I’m at the International Pelvic Pain Society meeting in Chicago and already stoked to bring back new information. At the basics meeting, I got caught up on what’s new in our understanding of pain, and Dr. Bruce Fenton stated emphatically MEDITATION HELPS!
What? Huh? Meditation? Why? Because quieting the brain helps turn down the pain receptors that influence the way in which we experience pain. No, you can’t just turn on the TV and put up your feet; your brain is still working. You have to take up the discipline of meditation to get the full effect.
Mindful meditation is simple to explain, difficult to do. Basically, you sit quietly, focus on your breath, and let your thoughts go. Easy, right? No, it isn’t. But it is a practice, and over time the brain learns to stop generating judgmental thoughts.
Judgmental thoughts–this pain will never go away, I can’t stand this any more–are one of the reasons that pain sometimes feels worse than it should. Dr. Fenton gave the example of a woman complaining of pain from a UTI even after treatment. For some reason, her brain stays switched on, and now she feels everything in her pelvic floor and bladder. Meditation can turn the brain off.
Are you a woman, or man, who has pelvic pain? Do you want to learn how to manage the psychological aspects of pain without adding medication? A psychologist, especially one who really knows about sexual pain, can help you learn about the nature of your mind and the ways to close the pain gateways.