TheRealSharon's Blog











{July 5, 2011}   Dealing with pain through the mind

How do YOU deal with physical pain? Do you have a secret for getting over the pain? I do…sort of.

One of the ways I deal with headaches, especially migraines, is by using “pressure points”. I guess that’s what they are called. I had read years ago about pinching the skin between your thumb and forefinger with your other hand and holding for about 15-20 seconds. It is said to help with headaches and I have found it actually does help a little.

BUT it didn’t make them go away and I always searched for something to make that happen. You see, I have suffered from migraines since I was 6 years old. I went to doctors and was given many prescriptions, which none of them seemed to work. Finally, when I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem, they started to ease up. A LOT. I used to have them several times a month, now I would say I have migraines maybe 2-3 times a year, if that. I still have stress headaches occasionally though, which are nothing like a migraine, but I treat them the way I used to help my migraines.

About a yr. before my migraines eased up, I had my method down pat. If I got one, I would take some Advil Liqui gels…not regular ones, because they don’t dissolve as quick! Then to bed I would go….if I could. If I couldn’t, then it was suffer until I could. Seriously, I HAD to fall asleep to get rid of it. The problem was that sometimes sleep is not so easy and not just because you may not be tired at all. Also, the pain could be so bad that it seemed impossible. When your head is throbbing so bad that it feels like there’s an invisible crack down your forehead about to split open at anytime, sleep can be the hardest thing ever to accomplish.

THIS is when I discovered a technique for myself that would soothe the pain down enough for me to get to sleep and the sooner I slept, the sooner it was over.

Call it meditation, if you will. I would close my eyes and envision a brick wall or come up with a small phrase and repeat over and over. At first, it was really difficult. Getting my brain to shut out all the thoughts running through my mind was not easy at all, but after awhile, I was able to completely block out everything else and focus simply on the red brick wall or the words I was repeating. How does this help?

Well…thinking HURTS when you have a bad headache and especially during a migraine….the more thoughts that ran through my head, the more my brain was working and the pain just felt never ending. I discovered that if I could stop ALL thoughts except for ONE, my brain would slow down the thinking process and thereby, the pain would ease up and almost go to the back of my mind. I would almost forget the pain entirely and the next thing you know, I was asleep. I guess it’s a mind over matter thing?

I know a lot of people believe in yoga and meditation and I almost wonder if I figured out something that’s an actual way of dealing with pain. Has anyone else ever heard of my method or used it before?

It seems to work really well, at least for me. So much so that for stomach cramps, I use meditation in a slightly different way. I use the concentration method by just focusing on one part of the body at a time and relaxing that part then moving on to another area. I have found that sometimes THIS technique seems to move pain from the area that hurts the most to another area where it hurts a little less and sometimes it works by putting me to sleep by focusing on relaxing the muscles.

So…what do you think? DO you think my methods are good ones? Do you have other tips? It’s always fascinating to hear ideas that don’t require actual medicine to heal you.

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nrhatch says:

I’ve had exactly the same experience. The ONLY way I could get rid of a migraine was to fall asleep . . . and the only way to fall asleep was to meditate to slow my thoughts down so I could drift off.

Aah . . . bliss.



Yes, Bliss IS definitely when you have got rid of a migraine!



I suffer from chronic back pain and the only way to get rid of the pain, at least temporarily, is a pain killer. Nothing else has worked and I’ve tried a lot of things. Yes, meditating works with back pain, as soon as you start moving again, even half an inch, the pain is back. And I don’t think you’re the only one to cure migraines with sleep, that’s what I do too and it works. I wish it was like that for back pain!



Yes, it would be nice if sleep was a cure-all!
That’s kind of how it is with cramps except it’s temporary not long term…..where if you move even an inch, it escalates the pain. Last night, I was laying down for THIS reason and my husband was reading in bed next to me and every time he moved, even a little, I would moan and groan and tell him, “Stop moving! It’s killing me!” I just had to be as still as possible and slow my breathing, try to think relaxing thoughts….such as, “Work, Advil, work!” until the pain went away or eased up enough to function. 😦
Sorry about your back pain, wish there was a magic cure for it, I know that has to be horrible!



Unfortunately the doctors say there’s nothing to do about my messed-up disks because they “only” cause (a lot of) pain, but no nerve damage. So I’m working on ways to alleviate the pain. Ironically I think pain management is poorly addressed in this country. It’s always, take this pill and call me in the morning. Migraine pills may work but I think most people realize that sleeping it off works just as well…



Awww 😦 Sorry to hear that about your pain and I agree with you about pain management



Sounds like a good method to me, I’m glad it works for you! I’d have trouble blocking out other thoughts and just focusing on the brick wall personally, but maybe it just takes practice. It’d be nice if I could learn that because often my mind goes wild with thoughts and ideas at night and it can be hard for me to fall asleep sometimes.



It IS hard…which is why sometimes I repeat a phrase in my head if that’s not working. It’s funny about the “brick wall” actually….I got the idea originally from the movie “Village of the Damned” where the kids are mind readers and the guy stops them by blocking his thoughts by envisioning a red brick wall….and in the movie, the kids actually break through it but too late…I don’t remember when exactly I decided to use that same idea for migraine relief but for some reason I thought of it once and focused hard on the brick wall and it worked…..it took a while to do so and I had to be in a dark QUIET room but I did it…..



The Hook says:

Sounds good to me!



I just started getting migraines. I kinda use the pressure point system and where it hurts I press hard on it. I also say a phrase over and over…sometimes just nothing seems to help. I wish God did not create Migraines!



Migraines are horrible and I wish they didn’t exist either! 😦



eof737 says:

Yes Sharon, you are using a combo of positive visualization and meditation to help ease the pain… and it works. 🙂
PS. Still catching up on commenting again after a hectic week that included 3 long days/nights at a yoga event. I will be attending another workshop in the coming week (7/11-7/14) and if I don’t leave comments, I will follow up on my return. 🙂



Somehow I knew YOU would know if my technique was valid or not. 🙂
It makes me want to learn more about these kinds of techniques for pain….I found a little pressure points list in a magazine awhile back and keep it in my night table. It has a few places to do pressure points for different kinds of pain. One of them is applying pressure at the back of the neck for itchy eyes, which I deal with frequently cause of allergies. I was kind of skeptical about it working but it does seem to. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more of a placebo effect but even if it IS, if it works, I’m sticking with it!



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