Benefits of Meditation for Chronic Pain and Addiction
Almost everyone has heard that meditation can help you improve focus and treat depression. The benefits of meditation, however, extend well beyond that. Meditation can help with a wide array of problems from the physical to the non-physical. Proven benefits of regular meditation for chronic pain and addiction include an increase in pain tolerance, enhanced self-control, and a reduction in stress.
Boosts Your Pain Tolerance and Alleviates Pain
One of the reasons a chronic pain management program uses meditation therapy is it can increase your capacity to deal with and relieve the physical discomfort. This perception has links to the mind, which partially explains why pain worsens when you’re stressed. In a study published in the “Journal of Neuroscience,” participants who went through four days of mindfulness meditation reported less sensitivity to pain. The fMRIs of their brains also found increased activity in the areas responsible for pain management. Another study of the benefits of meditation found decreased reports of chronic and intermittent physical discomfort when participants went through such a meditation program.
Meditation releases endorphins in your brain that attach to opioid receptors. When they attach to these receptors, it helps minimize your perception of pain. Endorphins play a role in mood elevation as well. Thus, you’ll feel happier when you make meditation a daily practice. Meditation therapy also resolves the problem of anticipating pain. Sometimes, it is your anticipation of being in pain that’s causing you pain. When someone is in physical discomfort for an extended period or has a pain that frequently occurs, their brains develop programmed neuronal pathways for this feeling.
Improves Your Self-Control and Self-Discipline
Sitting and focusing your mind for a set amount of time each day naturally develops your discipline and self-control. There are different ways of meditating, such as observing your thoughts without judgment, bringing awareness to everything you’re experiencing in the present moment, and letting go of all thoughts to just sit in stillness. Regardless of what type of meditation you do, you will improve your self-control and self-discipline over time with regular practice and experience the benefits of meditation.
These qualities are beneficial for everyone. It’s a discipline that makes you do what you need and want to do each day to live a better life. Let’s say you want to eat a healthy diet and exercise. If you struggle with this, then learning meditation can help you in achieving these goals due to strengthening your discipline and self-control. It can keep you doing physical therapy exercises every day if you are working on overcoming chronic pain. The same applies to people facing substance abuse. They will find it easier to avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs once they’ve developed discipline through meditation therapy.
Stress plays a major role in chronic pain and addiction. When you feel stressed, you will either trigger pain or worsen it. If you have a substance abuse problem, then stress can cause you to take a drug in an attempt to relieve it. The benefits of meditation will provide a healthy way of relieving stress so that you can minimize physical and emotional pain. You’ll have an easier time remaining sober when you meditate every day.
Stress, whether physical or mental, releases cortisol in the body. Too much cortisol can cause inflammation, increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, cloudy thinking, fatigue, and depression. Numerous studies have confirmed that meditation reduces stress. One study even found a reduction in the inflammatory response that stress causes. Some research has focused specifically on how meditation affects people with stress-related conditions, such as fibromyalgia, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and PTSD. In these studies, the results showed that meditation eases their symptoms.
Kemah Palms Recovery® welcomes anyone who’s enduring chronic pain or a substance abuse problem to enroll in our meditation therapy program. We also offer chronic pain management and substance abuse treatment programs that take a unique holistic approach. Our Kemah holistic treatment plan will address all aspects of your well-being to ensure a stronger recovery.
Experience the Benefits of Meditation with Regular Practice
Although you may notice improvement within a few days of meditating, you’ll fully reap the benefits of meditation when you make it a daily practice. You don’t need to meditate long each day to enjoy its benefits. Even just 5–10 minutes a day makes a difference in your overall health. Enrolling in a meditation program helps you make it a habit. By the time you finish the program, you will not only know how to correctly meditate. But you will likely have found it’s become a daily habit.
Those who have chronic pain, addiction, or both chronic pain and addiction experience the benefits of meditation. It reduces your stress, alleviates pain, increases pain tolerance, improves self-discipline, and improves self-control. All of these benefits have scientific evidence to back them up.
Chronic pain and addiction can seriously harm your quality of life. Let us help you take back your power and improve your chances of a permanent recovery. Contact us today to take the next step in your recovery.