Ten Strategies From the Mind-Body Tool Box
Plus a Special Bonus to Put that Headache to Sleep
At New Leaf Chronic Pain Center we teach more than 100 Mind-Body tools that combine mental and somatic processes to bring about relaxation, lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce or extinguish pain and even stimulate the autoimmune system for health and healing. These Mind-Body tools are easy to learn and become more effective with practice and repetition. With guidance and support you can master an array of Mind-Body techniques to relieve stress, produce relaxation and have control over pain.
You have certainly heard, “Take a deep breath and relax” to get through a moment of high stress. Well, that is just the tip of the iceberg to what is available to you in Quick-Fix Mind-Body pain reduction tools and strategies.
You have available to you a comprehensive arsenal of Mind-Body techniques and tools for pain relief. As you work with and become familiar with Mind-Body resources you will identify those Mind-Body pain management techniques that are most useful and effective for you. Here’s a few to choose from:
One of the most powerful forms of pain relief is dissolving the stress and tension that has built up in your mind. Here are some suggestions for how to de-stress:
- Recognize What is Stressing You
- Count to Ten
- Breathing Techniques
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
- Reframe Your Thoughts
- Change Negative Self-Talk to Positive
- Slow Down
- Put on Music
- Reach Out for Nurturing
- Make a List
- Get Some Exercise
- Take a Nap
- Think of Gratitude or Do an Act of Kindness
Attention and Focus
Attention and focus are important Mind-Body strategies for pain relief and eradication. What your mind and heart focus on is what will expand.
- Take your mind away from pain focused thinking into pleasure and positive achievement thinking.
- Focus on areas of the body that are feeling comfortable rather than areas of pain.
- You can also refocus on alternative sensations in an area of pain.
Change Meaning and Purpose
Reduction of pain can be achieved through changing the interpretation of pain.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” Norman Vincent Peale
Pain relief can be achieved through visualizing a form that is then associated with an area, or sensations of pain.
- When pain is seen as a form it can be transformed into energy that is released or positive energy that replaces the negative experience of pain.
- Transform pain by changing the intensity of the energy or light that you visualize in association with the pain.
- Pain that has been visualized as a form can be reduced by reducing the size of the form.
- A form representing pain can be visualized as dissolving or going far, far away and taking the pain with it.
Distraction is one of the most natural and spontaneous Mind-Body activities for pain relief.
- Pursuing interesting and enjoyable activities can provide positive distractions from pain.
- Puzzles and memory games can absorb the mind and provide feelings of interest and pleasure.
- Counting can serve as a form of distraction from pain.
- Pain relieving distraction can be provided through reflecting on past or future events.
- Making lists or plans are a way of providing distraction as they also trigger the pleasure and reward centers of the brain.
The conditions of receptive suggestibility provided by a quick entry into deep self-induced trance state, or self-hypnosis, can enhance any Mind-Body tool and can be directed towards immediate pain reduction.
- Quick hypnotic inductions can reframe and embed messages specific to pain relief.
- Previously induced anchor phrases or movements can trigger specific thoughts, feelings or behaviors providing pain reduction.
- An eye glance from high to low can deepen the Mind-Body connection in assisting with pain relief.
Mind-Body Tools to Interrupt Pain Signals:
Mind-body tools can be employed to interrupt pain signals. The triggering of less intense and less painful slow firing nerves creates a traffic jam in the message sending of the nervous system that interrupts the ability of fast firing nerves to deliver more painful and intense messages to the brain.
- Light tapping surrounding an area of pain will provide distraction and also trigger low-frequency rhythms in the brain that reduce the level of pain.
- Pressure applied directly to an area of pain or a nearby pressure point can provide pain relief.
- Visualizing stretching and body movements will actually trigger activity and nerves without causing pain and can be used to help the body limber up and get relief from pain.
- Visualization of heat or cold can help with reducing pain.
Visualization for Pain Relief
Visualization is a powerful tool in the Mind-Body pain relief arsenal. Visualization uses your imagination to form mental images and situations that can help with changing how you feel and how you experience pain relief. The greater you can feel in a visualization the more powerfully it can affect change.
- Visualizing comfort or pleasant feelings can help with reducing pain.
- Pain taking on the form of or being placed inside a visualized ball, can be reduced by changing the size or form of the ball.
- Visualizing stop signs, or other symbols, messages or metaphors that mean “stop” or “slow down” can slow down or completely halt escalating pain.
- A boundary between you and the pain can be achieved through visualizing a wall, protective bubble or other barriers.
- Pain can be placed in a container that is sealed and stored or sent far, far away as you visualize the container getting smaller and smaller.
- Through visualization, the more pleasant positive feelings in one area of the body can be moved over to an area of pain to reduce painful feelings.
- There are a number of ways to visualize pain dissolving into a liquid or vapor that is then carried away from the body and the area of pain.
- Find comfort and pain relief through visualizing a warm bath, favorite foods or loved ones.
Pain Relief Through Thoughtfulness
Thoughtfulness is a powerful force in pain relief. Thoughtfulness sends energy and good feelings out and brings the same forces back to oneself multiple times over. The practice of thoughtfulness can be achieved through acts of altruism, practicing gratitude and loving kindness.
Dealing with Headaches
A variety of Mind-Body tools can assist with reducing or stopping headaches including among others:
- Breathing techniques.
- Visualizing comfortable and peaceful conditions.
- Clam or soothing music.
- Slowing down thoughts.
- Reducing awareness of discomforting stimuli.
- Using a change in intensity of color or light in association with the headache.
- Self-massage or stretching combined with positive self-talk is a Mind-Body technique that will relax the jaw, neck area or shoulders.