Pain is not fun, and joint pain can keep you from doing things you enjoy. Breathing is a technique that helps reduce your pain and helps you focus. Using a breathing meditation for as little as 10-minutes (even 5-minutes works) can help you gain control over your pain and give you benefits you might not have thought of.
Just How Can Meditation Help Joint Pain?
We know what you're thinking, how can sitting still in meditation help your joint pain?
The thing is – it can't do it alone.
Meditation can help reduce your joint pain, but it's not going to eliminate it completely. For that, you need a full program that includes the proper diet and exercises that can help your body.
We recommend working with a nutritionist or doctor to help develop a plan to reach a healthy weight and form a diet plan that reduces inflammation-causing foods and increases foods with antioxidants.
Meditation helps you control your pain response and improve your breathing so you can do your exercises better and have the techniques to manage your own pain response.
But, beyond doing that, meditation will help you do one unusual thing – get more oxygen to your body.
During this meditation, you take deeper breaths and fill your lungs more. This gets more oxygen into your body. Your body needs oxygen to heal and repair itself. During your meditation, you can get the oxygen you need.
As a bonus, this helps your muscles work better, your metabolism increase and enables you to think clearer. You get more out of your day when you breathe deeper.
Meditation can also help release endorphins throughout your body and increase the level of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Endorphins are natural painkillers, and naturally stimulating the release can reduce your pain. Increasing the level of dopamine and serotonin in your brain can help you feel better overall, allowing you to adapt to your pain easier.
What Causes Joint Pain & How Can You Control it?
There's a lot of different causes for joint pain:
- Tendon and ligament damage
- Muscle spasms
- Bone grinding
Some of these can come together all at once, some of them can happen sequentially. We just know when they do come together, it's not fun.
Controlling the joint pain means controlling the factors that make it flare-up.
The first of these is inflammation. Arthritis, tendon and ligament damage, and muscle spasms are all related to inflammation. By controlling the inflammation in our body, we can reduce our joint pain
The steps to reduce inflammation is to reduce what causes it – mainly for food choices such as wheat, dairy, and processed foods.
Secondly, learning to move well and use our joints the way they're meant to move is a huge step in the right direction. We recommend looking up videos on proper biodynamic walking and sitting to help reduce and eliminate the little damages done every day.
Finally, you can take some supplements such as turmeric and ginger that help reduce your body's inflammation markers. Both of these are good for helping the body reduce inflammation.
Now, let's examine how to use a breathing meditation to reduce your joint pain.
This is also known as box breathing. If you're familiar with meditations, this is probably something you've experienced. For more advanced people, you can add a visualization of your pain disappearing with each breath and allow your body to make the changes you desire.
First, visualize a box or square.
Starting at the lower left-hand corner, trace the box upward and take a long, deep inhale over four counts.
Now, move across the top of the box, holding your breath for the same four counts.
Descending, down the right-hand side of the box, slowly exhaling over four counts.
Finally, move back to the left-hand corner, holding your breath for four counts.
This seems like a straightforward exercise, and it is. But, it is one of the most effective meditations for increasing the oxygen in your body and focusing your mind on a subject other than your pain.
Using meditation, you can gain mastery over your body and its responses to stress. This will help you reduce your pain whenever you try it to help you understand your body better.