How Meditation Helps Relieve Pain

How Meditation Helps Relieve Pain

It does not matter what sort of pain you experience, pain is very unpleasant and something you all want to avoid.  If you suffer from chronic pain which is a persistent and long-standing ailment anything that can help you be free of that pain is frantically sought. The use of drugs is a natural development but drugs can have negative side effects. Plus the use of prescription medication has to be carefully monitored as the body builds up resistance to the most powerful of medicines. As the dose is increased your mental agility decreases and life can become pretty miserable.  It is therefore good to know that medical research has found in the past few years when you meditate you are providing yourself with some natural pain relief. The fact that scientific research shows that meditation helps relieve pain is a positive step forward for helping millions of people at a global level.

As meditation becomes more common and a normal part of life in the Western Hemisphere more research is being done to find out what the effects of meditation are on the brain. As meditation is researched by these diverse groups the benefits of learning to meditate and making it a part of your daily routine is becoming more evident. A study at the Berth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre showed that meditation helped reduce blood pressure by decreasing the blood flow. With stress the Harvard Medical School reports that meditation helps the brain calm the body. Jon Kabat-Zinn a Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School is one of the many authors of Books and CDs using the technique of Meditation as a pain reliever

In her article, Meditation: proven to lower pain, improve memory and focus Jeanette Padilla, an experienced herbalist and iridologist, writes about the studies that are being carried out which show that meditation helps relieve pain.  And not only can meditation help relieve pain it also increases memory function which is the opposite of what the prescriptive drugs did.  Meditation is not just for the people who sit in an Ashram in India it is a proven pain reliever.

Meditation: proven to lower pain, improve memory and focus

Meditation is a powerful tool, but not until recent years has its wide array of benefits been studied so extensively. Once neurologists discovered how meditation creates changes in the brain, research of this alternative tool rose exponentially. Many recent studies have proven that meditation can diminish pain, improve memory, and sharpen focus.

Meditation can help lower blood pressure

A recent study published in NeuroReport suggests meditation can activate specific areas of the brain that may influence heart and breathing rates. Sara Lazar, Ph.D., author of the study, used a brain imaging process known as fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging, to measure blood flow changes in experienced meditators. Senior author of the study and president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Berth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Herbert Benson said, “What we found were striking changes. There was significant decrease in blood flow and activity in specific areas of the brain.”

Meditation is better than morphine

Researchers have also found that individuals who partook in an eight week mindfulness meditation program experienced increased density in sections of the brain associated with empathy, memory, one’s sense of self, and stress response. The study was published in the medical journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging in 2011. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, meditation can reduce pain more than morphine can. The study, led by Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., reported individuals new to meditation displayed a 40% reduction in pain intensity and a 57 percent reduction in pain unpleasantness after only a few quick sessions of mindfulness meditation training. For reference, morphine generally lessens pain by about 25 percent.

In the case of Cassandra Metzger, meditation worked to reduce her pain caused by fibromyalgia. Metzger was 34 when she was diagnosed. Doctors prescribed pain killers, sleep drugs, muscle relaxers, mood stabilizers and other drugs to help manage her pain, fatigue, insomnia, and depression but nothing worked well. Metzger credits meditation saying it, “saved me from despair more than once.” She adds, “During episodes of acute illness, I was saved by knowing that the experience of pain was just one moment in time – maybe an excruciating moment, maybe a long moment, but still a moment. I learned this by meditating.”

Meditation benefits everyone around you

In instances of stress and/or severe pain the brain’s natural fight-or-flight response causes the release of adrenalin, which is stressful to the body. Meditation helps the brain calm the body. “People with chronic illnesses often experience a lot of self-loathing and self-blame,” says David Vago, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He adds, “If you can transform those negative emotions toward yourself into compassion and love, it not only benefits you, it also benefits everyone around you.”

For example, people suffering from chronic pain, such as those with fibromyalgia, tend to dwell on thoughts about pain because they frequently experience acute pain. Dr. Vago’s research team saw those types of tendencies disappeared after eight weeks of meditation. Meditation teaches you to recognize pain, anger, or fear without letting yourself be overtaken by negative thoughts or behavior that typically accompany those emotions. According to researchers, meditators have discovered how to effectively manage their emotional response to pain although they still sense it. Katherine MacLean, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine explains that meditators are,”…actually more in tune with the sensation of pain, but they don’t have their usual emotional reaction to it.

Right Thinking & Awakening the Mind

Right Thinking & Awakening the Mind

Where you focus your attention, your energy will flow in that direction or you may know this saying better as: ‘Energy follows thought’. These days, staying focused on any thought is no small achievement. We live in a time of emotional and mental instability and no sooner do we attempt to complete one project another one pulls us in different direction. The world is full of things clamouring for our attention; even setting the sound and haptics of our smart phones is a full-time endeavour. And as if that is not enough as we watch the news on TV there is a ticker tape of breaking news distracting our thoughts from what the anchorman is showing or telling us on the screen.

Technological Advances

Each and every day we sit back dissatisfied and stressed as very little seems to be accomplished to our full satisfaction. It seems the key to getting things done is being able to concentrate for more than a few seconds on one object. We have to relearn how to concentrate our thoughts without the modern-day distractions that keep us busy doing nothing. The great technological advances which have made instant communication and global connection possible are a wonder and very useful and convenient for business and communication. But there is a flip side, these wonderful technological advances keep us so busy we fail to keep our attention on one thing for longer than a few minutes as we rush to answer another email or post on Facebook. It takes a very special person not to become overwhelmed by the demands and distractions that are presented to each and every one of us throughout the day.

Mindfulness & Meditation

One of the ways to train the mind is through the ancient practice of Mindfulness. This meditation practice has become increasingly popular in our culture and is used to help focus the mind on the present moment.  It assists an individual to develop a one pointedness of attention that stops the distractions and white noise of the external world.

More and more people are turning to meditation to bring calm, focus and even productivity into their lives. It’s as if people are appreciating, they have a mind and if they can use that mind correctly, they will be a lot happier than they are now.  Certainly, with the mind in control and not the chaotic emotions we do seems to be happier and more balanced people.

Mindfulness advocates that no daily is task is too menial to not have our undivided attention.  With everything we do we use the mind to keep us present and in the moment. If we are daydreaming and allowing the mind to go off on its own journey of thoughts and fantasies we will get nowhere.  Keeping the mind focused takes will power but it gets easier the more you do it. It is not hard to learn to control the mind, we just have to choose to take back control. With the mind back in control, our attention is not divided, and we can achieve all the things we choose to achieve each day. No matter how clever we are, we have to make choices and one of those choices may be to take back control of the mind. This is quite a relevant choice as each and every day we create thoughts by thinking. Now the trick is, we have to decide what we want to think about. Otherwise nothing will get done and our thoughts remain a distracted mess of chaotic emotional and mental reactions.

Right Thinking

Right thinking is not just about accomplishments and doing a good job in the home and office. Right thinking is clear thinking, based on right values and a sense of good will. Right thinking is not clouded with criticism, doubt, worry or fear. Very simply, right thinking raises us up; wrong thinking brings us down. And we are not just pulling ourselves down with wrong thinking, usually we managed to drag everyone else into the pit with us. Who would want to do that to their friends, colleagues or family?   As we focus on right thinking, we help others rise up as they are influenced by our right thinking and decide to think clearly and more compassionately.

As a human being it is a great responsibility to recognise and appreciate that energy follows thought. If the energy behind the thought is negative, then we are having a negative affect not just on our own psyche but also on the people within our environment.

Thoughts are things and with each thought, and indeed each word, we are building, creating something. Thoughts are creative because energy follows thought and on the mental plane something is created and will grow if fed. Once it is created, it leads and conducts energy according to its qualities of right or wrong thinking. Our whole system (mental, emotional and physical bodies) respond to these energies. The nature of the thoughts we have determines the kind of energy that builds our life.

This reminds me of that story about the wolf you feed.

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.

“One is evil — he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.

“The other is good — he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you — and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,

“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,

“The one you feed.”

Pause for a moment and consider the thoughts you have about yourself. What wolf are you feeding? Are you raising ourselves up or pulling yourself down?

What Do We Want to Build?

The next consideration is; what do we want to build? What do we want to create? And how do we do that? Whether it’s something personal, political, social, or spiritual, we can create a great and wonderful vision and a plan, and we have the ability to hold onto it.  But it may require effort and only we can choose whether we have the right stuff to ensure right thoughts are the ethos we live by.

And of course, as we look to the world there seems to be so many problems that are overwhelming in their magnitude and complexity. We may become disheartened and think what’s the point, what can my little-self do to change things, the world is a mess I may as well join it.

Changing Ourself Not the World

However, we are not talking about changing the world we are talking about changing ourselves. Like each brick that creates the building, if we work at right thoughts, we ensure our particular brick is strong and secure. Our part of the tower will be safe. We will continue to influence the surrounding bricks with our right thinking. Eventually more and more bricks become safe as their quality is good and eventually, we have a solid tower that will stand for centuries because it has been created with the right stuff and is of good quality.

Are we prepared to work towards those solutions? Are we prepared to attempt to do what can be done with our own way of thinking? Are we able to think clearly and critical? Can we think in a detached way and with discernment? Are we willing to support other people, with our thoughts and speech? Will we work with them? There is so much to be done on the personal level. But the good news is this work we do at a personal level is already changing the world for the better.

We need to reclaim our thoughts and eradicate the criticism, fear and judgements that cloud our vision and minds.  We do that through focusing our intention on right thinking and awakening the mind to clear thoughts that are free of judgment. We do not need to meditate to do this, although meditation is a good training ground.

No-one else can do this for us, it requires our daily effort and endeavour to change ourselves. “This will not be accomplished by someone else, somewhere else, nor by any one leader or nation.”[i]

People believe the problems are too great and they ask, “What can we do?” The answer is simple, start thinking right thoughts and training the mind and the heart to think rightly. This is something we all can do, and we really must do if we want to live in a better world or more importantly leave a habitable world for our children and the generations that follow.

I will close with the wonderful words of Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

The idea for this article came from the Lucis Trust global Triangles Meditation program to heal the world.

[i] Talk given by Alex Ratcliffe: Right Thinking: August 7, 2019. Retrieved from URL: https://www.lucistrust.org/blog_triangles

Global Triangles Meditation

Global Triangles Meditation

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
Native American

Global Triangles Meditation

An Earth Healing Grid of Light
The global triangles meditation for earth healing is a very simple meditation that only takes a few minutes. Linked with two other people you form a triangle of light. You then connect to the global network of triangles as you visualise a lighted grid surrounding the entire planet giving healing to the earth, humanity, the animal and plant kingdoms.

It’s Easy to Do
You don’t have to be meditating at the same time as the others in your triangle group, as the power of thought is used in this meditation. Also, doing the meditation together is not required. As long as you do the meditation once a day, preferably in the morning, you will help bring about major changes for the earth and all its energy forms.

Global Triangles Meditation Group
Make the change happen and help the planet by being a part of the Global Triangles Meditation Group.

Contact Me
Email: [email protected] and I will arrange for two other people to create your Global Triangles Meditation Group. Or if you can form your own Triangle group, all I need are names and email addresses so I can register your Triangle with the Global networks  based in London, New York and Geneva.

Triangle Meditation

Method
Quieten yourself and link with thought and purpose to your fellow triangle members.
Using the creative imagination, visualise the energies of light and goodwill circulating from point to point of your group triangle(s).
Then direct the flow of energy from your group triangle(s) into a worldwide network of triangles which is surrounding the planet. Your triangle(s) is a part of this worldwide network of triangles.
As you direct the energy into the worldwide network say the Great Invocation as you visualise light and love surrounding the planet and filling the heart and minds of all human beings.
Close the meditation.

The Great Invocation – Adapted
From the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into human minds.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into human hearts.
May the Coming One return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide all little human wills –
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the human race
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.

Adapted from the Lucis Trust

To find out more about Triangles

Focused Breathing – Take a Breath

Focused Breathing – Take a Breath

Focused Breathing – Take a Breath

We’re often told to take a breath when overcome with an intense emotional reaction. The use of focused breathing to calm down seems to be a natural response. It was previously thought that the technique was useful because of its regulating effect on the circulatory system. However, a recent scientific study (Zelano et. al, 2016) has found that breathing, at least nasally, is directly linked to our cognitive processes.

The Nose-Brain Superhighway

Being on the face, our noses are one of the few body parts that are directly connected to the brain. Neurons from the olfactory bulb at the base of the frontal cortex extend into tissues at the top of the nasal cavity. The olfactory bulb is divided into two distinct structures, one for each nostril, but is referred to as a single entity. It is also connected to several other brain areas, like the amygdalae and, less directly, the hippocampus. These connections contribute to the strong bonds between smell, memory, and emotion in human experience.

In nonhuman mammals, like rodents, scientists had long observed an activation in the olfactory bulb that was related to nasal respiration. The 2016 study by Zelano and colleagues was the first to confirm the existence of an olfactory-respiratory link in humans. They directly measured electrical activity in key brain areas by inserting electrodes into the brains of consenting epileptic patients who were already undergoing surgical procedures. Their findings revealed that the expected link between nasal breathing and the olfactory bulb can be observed in electrical activities at a lower wavelength than those seen in other mammals.

Natural Breathing is Key

Once it was confirmed, the researchers were able to further investigate the nasal respiration-olfactory bulb relationship by using more electrodes to measure corresponding activities in connected parts of the brain. Synchronized signals between the olfactory bulb and hippocampus showed that nasal breathing is related to memory formation, while synchronizations between the bulb and amygdalae demonstrated a link with emotional modulations. The associations were all highly dependent on the stage of breathing (inhalation and exhale), and were functioning optimally when breathing was natural.

Focused breathing techniques, from guided meditation to simply being told to take a breath, help us to normalize our breathing patterns. This may aid in returning our brains to a calm state of operation in circumstances where it may otherwise be abnormally excited or inhibited. However, as far as we can currently tell, this action may only be available when breathing is accomplished primarily through the nose.

Reference

Zelano, C., Jiang, H., Zhou, G., Arora, N., Schuele, S., Rosenow, J., & Gottfried, J. A. (2016). Nasal respiration entrains human limbic oscillations and modulates cognitive function. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(49), 12448-12467.

Prayer and Meditation

Prayer and Meditation

The following information is provided by the Lucis Trust.  The Lucis Trust is a nonprofit service organization incorporated in the United States in 1922 by Alice Bailey and her husband Foster Bailey, to act as a trust for the publishing of twenty-four books of esoteric philosophy published under Alice Bailey’s name, and to fund and administer activities concerned with the establishment of “right human relations”. These include the Arcane School, a school for esoteric training, World Goodwill, Trianglesa lending library, The Beacon magazineas well as the publishing company.

Prayer and meditation are two distinct methods of approach to reality. Both are equally legitimate and useful. Prayer is based on the concept of God Transcendent, above and beyond the world of human affairs; meditation, however, appeals to those who recognise God Immanent, or within His creation. When we pray we speak to God; when we meditate we listen to God, or let God speak to us.

The basic distinctions between prayer and meditation are motivation and means. Prayer is based on personal desire and depends upon emotional fervour and intensity for results; whereas meditation is, or should be, motivated by service to the Plan and the greater good for all humanity. Meditation uses the disciplined mind to contact the soul and know the will of God.

Both prayer and meditation are invocative in nature. They both call upon spiritual forces for the release of energies in answer to a voiced demand, and both methods work. Both methods are needed because much of humanity is still focussed at the emotional level.

Meditation is practiced by those who recognise that divinity–the “Kingdom of God”–is within, and that God-realisation is a natural process. The disciplined use of the mind, combined with service to others, is the means for attaining that realisation. “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” is a reality to the meditator.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

PRAYER AND MEDITATION
Curated by Liz McCaughey©Copyright 2018 Kumarahub.com
W: aMindset
W: Kumarahub
Date: November 26, 2018

Related Article

Liz’s articles are available on both the KumaraHub  and aMindset  websites.

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About Liz McCaughey

Liz McCaughey is a qualified psychotherapist with her own private practice in Hong Kong and Australia. You can arrange an appointment HERE.

If you are unable to travel to Liz’s practice there is an online portal for Therapy where appointments can be arranged.

Liz has recently opened her new business aMindset in Hong Kong. aMindset is a comprehensive mental health resource that incorporates Psychotherapy, Counselling, Mentoring and Workshops. Liz’s first company, the KumaraHub started in Perth, Western Australia in 2003. You can read more about the KumaraHub HERE.

Curation

At Kumarahub we value good content for our readers. In that spirit we will often curated or excerpt content from top quality sources on the web.The very internet itself was created on the foundation of linking, sharing, and recommending good content from other sources on the web.

Curation means finding good, well-written, and highly relevant material for our readers. By choosing content from your site, we are giving it our vote of approval. This not only means that we excerpt your content, we also give it our highest recommendation, and we encourage our readers to view your content on your website with a direct link back your source material.

Our curation is designed to send our readers to your site so you get new visitors exposed to your top quality content. We curated your content because it was outstanding in some way.

Full details of Kumarahub Curation policy can be found HERE.

Manageable Compassion

Manageable Compassion

The following information is provided by the Lucis Trust.  The Triangle article can be read in full on the Triangles Blog. The Lucis Trust is a nonprofit service organization incorporated in the United States in 1922 by Alice Baileyand her husband Foster Bailey, to act as a trust for the publishing of twenty-four books of esoteric philosophy published under Alice Bailey’s name, and to fund and administer activities concerned with the establishment of “right human relations”. These include the Arcane School, a school for esoteric training, World Goodwill, Trianglesa lending library, The Beacon magazineas well as the publishing company.

Manageable Compassion

Compassion is a hard thing to manage.  As kind and caring people you like to be of service and help people.  However, I am sure a lot of you have been disappointed that the help has been a waste of time. The person you have given the help to, has not benefitted from it. And usually because they probably didn’t really want your help.  

Or even more painful, they have not only rejected your help but have rejected you as well.  What started as a kind gesture eventuates into a waring feud.  This is not meant to be a blame game and whatever happens, you have to continue to show compassion and also forgiveness.

However the next time you want to rush in and help someone that you may have helped a few times before ….   PAUSE … and have a think about what is written in the short article below.

This article is taken from a recording by the Lucis Trust ‘Triangles Group’. You can find out more about the Lucis Trust and their Goodwill activities by clicking on the links in the box above.

Compassion & Feeling

Compassion is one of the three higher states of the feeling nature, as taught by Patanjali in the book written by Alice Bailey: Light of the Soul

Compassion is the third aspect of the three and works out upon the physical plane. Alice Bailey

said that the means to work effectively with this quality of compassion was by calling upon the love, or second aspect of the soul, the love petals of the egoic lotus, and through that means to become open to the hearts of others and indeed become one with them. 

This is wise action. 

It is not working with others on the plane of feeling for on that level that they will be unlikely to hear. Then over time, with faith in the response, change can be realized through soul stimulation. 

Tough Love

Of course this is not meant to concern turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the feelings of others but sometimes approaching certain situations with the attitude of “tough love” is not a bad idea. 

And Alice Bailey said she learned that sometimes we have to leave certain people to God.

Curation

At Kumarahub we value good content for our readers. In that spirit we will often curated or excerpt content from top quality sources on the web.The very internet itself was created on the foundation of linking, sharing, and recommending good content from other sources on the web.

Curation means finding good, well-written, and highly relevant material for our readers. By choosing content from your site, we are giving it our vote of approval. This not only means that we excerpt your content, we also give it our highest recommendation, and we encourage our readers to view your content on your website with a direct link back your source material.

Our curation is designed to send our readers to your site so you get new visitors exposed to your top quality content. We curated your content because it was outstanding in some way.

Full details of Kumarahub Curation policy can be found HERE.