When people come to physical therapy, they are often in pain and seeking relief. Pain may be affecting their quality of life and ability to participate in activities they used to participate in. Generally, stress is a contributing factor when patients don’t recover as expected. Stress management and how one feels about themselves are significant components of every recovery process.Stressors affect how we feel pain, making it more difficult to complete exercises and even go to physical therapy. That’s where one of the most significant benefits to meditation as a mindfulness-based therapy technique lies: it can be done in any position, in any location, with any disability, for any amount of time.
Studies suggest that mindfulness interventions are helpful for patients with musculoskeletal and chronic pain disorders and demonstrate trends toward outcome improvements for patients with neurocognitive
and neuromotor disorders.
How Can I Start Mediating?
For those who have tried it, it’s not as easy as you may think. But like any skill, mindfulness takes practice. Sometimes the only thing standing between our goals and us is a little bit of direction. Most forms of meditation involve being fully present in the moment and focusing our attention on being in that moment. This is called mindfulness. Here are some techniques to help with mindfulness
Breathing Exercise – a deep inhale through your nostrils (3 seconds), hold your breath (2 seconds), and a long exhale through your mouth (4 seconds)
Body Scan – Focus your attention slowly and deliberately on each part of your body, in order, from toe to head or head to toe. Be aware of any sensations, emotions or thoughts associated with each part of your body.
Sitting Meditation – Sit comfortably with your back straight, feet flat on the floor and hands in your lap. Breathing through your nose, focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. If physical sensations or thoughts interrupt your meditation, note the experience and then return your focus to your breath.
Walking Meditation – Find a quiet place 10 to 20 feet in length and begin to walk slowly. Focus on the experience of walking, being aware of the sensations of standing and the subtle movements that keep your balance.