in contact with the present moment experience as it is — without reappraising or evaluating it — which seems to reduce suffering," said lead study author Tim Gard, of Massachusetts General Hospital.
To read the full article go here