By the time I was 20 years old, I was in a state of constant pain. I had wrestled, played football, snowboarded, and had accumulated many traumas in my young life. As the pain accumulated, it became harder and harder to ignore. The pain caused me to seek help in many areas (most of which didn’t work), but led to me becoming a chiropractor and discovering my purpose in life.
Today, I am in full-time chiropractic practice, and I see many complex cases. I see people who are experiencing many different types of pain. The pain that comes from one day everything being fine, to having a trauma and having your life being turned upside down. I see people who have chronic, nagging issues that they have suffered with for years. I see people who have pain that was at one point tolerable, but is not tolerable any longer. I see patients who have had failed spine surgeries, unrelenting migraines, constant vertigo and more.
There Is Wisdom In Your Pain
Pain is something that is a part of the human experience. For people with chronic pain, this experience is tremendously challenging. One of the most frustrating things about pain is that pain is an internal experience that is unique to each individual. It is impossible to communicate with words to another person the depths of what you are feeling or going through. Living with pain can be lonely, frustrating, and even slowly erode your will.
Pain, however, is not without its blessings. There is a cloud in the silver lining. If I could summarize what I have learned about pain into one sentence, as someone who experienced years of chronic pain and who works as a chiropractor, it would be this: “There is wisdom in your pain.” Pain serves us, although it might not always seem like it. Physical pain is often the best way for our body to communicate to our conscious mind that there is a problem. Pain communicates to us that there is something in your body, or in your life, that is not working.
Ultimately, pain can also serve as a tool for our own growth. It can cause us to make positive changes where previously we had been stuck. Pain can be an incredible tool for transformation. The journey through pain also helps us to develop much deeper levels of compassion for others. Most people avoid pain, both in themselves and in others. When we have experienced deep pain, we can connect with others who are hurting. We can show them that they are not alone, and that we are there with them. We can match the depth of what they are going through, and through that, we can show them that there is always hope.
Easing Chronic Pain with Meditation
In my spare time, I work as a shaman. This was something that I never planned on, but after having a spontaneous kundalini awakening, it became obvious that this is a part of my path. Historically, shamans have been known as the “wounded healers,” and work as a bridge between the physical world and the energetic world. My awakening happened when I was meditating one day and had an experience of feeling of like I was struck by lightning. A rush of energy poured into my so intensely that my body writhed in all directions. This lasted for many minutes. To an observer, it would have looked like I was having a seizure. For me though, I knew that something incredible had happened. Instead of pain, I felt bliss, joy and a deep state of ecstasy. Since that experience, I have been able to see and feel energies that are not obvious to most people.
As a shaman, I see people who are experiencing spiritual pain. People who have lost children, people who struggle with addictions, people who have been raped and abandoned. Their pain is different, but it hurts every bit as badly — and sometimes more — than the worst physical ailments.
As a result of this work, meditation has become a very important part of my life. Through meditation, I believe that we can connect with our subconscious mind in a much more direct way, find lessons in the events that happen to us, and ultimately bring deep healing to ourselves.
Research has also proven that meditation helps to reduce chronic pain, depression and improves quality of life. For someone who suffers with chronic pain, this simple habit can be life changing. By incorporating meditation into your lifestyle, you can alleviate your own suffering.
This exercise does not make sense to the logical mind, but I highly encourage you to try it anyway. Allow your mind to surrender for a moment, and instead simply step into the experience. This is something that you can keep coming back to as part of your own growth process and healing journey.
Getting Started: 8 Step Guide to Meditating the Pain Away
Step 1: Get comfortable.
Sit on a chair with with your feet flat on the floor and feet and knees about hip-width apart, resting your hands on your knees or in your lap. You also can lie flat on a mat, or sit on a pillow or cushion on the floor so your hips are slightly raised above your knees. Keep your back straight and shoulders relaxed, and imagine the crown of your head is being drawn upward as if attached to a string.
Step 2: Direct your mind to your feet.
Allow your feet to relax. Slowly repeat the words “feet relax” silently in your head three times. As your feet relax, notice how they may become warm and that tension in your feet begins to dissolve away.
Step 3: Release tension in all areas of your body.
Work your way up your body from the feet, now repeating the process with each area. Tell each area to relax slowly three times: “Lower legs, relax. Hips and pelvis, relax. Lower back, relax. Belly, relax. Mid back, relax. Solar plexus, relax. Upper back, relax. Chest, relax. Arms and hands, relax. Neck and throat, relax. Head and face, relax. Entire being, relax.” Allow any tension that you are still holding onto to completely dissolve.
Step 4: Let in the light.
Imagine you are encompassed in a river of light. This light pours into you from above, taking with it any stuck energy or emotion that you have been carrying. Allow this light to keep pouring into you, cleansing, healing and purifying your being. Allow this light to take away your blockages, and to bring you deep healing.
Step 5: Feel your pain fully.
While staying in this river of light, take a moment right now to feel your pain as fully as you are able. Step into it. Breathe it in. Allow the pain to come to the center of your consciousness. The pain may bring up different colors, or there may be sounds, smells, emotions or thoughts associated with it. Whatever comes up is OK. As you step deeper and deeper into your pain, what comes up for you? It could be a screeching noise, a vision from your childhood or an uncomfortable emotion.
Step 6: Acknowledge the pain.
Silently speak to your pain now, as if it was a person standing right in front of you. Ask this pain what it has to teach you. Ask the pain if there is anything that it has been trying to communicate to you that you haven’t allowed yourself to hear fully. Stay here until you receive this message.
Step 7: Release the pain.
When you have received the message from your pain, thank it for the teachings that it brought you. Now very clearly and with authority, say, “I release you.” As you visualize the pain dissolving into the light, Feel the pain leave your body, and allow it to be transformed into light. Stay in this river of light as long as you feel is necessary.
Step 8: Ease back to daily life.
Slowly begin to deepen your breathing and invite some movement into your fingers and toes. Stretch your arms over your head, then release them by your sides. If you’re sitting on a chair, lean back. Slowly blink our eyes open and ease back into your day.
Consider journaling about your experience. What came up for you? What did you learn, and what were you able to let go of? How do you feel now? Revisit this exercise as often as you need to.