5 Powerful Pain Relief Techniques
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.
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