There is something about the silence that amplifies the suffering. Even after you’ve taken the maximum dose of painkillers, the aching soon returns with a vengeance. You want to do something, anything, to stop the pain, but whatever you try seems to fail. Moving hurts. Doing nothing hurts. Ignoring it hurts…’
This is a powerful piece of writing from the beginning of the book Mindfulness for Health, which will strike a chord with anyone who lives with chronic pain. Perhaps it is so powerful because the two people who wrote it, Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman, were writing from their own experience about their own pain. What united the two authors to write this book was that both found relief of their suffering through an ancient form of meditation called mindfulness. The book describes Mindfulness Based Pain Management, the programme Vidyamala created by combining mindfulness with techniques, such as pacing and gentle movement, from modern pain management programmes.
Can you relate to these feelings of despair? Perhaps you have had many treatments for your condition, such as physiotherapy, injections, surgery and medication. Perhaps your doctor has said that nothing more can be done, you will have to ‘learn to live with it’. Does that seem like a life sentence of suffering? Have you lost the ‘fun’ part of life?
Vidyamala and Danny found that with mindfulness their pain became less dominant. The meditation eased their suffering and helped them cope. Rather than struggling against their experience, they gradually felt more at peace with it. In time, they both found that the intensity of pain was less and that they were once again able to enjoy life and achieve their goals.
Here is a selection of comments from those who attended the last Mindfulness Based Pain Management course run by Living Well Mindfulness:
‘By using meditation daily I feel far more relaxed and able to face each day.’
‘I found the meditations helpful to relieve pressure from over-thinking life. I feel more positive’
‘All in all it has been a huge benefit to my current and future wellbeing.’
The 8 week Mindfulness Based Pain Management course is run regularly in Newbury and Reading by Living Well Mindfulness.
If you would like to find out more and try it for yourself, why don’t you come along to the Free Taster being held by Living Well Mindfulness.
Sheila Bond is the Founder of Living Well Mindfulness. Sheila’s mission is to ease the suffering caused by pain, stress and illness and really improve people’s quality of life. Sheila teaches the programme developed by Vidyamala Burch.
Sheila runs Mindfulness Courses and Mindfulness Classes & Retreats and is passionate about sharing the benefits of mindfulness as widely as possible through the Living Well Mindfulness Blog.