Meditation has many benefits and some studies have even found that it can lower blood pressure, improve your immune system and decrease stress levels.
But how can meditation help people with back pain?
Over the past 21 days I have embarked on the 21-Day Meditation Experience put together by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra. During that time I felt more relaxed and centred everyday. I also became more aware of how much tension there is in my body.
When I treat people with back pain in my clinic I have noticed that many people have high stress levels. Most people know that stress increases muscle tension in the body. This is due to the fact that our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and we have a fight-or-flight response during stressful situations. This is our body’s way of responding to the stressor so that if we are feeling threatened our muscles can contract quickly and help us get out of the situation and run or fight the predator! This is a perfectly normal response to stress but if we have long-term anxiety/stress our muscles may not get the chance to fully relax and recover. Overtime this may lead to back pain and injury due to constant muscle tension throughout the body creating an imbalance.
Practice Makes Perfect
So next time you feel stressed or anxious notice where your body is feeling tense. Take some deep breaths, have a stretch and relax.
I would suggest checking your body a few times a day and notice where you feel the tightest. Some of the common areas of tension are your jaw, neck, shoulders, hips and buttocks muscles.
Aim to meditate at least once a day for 20 minutes. At the start of your session scan your body for tightness and try and relax that area by imagining that you are breathing through it. If that doesn’t work contract the muscle group for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat this step a few times until the tight areas of your body feel more relaxed. Then take some deep breaths and observes your thoughts. Don’t worry if your mind is racing initially. Eventually your mind will slow down and this will help your body to relax more.
If you are finding it hard to meditate in silence then download an app and they will guide you through the process with some relaxing music in the background.
I hope this helps with your pain and tightness. Aim to meditate for at least 21 days in a row (20mins each session) as it will take a few weeks to notice any changes and form a habit. I am pretty sure you will notice a difference to your body and feel better overall.
Remember that people that don’t have the time to meditate are probably the ones that need it the most. Good-luck and have fun! ☺