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Manage your pain

  • Pain Reduction Techniques

    Your body has the ability to rewire itself. You can actually interrupt the pain process by controlling your body’s reaction once the pain message reaches the brain. These exercises provide a starting point for learning how to control pain at home.

    Self visualization

    These techniques can help you reduce pain to a level you can tolerate. They can be used for pain after surgery, muscle pain, headaches or any other pain.

    1. Bring your attention to the area that has pain. Notice the characteristics of the pain. Answer the following questions: Does it have a color? Is it warm or cool? Moving or still? Bright or dim? Heavy or light
    2. Pick three points in your body, one of which is the pain spot. Create an "exit route" for the pain using these three points. For example, if you have lower back pain, the three points could be your head, lower back and feet.
    3. Imagine pulling healing light/energy/wind/sound into yourself. Pull it from the earth or sky and concentrate on your three-point exit route. Do this several times. Visualize the light or energy taking the image of pain with it.

    Relaxation response

    This exercise can help you relax all the muscles in your body, beginning with your feet and moving up to your head. Practicing this for 10 minutes twice a day can help you re-enter a relaxed state more easily, even in times of stress.

    1. Find a position that feels comfortable. You can sit or lie down. Just find a position where your spine and neck are aligned and you can breathe easily. If you’re comfortable doing so, close your eyes.
    2. Choose a word that helps you feel relaxed. This word could be something like love, peace or ocean—any word that makes you feel calm and relaxed.
    3. Relax all your muscles. Start at your feet and move up or start at your head and move down. Feel the tension melt away as you notice and relax those muscles.
    4. Breathe in and out through your nose. Begin to notice and become aware of your breathing. Focus on expanding your belly when you breathe in and feel it contract when you breathe out.
    5. Breathe out. As you do, say your word over and over silently to yourself.
    6. Your mind will wander. When it does, gently and kindly bring attention back to your breathing and your word. Continue to be aware of your breathing, focusing on saying you word to yourself when you breathe out.
    Man meditating

    Progressive muscle relaxation

    Understanding how and where your body stores stress lets you focus on these areas and relax them whenever you want to feel better. This at-home treatment involves visualizing the muscles and parts of your body one by one then relaxing them, from your head to your toes.

    You have the power to relieve some of your own pain through the quick and easy at-home technique of progressive muscle relaxation. Simply notice and release tension from the muscles in your body, one by one, starting at the top of your head and moving down to the bottom of your feet.

    Make the Time

    • All you need is 5 minutes!
    • Pick a time of day that is easy to remember (upon waking, after lunch or before bed).
    • Choose to make time for self-care in your day – you will be more efficient, effective and present in your personal and professional life.

    Find a Comfortable Position. Breathe...

    • You can sit or lie down.
    • Keep your spine and neck straight so you can breathe with ease.
    • You may close your eyes.
    • Notice your breath, allowing it to enter and exit slowly and easily.

    Release Tension with Your Breath

    • Becoming aware of your head, soften and release tension in your scalp as you breathe out.
    • Soften and release tension in your brow, cheeks and jaw as you breathe out.
    • Progressively continue to notice/release tension from each muscle in the body, moving slowly from the head down to the bottom of your feet.

    Slowly Return Your Awareness

    • Feeling relaxed, present and renewed, slowly return your awareness to your surroundings.
    • Set your intention for whatever comes next in your day...
  • Female in chair