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Thread: Zazen reducing pain.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Zazen reducing pain.

    I thought this was pretty neat so decided to share. Past almost two months ( minus time out for being sick all last week and having severe tooth pain leading to a root canal a few weeks ago) I have been going to the gym. Part of that is some insta-zazen while excercising.

    I upped my workout the other week and the treadmill was a bit excruciating after a bit. Calves hurt, legs starting to get sore.

    So I instituted some zazen and noticed that I was not suffering so badly from the excercise. I was able to do as much time as I was hoping to and made it through the worst part. Pre-zazen I thought I was gonna have to stop early. couldn't see myself finishing it through to the end.

    Stopped, followed my breath for a moment and just let it all go. The actual pain in my legs seemed to subside when I was not focused on them. Found it quite nifty.
    Made me reflect some afterwards on the mental attachments we have making situations more difficult.

    Shonin _/_

  2. #2

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    Having just been to the dentist and engaged a bit of "insta-Zazen" while he probed and poked ... I know it is so.

    This scientific study was published in a journal last year ...

    Zen Meditation Alleviates Pain, Study Finds

    ScienceDaily (Feb. 6, 2009) — Zen meditation – a centuries-old practice that can provide mental, physical and emotional balance – may reduce pain according to Université de Montréal researchers. A new study in the January edition of Psychosomatic Medicine reports that Zen meditators have lower pain sensitivity both in and out of a meditative state compared to non-meditators.

    Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student in the Department of Physiology, co-authored the paper with Pierre Rainville, a professor and researcher at the Université de Montréal and it's affiliated Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. The main goal of their study was to examine whether trained meditators perceived pain differently than non-meditators.

    "While previous studies have shown that teaching chronic pain patients to meditate is beneficial, very few studies have looked at pain processing in healthy, highly trained meditators. This study was a first step in determining how or why meditation might influence pain perception." says Grant.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 110514.htm

    Additional research by the same folks ...

    People can reduce their sensitivity to pain by thickening their brain, according to a new study published in a special issue of the American Psychological Association journal, Emotion. Researchers from the Université de Montréal made their discovery by comparing the grey matter thickness of Zen meditators and non-meditators. They found evidence that practicing the centuries-old discipline of Zen can reinforce a central brain region (anterior cingulate) that regulates pain.

    “Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to be underlie their lower sensitivity to pain,” says lead author Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student in the Université de Montréal Department of Physiology and Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. “We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity, which supports our previous study on how Zen meditation regulates pain.”
    http://www.nouvelles.umontreal.ca/udem- ... -pain.html

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    Thanks for the info, Jundo. I had read before about it strengthening the brain in that fashion. But figured it was an all or nothing thing.
    _/_ Shonin

  4. #4

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    Hello Shonin

    recentli LA Times had small article on research finds that use of explitives reduces pain
    I must say, I am delighted to know my use of expletives has medicinal value!

    don't know how to supply the link

  5. #5

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keishin
    Hello Shonin

    recentli LA Times had small article on research finds that use of explitives reduces pain
    I must say, I am delighted to know my use of expletives has medicinal value!

    don't know how to supply the link
    I think this is it ...
    Uttering expletives when you hurt yourself is a sensible policy, according to scientists who have shown swearing can help reduce pain.

    A study by Keele University researchers found volunteers who cursed at will could endure pain nearly 50% longer than civil-tongued peers.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8147170.stm
    Well, you should have heard me when I stubbed my toe on the stairs for the 1000th time this morning!

    Of course, my cussing starts out the normal way ... then, as soon as I recover a bit of composure, is more of a transition approach ... FUC ..... FONGOLE! (actually, an Italian word that means much the same as the original ... but there are no Italian speakers around our house) SHI ..... SHOOOOOT THE CAT! (the cat does not care for that one).

    Now, I would like to see a scientific study on how redirecting the mind away from the pain, and toward the intentional effort to change CRAP to CRACKERS actually reduces pain 75%!

    However, I think that "Right Speech" includes license to let go with some good strung together expletives once in awhile ... when appropriate. I post the following once a year ...

    Okay, I am going to write this just so folks know I am not a 24/7 tight-ass ...

    FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK .... FUCK!

    Okay! :shock:

    However, I only do that once a year ... unlike some other guy in my lineage. 8)

    Now, I return this program to the "Soft & Gentle Speech" Channel.

    Gassho, Jundo

  6. #6

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Of course, my cussing starts out the normal way ... then, as soon as I recover a bit of composure, is more of a transition approach ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    SHI ..... SHOOOOOT THE CAT! (the cat does not care for that one).


    gassho
    ghop

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  7. #7
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    My favorite cat macro EVAR.

    This thread is awesome! lol

  8. #8

    Re: Zazen reducing pain.

    This is the topic that brought me back to investigating this area.

    A number of years ago I was ill with what I thought was a cold in SE Asia. I muddled through until one night I had a high fever and hallucinations but afterwards i gradually improved and thought I was almost recovered. I was walking through a small town when suddenly my legs gave way and I felt like I'd been hit by a truck in my chest. We thought I'd had a heart attack at the time.

    However that wasn't the case and for the next few years I lived in near constant pain and had many other symptoms that completely changed my life. I was completely exhausted for most of the time and couldn't even get out of bed for days on end and even when I could I could only do a small amount without getting drained. There were many other symptoms that left me uncertain about the next few moments let alone years.

    Quite naturally I had to find a way to live with this pain and laying there for these long periods all I could do was be with it. I didn't cure it nor achieve total acceptance of it but I found some way of being as OK with it as I could. I started meditating at the same time I was trying a new course of treatment so I can't be 100% sure exactly how much of the imporvement I experienced was down to each factor. However, improving to a large degree meant I wasn't that bothered which or both had helped; I was just very grateful. My health never returned to pre-illness days and I still got tired and had bouts of pain, but over time the pain has become less and less someting that I mentally suffer over and more and more just sensation.

    The most notable experience was a day when I was in quite some pain and went outside briefly. I looked up and noticed a beautiful sunset that for some reason filled me with intense joy. Standing there feeling intense joy and also having the full strong sensations of what a moment before was labelled 'pain' was extraordinary.

    Of course since then I have had pain again. It is mostly experienced as sensation now, although at times I do fall into the suffering of pain itself. Generally though all the leftover 'negatives' from that awful experience don't create the mental suffering they once naturally did.

    So really life forced me into practice by taking away choices and made a huge difference to me as a result.

    Rich

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