Sunday, 29 July 2018

Prostatitis: 'How I meditated away chronic pelvic pain'

By Henri Astier BBC News 

'...It is not all "in the mind" - you cannot meditate away diabetes or kidney stones. But clinical trials have suggested that mindfulness has health benefits, including:

    Boosting the immune system
    Slowing Alzheimer's and other neuro-degenerative diseases
    Treating general anxiety disorder and depression
    Alleviating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children
    Reducing high blood pressure

Over a year, Karl listened to me, devised specific stretches and, most importantly, changed the way I approached my symptoms. "The idea that you can control your pain makes some people freak out," he told me. "But I find it liberating."

He taught me to stop dwelling on what was wrong. Early on, he got me to ditch the cushion, which he said was focusing my mind back on the condition.

When I told Karl that my diary confirmed his method was working, he suggested that the pain chart was another security blanket to discard. My improvement continued, no less tangible for remaining unrecorded.
Signal failure

Last December, I had my first pain-free days in 18 months. Soon they became the norm.

Admittedly, there is no proof that a switch in mindset cured me. No-one has done a rigorous study on meditation as a treatment for CPPS. It is possible that I would have got better anyway. And it might not work for others.

But my path to healing is consistent with an emerging medical consensus about the link between mental stress and pain. Any form of chronic pain, Dr Rees points out, involves "central sensitisation", where the brain becomes overly receptive to signals sent by nerves. The more you fear pain, the more you feel it.

Conversely, he says, being relaxed makes you less responsive to pain signals: "The mind is such a big factor in the way we respond to pain." ...     Read it all here

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