Top Tips For Using Your Mind To Cope With Pain The mind-body connection cannot be overstated. When suffering from any kind of pain, don’t forget to employ the power of your mind. Check out these top tips for using your mind to help you cope with pain and reduce its effects. Controlled Breathing Don’t write off this ancient form of pain relief. Controlled, mindful breathing can help your body to relax and has even been shown to reduce inflammation. Concentrate on slowly inhaling until you can’t take any more air in, and then very slowly exhale while imagining that your pain is exiting the body along with your breath. You can do this anywhere—at home, the office, or even while driving to work—and with practice, you’ll get better and better. Self-Hypnosis The mind is very susceptible to suggestion. Self-hypnosis has gained an incredible following as a method of dealing with labor pains, and it works equally well with other forms of pain and discomfort. Visit a hypnotherapist for a lesson in self-hypnosis, or try out one of the many tapes or books available for this purpose. This method takes time and practice to learn, but can really pay off once you’ve mastered it. Biofeedback With biofeedback therapy, you can learn to control your body’s response to different stimuli, including pain. This method is particularly effective for chronic headaches. Generally, an individual is hooked up to a machine with electrodes that record and display the heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure, amongst other bodily responses. A person receiving this treatment will be able to immediately see the ways in which their body responds to different relaxation and pain management techniques. A therapist will also be able to read the real-time feedback and provide guidance as to how to achieve and maintain different levels of relaxation. Many people have been able to permanently eliminate migraine headaches and elevated blood pressure with the use of this therapy. Guided Imagery There are many forms of guided imagery for pain relief. Most people are familiar with techniques such as imagining that one is in a relaxing environment such as a grassy meadow or a beach. Likewise, popular techniques such as concentrating on relaxing each part of the body one at a time can often be effective. Guided imagery therapists have also created more sophisticated methods such as imagining that one is receiving an injection of pain medication or anesthesia. These techniques may sound silly at first, but many have found them to be highly effective. Working with a therapist who specializes in pain management can be particularly helpful when first learning these techniques. Once you have them mastered, you’ll be able to glean the benefits on your own. The mind can be a powerful pain management tool, and it works well in conjunction with other methods of pain control, including medication. People who suffer from chronic forms of pain can particularly benefit from learning to harness the power of the brain. Try these tips and see which ones work best.