Reducing Pain by Noticing Rapid Changes in Time

There are many ways of using meditation to deal with pain. Many of them involve some form of distraction, placing your attention elsewhere. However, often our attention can be stuck focusing on the pain. In that case it can help to go with that and use the fact that every sensory experience, even pain, will vary from moment to moment.

This meditation technique help you reduce the perception of pain by paying selective attention to rapid and subtle decreases in the level of pain. At first the reductions are small and short, but with practice they will become larger and longer. As we practice this we train our brain to become better at reducing pain.

Notes:

  • This technique requires you to be rather alert, so sedating medications can make it harder.
  • The technique can be difficult for some people and definitely improves with practice.
  • Play with it a bit and stop if you feel like you are straining.
  • Practice for short periods of time several times per day to improve your skill.
  • Some people don’t like this technique. If you happen to be one of them then simply use a different technique.

2 thoughts on “Reducing Pain by Noticing Rapid Changes in Time”

  1. OMG! It works. I focused on reducing pain in one part of my body (my wrist) and then moved to other areas, leaving the worst area (my neck) for last. I also returned to a recurrence of pain in a part of the body, using the same technique before going to a new area. Focusing on the breathing is a good way to draw my mind from pain. Maybe having pain in many parts of my body helps?

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  2. When we have pain in several parts of the body we can shift our attention from one part to another. When we shift our attention away from the first part we are teaching our brain to let go of a painful sensation. Even though our brain is paying attention to a new painful sensation, it had to let go of the first one in order to do that. So if we notice the letting go, and keep letting go of one part after another then the brain can get skilled enough so that the pain can be going, going, gone.

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