For those people who suffer with chronic pain from illnesses such as MS, meditation is recognised as a positive practice that can help to control it.
Living with chronic pain means constant suffering whilst trying to run a normal life, work and family too. For meditation to work, you need to find some quiet time, preferably when your not experiencing the worst of your pain. However, sometimes finding this time can prove challenging and it can also be difficult to concentrate when you are experiencing the pain, when the last thing on your mind is meditation! Here are some (hopefully) non-patronising suggestions I have collated from the best of the web to help you overcome these barriers which stop you from benefiting from meditation.
Find a Space
According to Belief.net, one of the challenges to meditation is finding a place and relaxing position which you are comfortable sitting in for a long period of time. Belief.net says there are no “right” or “wrong” positions – meditation can be entered through sitting, lying, even standing positions. Speak to your medical team or physical therapist and work together to create a unique space just for you that will support your body and your pain whilst encouraging your meditative practice.
Use your pain and frustration with it to focus on healing. Believe that you can meditate with the presence of pain, accept the pain as part of the meditative process. Focus on breathing and releasing the pain from your body through your relaxation and breathing techniques such as mindfulness meditation. This is where you sit or lie quietly, taking notice of your breathing but not trying to control it. If pain begins to interfere, just notice it, do not try to push it away. Think of the pain as a cloud passing over your body. After it has passed on or subsided, return to observing your breathing again. Do this for as long as you can but of a minimum of 20 minutes.