All of us are touched by pain. The poet Mary Oliver writes, “nobody gets out of it, having to / swim through the fires to stay in / this world.” More plainly, an iconic 90s pop song croons, “evv-erybod-y hurts”. We can take heart knowing we are not alone in our suffering.
What is far less commonly understood is that pain actually changes. We each have the innate ability to work with pain so that it dramatically shifts. Science tells us so.
iRest recently co-hosted a conversation with the authors of a new textbook, Yoga and Science in Pain Care, to delve into this complex topic. iRest Founder Dr. Richard Miller and Senior Director Stephanie Lopez joined authors Shelly Prosko, Neil Pearson, and Marlysa Sullivan for a panel discussion on how the complexity of pain can be understood through the lens of iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation. Both the webinar and the book address three specific topics:
· Science and physiology of pain
· Changes within a person when pain persists
· Tools to help alleviate pain
Sullivan, who works as an assistant professor in integrative health sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health, has anecdotally observed that clients in chronic pain have an uncanny ability to go deep into their bodies to tune into sensation. This, along with other factors, indicates that tools such as iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation hold great potential for transformation.
Pearson, an award-winning physiotherapist and lecturer, adds: “Science is clearly showing us that there are multiple mechanisms through which we can change pain,” He lists the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems as places where such change might occur.
Many different courses may lead to freedom from pain, the panel agrees. Tuning into the body, often under the guidance of a teacher or therapist, allows us to more readily find the path that’s right for each individual. “We’ve seen miracles,” says Miller.
Interested in learning more? View our recent webinar and get a copy of the book below.