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Harmony in Healing: Integrating Mindfulness in Physical Therapy Practice

Chronic pain is more common than you think. The World Health Organization estimates that up to one in 10 adult patients worldwide receive a new diagnosis of chronic pain every year. Traditional treatments such as injections, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care and physical therapy address the physical components of pain, but there is a growing body of evidence that mindfulness needs to be part of the treatment plan to help address the emotional components of pain.

 

Chronic pain can lead to negative emotions such as fear, depression, anxiety and frustration. This emotional distress combined with decreased physical activity can lead to withdrawal and decreased engagement in daily life which reinforces disability, leading to more chronic pain.

 

Mindfulness meditations helps reduce pain through various ways. Being mindful means paying attention to what’s happening right now without judging yourself or reacting strongly.

 

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to:

•activate parts of the brain associated with pain self-control

•increase serotonin levels and decrease norepinephrine levels, two chemicals linked to pain relief

•lower levels of inflammatory cytokines, associated with chronic pain and inflammation

•lower cortisol levels, the main stress hormone, which can reduce pain

 

Mindfulness helps interrupt the negative thoughts that fuel stress and fear allowing space to relate differently to pain. It gives the mind a break from overthinking and you start seeing the pain as it truly is without being influenced by expectations.

 

I incorporate mindfulness techniques in my physical therapy practice with guided meditations and Reiki energy healing. If you have chronic pain or know someone that has pain and would benefit from mindfulness please reach out at ReikiPT.com.


Lauren DeYoe

 

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Reiki Master

Owner Reiki PT

 

Reference:

Dubey A, Muley PA. Meditation: A Promising Approach for Alleviating Chronic Pain. Cureus. 2023 Nov 22;15(11):e49244.

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