Meditation for chronic pain has been steadily gaining support in the research. No longer just the practice of a few isolated, New-Age yogis, meditation has spread across the U.S., and with good results. Recent research has shown that even just three 20-minute meditation sessions can help decrease the perception of pain. Other research from Brown University found that meditation changes the way the brain functions. Meditation can decrease the perception of pain. For patients with chronic pain that has no traceable cause, this can be of tremendous benefit.
11 meditation for chronic pain programs
Meditation for chronic pain is easy, side effect-free, and available to everyone without a prescription.
Some consider Jon Kabat-Zinn to be the godfather of mindfulness meditation. He adds to this impression by producing this recording of guided meditations for pain relief. In addition to guided meditations, Kabat-Zinn discusses the principles of mindfulness meditation and its benefits for pain relief. If you have no experience meditating and want to know more about it (instead of just diving in) this is a great place to start.
Headspace is a meditation app that offers focused meditation for all kinds of conditions, including depression, stress, and anxiety. Over five million users have signed up to unlock the entire library of guided meditations. Their Take 10 program offers just ten minutes of daily meditation to reduce stress, cope with pain, sleep better, focus more, and otherwise improve both body and mind.
Looking for a one-off, 20-minute guided meditation for chronic pain that doesn’t require a sign-up? Meditainment offers just that. If you finish that one and are looking for more, there is an option to sign up for free to receive another 18 free, guided meditations.
Fragrant Heart offers a free guided meditation for acute or chronic pain, both with or without background music. This is not all that the site offers. You can also download free meditation courses and free meditations for stress, healing, and even children.
5. QuietMindCafe meditation for chronic pain
This meditation focuses on quiet visualizations of the parts of the body that are not only in pain but also pain-free. As commenters point out, this can be challenging for those who suffer from a whole-body chronic pain condition, but the author of the meditation addresses that in the comments. This may be more challenging for those just starting to meditate, but the soothing voice and calm instructions can be very helpful.
Titled “The Cleansing Pool,” this 20-minute guided mediation was created with a singular purpose and reason, as stated by the authors:
“The meditations were begun with one purpose: simply to try and help people. Every meditation is produced with genuine care and love for those people who use them, because we too, have needed the kind of help our meditations are trying to offer others.”
Jason Stephenson offers a slightly longer guided meditation (just under 25 minutes) that focuses on the power of the mind to heal the body. In addition to this guided meditation, Stephenson also offers and anxiety, pain, and sleep “mega download.” Although these downloads are not free, Stephenson’s website has more free meditations.
Apps for meditation
One of the most convenient ways to learn to meditate and then to incorporate it into your life is by using an app. Many apps are free and available for both iOS and Android products, and some are accessible on tablets and laptops. Here are a few of our favorites.
Although not specifically a meditation for chronic pain, Calm teaches the seven steps of mindfulness meditation in short bursts. This free app for iOS and Android phones offers anywhere from seven to 21 days of guided meditations for better sleep, stress reduction, and anxiety (among other things). All of these can contribute to a heightened perception of chronic pain.
Omvana asks you to sign up to receive 25 free guided meditation tracks that help you “transform your life.” The focus in many of these meditations is building a positive outlook. This can help you work towards a better way of dealing with chronic pain.
10. Smiling Mind
This app is designed specifically for a population that is often ignored in both chronic pain and mental health categories: adolescents and young adults. Although there is an option for adults, the focus is on kids and teens from ages seven to 17. The focus and purpose of this meditation app is to help kids get clarity and better focus, both of which can be extraordinarily challenging when faced with chronic pain.
11. Take A Break!
This app is available on both iOS and Android phones and allows users to do something very simple: take a break. Many chronic pain patients struggle to get away from the pain for even an instant. It can become consuming and take over their thoughts. The Take A Break! app is free and simple. The shortest of the meditations is seven minutes, just enough time to step away and focus on breathing and letting go. Meditation for chronic pain can be short, sweet, and very effective.
Have you ever tried meditation for chronic pain? What did you think?