Chronic Pain Can Be, Well, A Pain
Living with chronic pain or severe pain can be one of the most draining experiences in your life. I don’t know how many times I’ve read or heard of people saying “How can you be so spent, you don’t do anything?” The thing is, I may not be up and active at the level of “normies” every day but the things that are going on in my body would wear out a marathon runner.
Every muscle hurts. Some days I swear even my eyelashes hurt. That’s nothing, though. There are so many other people out there dealing with so much worse. (Much love and strength to any of you if you are reading this now. Know that you are awesome and we’ll get through this <3)
Although I feel as though I have been through the gambit of doctors, medications, and treatments I have found meditation for fibromyalgia pain to be one of the best things I have tried.
Research Has Shown That Meditation Can Help
There has been a ton of research done on alternative methods of pain control and relaxation methods for chronic pain sufferers. I really haven’t had much success with a lot of them. The TENS unit was strange but utterly useless for me. It’s a solid concept but just didn’t help. I really want to try the cupping therapy just because it looks like you got attacked by a Kraken when you are done. (Yes, you read that right. I’m seriously that immature.)
Massage therapy is fantastic, and if you can afford it I highly recommend it as often as possible depending on your condition. However, one of the best methods I have found of escaping pain when even my meds aren’t working is meditation. It takes a little bit of practice but once you get the hang of it, it’s so worth the effort.
Ommm…..Wait a minute, that means I have to sit around forever!?! (See what I did there? :P)
No! That’s the thing. In today’s fast-paced world there’s even an app for enlightenment. I can’t quite promise Nirvana, but from my personal experience, it can be helpful as a “distraction” technique. I’ve found some great meditation apps for chronic pain or at least ones that I like to use when I am having a bad day. They are easy to use and not too demanding. This makes them great for someone who just wants to relax and not get too involved in learning how to do something new.
The Best Apps to Help Get Started with Meditation
Headspace – If you are a complete beginner to meditation then Headspace just may be the app for you. They do have a subscription fee. However, they offer a trial period to determine if the app is something that you will benefit from. The app breaks meditation up into 10-minute segments making it accessible and easy for anyone. It also offers a guided meditation approach which is nice for someone just starting out.
Calm – This is another app that offers a subscription service. However, Calm is more for mindfulness and relaxation. It is currently rated as the #1 app for mindfulness, meditation, and clarity. They offer two types of meditations through the app including guided meditations and sleep stories.The Calm website is pretty awesome too!
Meditation Studio – This app offers a lower price option for guided meditations. Meditation Studio currently sells for a one time fee of $3.99 which opens up all content on the app with no subscription fee. This makes it a good option for those unable or not interested in going with a subscription service. There are tons of guided meditations available on the app which range from beginner to intermediate focus level. The website also offers a great FAQ for those just starting out on meditation.
Omvana – This app is more or less your one-stop shop for meditation. It offers all levels and types of meditation that you could possibly want. I believe that it is my personal favorite. Meditation times range from 3 to 60 minutes which offers a wide variety of choices to match your personal style and goals. It is a paid service, but I personally find the cost to be worth the value due to the wide range of leaders and styles available through this app. The convenience level available here alone makes it very valuable.
Happify – This isn’t exactly a “meditation app” but rather a really interesting approach on stress relief and relaxation. It uses several different techniques to help promote a more positive outlook and banish negativity from your life. I really think this one is interesting so while it isn’t really the same thing as the others, it’s still totally worth checking out! There’s a whole science behind it that you can read more about on their website. It’s really pretty cool.
Relax Melodies Oriental Meditation – Finally, if you are looking for more of a D.I.Y. method or if you are just looking for something peaceful to relax to there is this app. I have been using this app for years and it remains one of my favorite “relaxing” apps. You can choose from a large variety of melodies or nature sounds, or mix them together to make your own aural scenes.
You can read more on my journeys with meditation and mindfulness for chronic pain and mental health or even pick up a few colorable mandalas while you are here. We are also creating a support group for moms with chronic illness to chat and share stories and tips on Facebook. If you would like to join us you can find that group here. We would love to have you as a part of our community!
If you have any favorite apps that didn’t make the list be sure to share them in the comments! I’m always looking for new apps and YouTube channels with great meditation and mindfulness tips for those of us living with chronic pain.
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