Meditate vs. Medicate

Sep 10, 2018 | Medication, Meditation, Trigger Point Therapy

Pain management strategies that can address pain without medication.

Painalog is part of my vision to help people across the world transcend pain and make a deeper connection with their bodies. A desire to help people realize how much the power of healing resides within us not as some esoteric magical exclusive power in hands of the priests of pain but in your hands. It is my desire to break our dependence on the “easy” way out with medication and our over-reliance on a siloed modern understanding of the human being and the corporate healthcare system.

Pain is a terrible thing to suffer and no one alive has ever escaped it. My mission with creating Painalog is to give people a message of hope and liberation.

A message that in most cases even if you do suffer from pain you don’t have to live with it 24 hours a day and forever. Even if you don’t have money for doctors, surgeries and pain medication you still can beat most kinds of common aches and pains.

The reason I say that with confidence is that I too suffer from pain daily. Pain that comes from chasing two toddlers, lifting them up and keeping them away from dangers and just living life. But the pains that arise from movement and muscles don’t trouble me at all because I can fix them at home with no drugs and no visits to the doctor. The reason I can do that is that I know these things about pain

  1. 70-80% of all pain is related to dysfunctional muscles.
  2. Pain medication only numbs the pain but does not fix the real issue.
  3. If you understand how the body works you can fix most pain at home at almost no cost.
  4. Massage and light-gravity-assisted-mindful-stretching are the best and most natural ways to beat and keep the pain away.
  5. Massage and stretching are most effective at beating pain when you bring your attention to painful trigger points you are working on.

“Regular mindfulness practice decreases pain”

So today I am going to talk about a meditation technique I call pain meditation. It’s not something new that I have discovered. I believe it has been around as long as humans have experienced pain. I learned of it with from my massage teacher Pichest Boonthumme.

Pichest is an eccentric Thai Massage teacher located in on the outskirts of Chiang Mai in Thailand. Students from across the world come to share a week to a lifetime of study in his small classroom/temple. He has the most amazing collection of self-massage tools in his place. Small and large wooden pyramids with rounded corners, two wooden balls stuck together like peanut, half a coconut shell polished to perfection were just some of them. Every once in a while Pichest would sit, lie or stand on one of these tools and close his eyes and relax.

It’s a technique of muscle release, as old as human evolution and it works by activating awareness to cause visible softening of tense muscles. Unlike the new age technique requiring people to roll on a foam roller or a ball, Pichest uses what is known as static pressure.

With static pressure, you can apply gentle and steady pressure on to a trigger point. This results in several outcomes

  1. At first, the pain can be quite intense.
  2. In about 30 seconds you will notice a visible decrease in intensity. This is where the body’s natural pain inhibitors start activating
  3. You will observe palpable softening of the muscle and the trigger point
  4. You may observe a pulsing as blood starts moving in the tissue
  5. Finally, somewhere in this process, you will observe the sensations moving to distant parts of the body along a clear path.

This final step is the magical and meditative part of this self-healing practice. The channels through which the sensation passes are the channel that yogis and spiritualist talk about. It is not some vague concept of “energy” but a real experience that is accessible to everyone with a basic level of self-awareness.

Anatomically the channel runs along the fascial plane and there are no continuous nerves running the entire length of this “channel”. Yes, the sensation seems to almost buzz along a clear path to distant seemingly unrelated parts of the body. My theory is that the sensation seems to arise from the Pacini mechanoreceptors embedded in the fascia.

The amazing beauty of this is that you don’t need an elaborate toolset like Pichest’s. To use this very powerful pain-busting meditation technique all you needed was a lacrosse ball and some basic understanding of anatomy.

Now with our a new Free (for now) app Painalog you don’t even need to be an expert in anatomy anymore because Painalog will tell you exactly which muscle to work on and how to work on it.

With that final tip, I encourage you the reader to embark on a journey of exploration, healing, and love of your body…because without it we do not exist

Trigger Point Explained

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