What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size. – Carl Jung
There are so many mental techniques for physical pain relief. Indeed, our mind has proven to be powerful enough to cope with any pain. The question is which technique we should use in our struggle to overcome suffering.
You can find on the internet so many methods. Some of them work for some people, but for others, they don’t.
However, it’s important to know that methods which involve any kind of ignoring or suppressing a painful sensation can work temporarily, but they fail in the long run and can bring about its frequent reappearance with even increased intensity. The reason is suppression. Anything we suppress will re-emerge one day. So, the suppression is the cause of pain’s reappearance.
Methods which involve any kind of ignoring or suppressing a painful sensation can work temporarily, but they fail in the long run.
And the real cause of pain is our resistance to that particular sensation. So, we must accept it.
Therefore, effective pain relief techniques must have two aspects: facing the pain and accepting it.
Five Exceptional Techniques
Here I’ll describe five techniques that have been proven to be really helpful to me and to many other people as well. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean they work for everyone. Also, you should always consult your physician.
Before and after applying any of these techniques, it is highly recommended that you quantify the intensity of your pain on a zero-to-ten scale. By doing this way, the change will become obvious and measurable, you’ll much easier accept the true power of these approaches, and your subsequent practice will get strengthened and deepened.
Before and after applying any of these techniques, quantify the intensity of your pain on a zero-to-ten scale.
1. Dissolving the Temporary I
As one of the basic Reintegration techniques, the Dissolving the Temporary I (DTI) is a powerful method for integration or removal the unwanted emotions, thoughts and sensations. As physical pain is typically considered to be a sort of bodily sensation, this technique, if applied correctly, is extremely effective for this purpose.
The technique is based on the relationship between the subject (our transient sense of self, of the “Temporary I”), and the object (in this case, the pain). The core concept is quite simple, and it works perfectly: if your transitory “I” disappears, so will do the object you were experiencing.
To learn this 5-step technique, you will have to do some introduction exercises first, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Here you can find the detailed instruction for learning the method.
If your transitory “I” disappears, so will do the object you were experiencing.
2. All-Inclusive Attention
The concept of “open focus” or “diffuse attention” was thoroughly researched and developed by American neuroscientist Les Fehmi.
Normally, our focus is too narrow as we are trying all the time to concentrate on only one thing, missing everything else. We are typically “lost” in anything we do – in thoughts, emotions, conversations, sensual pleasures, anxiety, fear, and so on. It is an involuntary process, a habit of trying to focus on a single object as though we are continually in the living conditions that demand our “fight-or-flight” mode of functioning, which leads us to a constant accumulation of stress and subsequent suffering.
 Fehmi, Les. The Open-Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body. Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
Normally, our focus is too narrow as we are trying all the time to concentrate on only one thing, missing everything else. We are typically “lost” in anything we do.
We should definitely change this habit, not only to release stress and overcome pain but to the benefit of all aspects of our lives.
First, we should learn how to extend and diffuse our attention. Here’s how:
Open your eyes (if they are closed), look at the wall in front of you and pick up one distinctive point on it. (This we will call the ‘physical attention,’ as opposed to ‘mental attention,’ which means to focus your mind externally or internally on something.) Concentrate on that point for 15-30 seconds. If any thought arises, just accept it and return your physical and mental attention to the point on the wall.
Then, while keeping your eyes fixated on the point, extend your mental attention to a circular area around the point. Gradually extend the area of your mental attention more and more, while keeping your physical attention at the chosen point.
Wander around the room for a while with your mental attention. If your eyes unintentionally move, simply return them to the first point of the physical attention, and continue with the other parts of your eyesight, that are preferably more away from the physical point of attention.
You may even try to become aware of the things behind your physical eyesight or to include sounds and other sensations.
After several minutes of shifting your mental attention around, try to immerse yourself into a unified attention - be mentally attentive of your physical point and everything else, including yourself.
Now, after some initial practice of the all-inclusive attention, you will be able to do the pain removal process.
First of all, you need to locate the small area within your body that represents the pain. Even if your pain is all-encompassing, permeating your whole body, you should first pick up one part of it where the painful sensation is most intense.
Next, concentrate on the most painful area. Let it be your starting point for the similar process of extending the attention, as described above. This time, include into your awareness not only the whole visual area, but also all sounds you are hearing, all other sensations you are sensing at the moment, everything else you might be experiencing, and space which is behind all of that.
Notice that your pain is only a small portion of your whole experience now. Allow it to spread, diffuse and dissipate into your wide field of attention, to merge with your whole experience, awareness, and space beneath everything. It will dissolve.
Do this for about 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat the process from the beginning (locating and concentrating on the pain, then diffusing it through all-inclusive attention), as long as there are any traces of the pain.
3. Accepting and Dwelling in Pain
This is a straightforward and also very effective way of coping with pain. It is based on the fact that everything we resist, persists. Even more, it’ll grow up over time. Therefore, the remedy is to accept it completely. And that is not only applicable to physical pain but to virtually anything in our lives. Whenever we completely and honestly accept any thought, emotion or sensation, we become free of it. It will not bother us anymore. We have learned that lesson.
Whenever we completely and honestly accept any thought, emotion or sensation, we become free of it.
Here is the technique:
Be aware of the pain’s location. Accept that sensation fully, wholeheartedly. Understand that it has its own positive purpose, temporarily hidden from your awareness. Don't resist it. Be open. Allow its existence completely.
Then enter it. Go inside. Become your pain. Dwell in it, without any resistance. Feel total acceptance of its existence, of that sensation.
Finally, examine the very nature of the sensation. Pretend that you are feeling it for the first time ever, without any prior knowledge of what’s painful and what’s not. Is it really painful? Is it unpleasant at all? Could it be neutral, or even pleasant to you? Scrutinize that bodily sensation, completely unbiased by any previous experience or label. Go straight to the core of that feeling, with amazement and acceptance at the same time.
Combine the elements of this technique. Repeat, again and again. After every session, write down the level of your pain at the moment. Depending on your dedication and perseverance, you will inevitably notice a significant decrease of the perceived pain’s level. Sooner or later, you’ll feel relieved.
4. Two-Finger Method
This is one of the many techniques that are aiming at entering the state of Presence, or pure consciousness, which then dissolves the pain or any other unwanted mind content.
The method uses a simple trick – by focusing on one of your fingers which is touching your painful area, then on another finger, and finally on both, you stretch out your attention, and easily enter the state of Presence, which dissolves the pain.
Many techniques are aiming at entering the state of Presence, or pure consciousness, which then dissolves the pain.
So, the technique is the following:
Although in the beginning I was very skeptical of this method, I must admit that it worked almost every time for me, and there are many testimonials of other people that the method was effective for them, too. I warmly recommend it, especially if you don’t prefer the other techniques shown here.
5. Symbolic Imagery
There are also numerous symbolic techniques, focusing on various mental representations of unwanted mind content and manipulating them.
For example, you can (…) envision a symbol that represents your chronic pain, such as a loud, irritating noise or a painfully bright light bulb. Gradually reduce the irritating qualities of this symbol, for example dim the light or reduce the volume of the noise, thereby reducing the pain. – as described on www.spine-health.com.
 Source: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain/11-chronic-pain-control-techniques
There are numerous symbolic techniques, focusing on various mental representations of unwanted mind content and manipulating them.
You can also represent the painful feeling with any other picture and gradually decrease its annoying qualities. Or, you can manipulate the word or sentence that depict it, by taking out from it syllables or words, one by one. The choice of choosing the type of content is completely up to you – it should depend on your inclination to visual, auditory or other types of contents.
The decrease in pain should follow these changes.
OK, let’s assume you got rid of the pain using one of the presented techniques (or some other one). You feel relieved. Now what? Will you ignore the fact that pain was there, as the warning signal from your body and simply continue with your everyday activities? This question is especially important if your pain is chronic.
First, visit your physician. They will guide you through the scientifically confirmed ways of overcoming your illness (if there is any).
Yet, the problem with the mainstream medicine is that it barely takes into account the mental and emotional causes of a disease, not to mention its spiritual roots. Medical treatment is great and comprehensive, but still not enough. It resolves the problem temporarily but can cause other problems. That’s why you should take additional steps. You must find the inner source of your pain and solve the problem lastingly.
You have many great psychological and spiritual techniques at your disposal, many of them even available for free on the Internet. I would recommend here the Reintegration System’s technique called the “Inner Triangle.” It’s a powerful method that utilizes the approach of considering any unwanted state or challenge as a distinct part of our personality.
You must find the inner source of your pain and solve the problem lastingly.
The Inner Triangle (IT) is based on the concepts of Parts of Personality and Chain of Goals. To begin, you must consider the problem you are dealing with (in this case – the pain or illness) to be a separate part of your personality, like a half-conscious entity. By defining it as a distinct being (either within your own psyche or outside of it), you are pulling it out of the “sea of the unconsciousness.” Then, you are able to start a sort of communication with it, in order to get some important information related to the problem. You also have to find the opposite part in your mind and treat it in the same way as the first one.
During the IT process, by going up the chain of “smaller,” partial goals of these parts, you are not erasing any of these entities: you are reintegrating them back into your being. They may merge together and thus end the process immediately, or remain separate, but have been brought up to their highest states of being, either way having been reintegrated into the unity of your being. In both cases, the inner cause of your overall unwanted state (which was causing your physical pain), is resolved.
The IT technique is described in detail on our website here, while in the Reintegration books Inner Peace, Outer Success and Inner Freedom Techniques there is a case-study in which you will be able to gain a better practical understanding of the method.
Although this may sound contradictory, if we want to get rid of the pain, we have to believe in the technique and at the same time to not expect any outcome.
We should be open to any results of the process, either positive or negative. However, negative beliefs can badly impact the pain removal process. If you are applying a pain relief technique while believing that it cannot help us, the chances are that the pain will persist. The power of beliefs is immense. They literally shape our individual reality. Hence, I would recommend two methods for transforming or removing limiting beliefs (with links to their description): Replacing Beliefs and Dismantling Beliefs.
We should be open to any results of the process, either positive or negative. However, negative beliefs can badly impact the pain removal process.
To conclude, the above-mentioned pain relief techniques are indeed powerful and can help you a lot, but you must deal with the inner source of your pain. Otherwise, the pain will always return, even becoming ever stronger.
And by uprooting the deeper and deeper layers of suppressed, hidden issues, you’ll be liberating your self and getting closer to the final freedom from suffering, to Nirvana. Ultimately, that’s the true purpose of pain – pressing us toward the Enlightenment.
Have a peaceful and wonderful day! :-)
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