Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief

Practices to Reclaim Your Body and Your Life

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Pub Date Apr 04 2023 | Archive Date Apr 05 2023

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Pain may be unavoidable at times, but suffering—in other words, how we relate to the pain—is optional.

We know that practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress and cultivate deep, embodied well-being—but what about its value in dealing with physical pain and the suffering that ensues when it seems overwhelming or unrelenting?

Jon Kabat-Zinn developed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help medical patients with ongoing chronic pain conditions who were not responding to conventional treatments, including drugs or surgery, to use mindfulness as a formal meditation practice and as a way of being in relationship to experience throughout the day to regulate and attenuate the experience of suffering. Since then, the practices of MBSR have become world-renowned for their effectiveness in helping people learn to live and live well with ongoing health challenges, including chronic pain conditions.

With Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief, Jon guides us through the fundamentals, a series of evidence-based practices that anyone can apply gently and effectively to address even intense forms of pain and suffering, as a complement to whatever medical treatments one might be receiving. Includes audio guidance for all key practices, accessible online and led by the author.

This supportive guide, graced with soothing images and large color-type key elements, includes instruction in mindful breathing, working with intense sensations, befriending thoughts and emotions, taking refuge in awareness, and bringing mindfulness into everyday life as a new way of being.

Pain may be unavoidable at times, but suffering—in other words, how we relate to the pain—is optional.

We know that practicing mindfulness can help reduce stress and cultivate deep, embodied...

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ISBN 9781683649380
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Featured Reviews

This informative book is about pain management through mindfulness based stress reduction (MSBR). MSBR is a systematic program in mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness involves doing your best to be awake and aware in the present moment. Describes how to cultivative mindfulness. Guided meditation exercises (text of audiotape). Mindfulness in everyday life. Evocative illustrations. Resources

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Loved this book, it was very to the point and it helped with a few more pointers on consistency to meditate.

I do try to meditate daily some days are harder because of the time, but the more information I get on it, it makes more sense and it helps to know that even a little everyday can help and to try to live more in the moments that sometimes you can totally miss.

If you're initiating or already know it doesn't hurt to always remember why you're doing this and how to live through your pains more effectively.

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A well reasoned explication of how we can use mindfulness techniques to address distress in our mind-body continuum. Well written. Very helpful strategies and techniques. A great addition to his corpus of work.

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An I triguing look at the use of mi dullness for chronic pain. As a sufferer for years of chronic pelvic pain, I was I terested in learning new ones to cope and this book delivered. Well-written and engrossing.

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Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief
By Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
Sounds True Publishing
Publication date: April 4, 2023

I was drawn to this book because I have chronic pain, have had it for over 20 years. And believe me, I’ve tried everything. Well, everything EXCEPT mindfulness meditation. In fact, I’ve always done the opposite while in pain- detach and dissociate. But I keep coming back to the idea of mindfulness because it makes sense, and maybe it’s the missing piece in the treatment of my chronic pain.

I know of Jon Kabat-Zinn as the foremost authority of mindfulness meditation, so if anyone can teach me about this, I know it can be him. He created MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) in 1979 and it’s been gaining momentum ever since.

There are so many just deeply profound words in this book. So many new ideas and revelations.

It is all about actually turning towards pain, holding it in our awareness, and changing our relationship towards in. As Jon Kabat-Zinn states, if we constantly turn away from the pain we are turning away from what the pain has to teach.

This book includes the written out guided meditations and provides access to audio guided meditations as well. These meditations are incredibly soothing, restorative and intensely liberating.

I encourage you to give this a try, open yourself up to a new experience and discover a way to reclaim your life.

Thanks to NetGalley, Sounds True Publishing and Jon Kabat-Zinn for the opportunity to read and review this tremendous work.

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As a counselor who works with several individuals suffering from PTSD and chronic pain, I found this book to offer fantastic mindfulness meditation strategies and guided meditations to aid these individuals in their personal healing journeys. Jon Kabat-Zinn is an extremely gifted writer and does such a masterful job of explaining scientific concepts in an easy-to-understand manner that will resonate well with both clinicians and those who are in pain but have no science background.

Kabat-Zinn grabs the reader's attention with the line, “All our capacities for healing and transforming our lives are based on our ability to pay attention and to cultivate intimacy with our innate capacity for awareness," and then he wonderfully guides us on a step-by-step journey of how we can work to achieve increased awareness, presence, and attentiveness to transform our relationship with pain and, thus, improve our well-being. Kabat-Zinn provides a realistic roadmap and does not oversell the challenge of this journey toward improved attentiveness, emotional regulation, and self-awareness. But it is through a compassionate and optimistic voice that Kabat-Zinn is able to paint this journey as a realistic and achievable goal for anyone willing to consistently practice the guided mindfulness meditation practices provided with this book.

One of the biggest obstacles I have with my patients is helping them develop healthy alternatives to the maladaptive coping skills they have been using (in some cases for several years) to cope with emotional and physical pain. Kabat-Zinn captures this struggle well with this passage: “As a consequence, we might find ourselves turning toward familiar sources to dull the pain, such as alcohol, drugs, food, endlessly getting lost in our phones, binge-watching television, scrolling and posting on social media, going down one rabbit after another, even if these coping strategies and perpetual distraction opportunities deliver anything but an enduring sense of satisfaction and contentment.” As Dr. Jud Brewer emphasizes, it is very difficult to change these behaviors without developing a bigger better offer that can provide similar benefit to our unhelpful behaviors but without the negative consequences. In this book Kabat-Zinn provides not only the tools but a roadmap toward that bigger better offer for individuals suffering from pain. The guided meditations in this book are very helpful in challenging individuals to turn toward their pain to help foster "less emotionally reactive, less critical in our judgments, kinder, and more accepting of ourselves and our moments, whatever they may be, gradually becomes our go-to mode, our ‘default setting.’”

I highly recommend this book to all mental health professionals and clinicians working with patients suffering from chronic pain. I would also recommend this took to those individuals suffering from invisible illnesses that cause chronic pain (including but definitely not limited to complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)) who have exhaustively sought out ways to improve pain management but have only found minimal success in being able to thrive with their pain. I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for an unrealistic quick fix or who is not willing to practice mindfulness 5-7 days a week for at least 8 weeks.

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