Nearly 100 million adults in the United States live with chronic pain. It typically lasts longer than 12 weeks and has serious repercussions.
Chronic pain is a major cause of missed work, and it can lead to additional problems, such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, limited mobility, and reduced quality of life. Chronic pain is responsible for $560 to $635 billion every year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
If you have experienced chronic pain, you know how debilitating it can be. After trying treatment after treatment without success, you’re often given unappealing choices: rely on prescription painkillers, undergo surgery, or cope with constant discomfort.
But these aren’t your only options. A holistic approach to pain management, as advocated in The Len Cerullo Method care plan, aids long-term health and healing. Dr. Cerullo supports using meditation as part of this strategy to alleviate or minimize chronic pain.
“Meditation is the act of being mindful about what is happening in the present moment,” says Dr. Cerullo. “You focus on what you are experiencing in your body and mind in real time, and you practice coping with stress and pain.”
Research has shown that meditation is effective in pain management. In a 2011 study from Wake Forest University, scientists performed MRI scans on 15 healthy volunteers while inducing pain. Over the next four days, an instructor taught the volunteers mindfulness meditation techniques. On the fifth day, the researchers scanned the volunteers again while inducing pain – both with meditation and without. The study showed around a 40% reduction in pain intensity ratings during meditation, compared with non-meditation.
Dr. Cerullo recommends performing a mindfulness meditation technique called the body scan to help with pain management.
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes, relax your body, and focus on your breath moving in and out.
- Starting with the top of your head, bring your full awareness to a single part of your body. Feel it completely. Notice any sensations – good, bad, or neutral.
- Move slowly down the rest of your body, concentrating on each body part individually. If your thoughts start to wander, bring your awareness back to the feeling in one part of your body.
- When you’re done, feel your body as a whole, as the individual parts form one connected unit.
Learn more about The Len Cerullo Method’s personalized and holistic approach to pain management.