The first and most important caution is to warn you to check with your doctor before using any meditation technique for chronic pain relief of your hips, back or any other place.
Now let's take a look at how meditation techniques work to relieve your hip pain.
There have been a number of studies over the past few years that suggest that the practice of meditation can lead to significant pain relief.
Despite these findings, the mechanism through which meditation causes such relief hasn’t been fully ascertained.
However, recent research reported in Brain Research Bulletin suggests that the answer may lie in the manipulation of alpha waves. Alpha waves are brain waves that originate primarily in the occipital lobes, and their function is being actively researched.
A 1966 study showed that a group of Buddhist monks who meditated regularly had elevated alpha rhythms across their brains.
In the new study, the researchers followed 12 subjects who had never meditated before and looked at the waves’ role in a specific part of the brain—cells of the sensory cortex that process tactile information from the hands and feet. Half the participants were told not to meditate, while the other half were trained in a technique called mindfulness-based stress reduction.
The first two weeks of training were devoted to learning to pay close attention to body sensations.
These findings suggest that the practice of meditation can lead to changes in alpha wave behavior, which in turn may lead to the pain relief. There is some research that suggests that alpha waves can be involved in inhibiting communication in the brain, and in the case of meditation, it may be that meditators are able to accordingly inhibit their pain signals.
Sometimes it can help to include an image with a sense of the breath: you can imagine a wave flowing up the beach, turning, and flowing back out to sea again, noticing how the movement of the breath has a rhythm very like this. Or you might have another image that you find evocative and calming. Use your imagination in your own way to help the mind and the body settle around the breath.
Notice how each breath is unique, how no two breaths are the same. Notice the texture, the quality, and the duration of each breath. If you notice the body or the mind tensing up around your experience, in the noticing you can gently let go again without judgement. Do this over and over again if necessary with a kindly, gentle awareness.
Include any pain or discomfort in the body within your broad field of awareness. Very often we resist feelings of pain or discomfort, and this just leads to more tension, more pain and more discomfort. Use the breath to help soften the hard edges around the pain and allow a tender, gentle awareness to permeate the in- and the out-breaths. As you use the breath to soften resistance to the pain or discomfort, you may notice how the experience of pain is in fact a constantly changing mass of different sensations. Experience how it comes into being and passes away moment by moment.
Now you can broaden out your experience even more to invite in the pleasurable dimensions of your field of awareness. They might be very subtle, such as tingling in the fingers, some sort of pleasure around the breath, or maybe the sun is shining through the window onto the skin. In your own way scanning through your whole experience and noticing little moments of pleasure, no matter how fleeting – arising and falling with each moment.
You may notice that each moment of life contains elements that are painful and elements which are pleasurable. This is the way things are in this world for everyone. Notice the tendency to harden against pain and to grasp after pleasure, and in the noticing relax back into the broad field of awareness.
Now broaden out your awareness still more to include an awareness of others. Become aware that all humanity experiences a mixture of pain and pleasure moment by moment in much the way that you do. The stories of our lives are unique, but the range of basic human experience and emotions will be very similar. We all have hopes and dreams, fears and regrets, no matter where we live, our age, color or wealth. In this way we can allow our own experience of pain and illness to become a moment of empathy for others who are in pain, or who are ill, rather than a moment of isolation. All life suffers in one way or another. All life experiences pleasure in one way or another.
In the same way that you imbued the breath with a kindly awareness towards your own experience, you can now allow a kindly awareness to permeate the in- and the out-breaths as you think of others. Maybe you can get a sense of the whole world breathing – all life breathing like waves on the ocean. Rising and falling. Allow a sense of the hard edges of separation to soften, letting go into a sense of all that we share and a feeling of connection with all life as you sit or lie here resting quietly with the breath moment by moment.
Rest with this quality of awareness for as long as feels appropriate for you at this time.
Now in your own time bring the meditation to a close. Come back to a full awareness of the body lying on the bed or sitting on the chair. Feel in firm contact with the earth.
You can use guided meditation techniques to relieve hip pain by having a friend read the script to you, or by recording the meditation for pain relief and playing it back to yourself.
But your best solution is to check out my Meditation Techniques website. We have many free guided meditations that you can download for free.
The holidays are rapidly approaching and you are looking for the best gift for yoga students in your family. They are really "in" to the yoga lifestyle and you'd like to give them something that will be meaningful and practical.
So as a yoga teacher/ yoga student, I've come up with what I believe is the Best Gift For Yoga Students. Serious students of Yoga want to have a really great yoga mat, because they spend a lot of time "on the mat".
Now I'm going to suggest you get them a yoga mat - wait. Not just any yoga mat. A very specific yoga mat.
I know what you are thinking. They already have a yoga mat. That's correct. But most yoga students I know have many different yoga mats.
There are mats for practice at home. There are mats for practice in a studio. There are even mats specifically for travel purposes.
But if you are serious about getting them a great gift. Look no further. And rest assured, everyone in their yoga class will be jealous of them.
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This mat is extremely comfortable. It takes a lot of punishment and it stays dry when sweat drips on it. So, if your favorite yoga students like hot yoga, this could be a perfect gift for them. Manduka is a very green conscious company. And I know that because you are serious about finding the best gift for yoga students, a mat that is ecologically sound will make that gift even more appreciated.
Manduka PRO series yoga mats, designed to last a lifetime (or two), curb the amount of PVC mats that enter landfills every year and reduces overall mat consumption. Also, during the manufacturing of most PVC products, toxic emissions may be released into the air. However, PRO series mats are manufactured through a process that ensures no toxic emissions are released into the atmosphere. The PRO series mats are certified safe for human contact by OEKO-TEX, an environmental certification agency in Europe for the textile industry.
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Meditation techniques to relieve arthritis pain can deliver more relief than over the counter painkillers. In fact, recent research shows that easy to learn methods of meditation can be up to 400% more effective than morphine.
Always consult your doctor before using meditation for pain relief of any kind.
There have been clinical studies done on each of these main meditation techniques to relieve arthritis pain (and other forms of chronic pain)
Jodi Helmer, writing at the excellent Arthritis Today.org site gives these useful tips on how to to make the most of your meditation techniques to relieve arthritis pain.
Keep it brief: You might not have an hour a day to set aside for meditation, so take five- or 10-minute meditation breaks throughout the day.
“Aim to meditate for a total of one hour per day,” says Mark Thornton, a New York City-based meditation teacher and author of Meditation in a New York Minute: Super Calm for the Super Busy (Sounds True, Inc., 2006). “Meditating for a few minutes throughout the day to add up to one hour is just as effective as meditating for a full hour.”
Be consistent: Meditating is a lot like working out at the gym: You need to keep doing it to get results. According to Thornton, a daily practice is best. If the idea of meditating daily feels too overwhelming, aim to meditate every other day. The goal is to set a schedule that you can maintain long-term.
Try active meditation: Meditation doesn’t have to be done in a dark room while seated in the lotus position. You can meditate in the shower, standing in line at the supermarket or even washing the dishes.
To begin an active meditation, take slow, deep breaths and tune into your surroundings – feel the warmth of the dishwater as it covers your hands, watch the bubbles fill the sink, smell the fresh lemon scent of the dish detergent and hear the sound of the dishes clanking together – and continue that mindfulness throughout the meditation.
Adjust your focus. In order to reap the rewards of meditation, it’s important to follow one simple guideline for doing it right: Focus your attention. It’s meditating and not just a series of thoughts when you’re controlling your focus on something specific – a flickering candle flame, a simple mantra – and not your to-do list.
These four tips will be extremely useful to helping you use, whether you use mantra meditation techniques to relieve arthritis pain, or a mindfulness meditation to allow you to control your arthritis pain, or a guided visualization that gives your mind a vacation away from letting the pain of arthritis dominate your quality of life.
Over at my meditation techniques blog, we have many different meditation techniques to relieve arthritis pain, meditation for knee pain, meditation for stomach pain, and most any chronic pain you may suffer from.