Riding the Wave of Pain

When you breathe, there is a beginning and crest and then an ending.  It is like that with everything:  Sound, sensation, thought, emotions and fatigue.

Everything has a wave and when you can track it, it will help to diffuse the experience.  Riding the wave is a foundational concept in many arenas, and my focus will be on the concept from Duke University Yoga of Awareness Program.  Let’s use pain as an example. 

We tend to talk about our sensation in absolutes, yet it changes.  Even if the sensation is chronic, it still has movement. 

When you begin to notice the pain and track the different sensations associated with it you will take the emotional charge out of it.

To begin to cultivate noticing the wave, try this:

  • Find a place in your body where you are feeling sensation or pain
  • First imaging a wave and think about how it begins, crests and then lessens.
  • Now, without using words to judge it, simply track it and say what you are experiencing.  For example:  It might be a burning sensation that shifts into a stinging or throbbing.  It might move down your leg and pulse or feel hot or cold. 
  • Notice the sensation from the onset, to the crest and the decline.  You might have many of these, but there each has movement when you really pay attention.

This will take practice but the research out of Duke Integrative Medicine, supports that when we are mindful of the entire wave of sensation we take our reaction out of the equation.  Pain and it is exacerbated by our judgments. 

Let me know in the comments below if you were able to work with the wave of sensation.  Was it challenging to name the experiences without any judging description?  Feel free to share your experience.

Posted in: Technique of the Week

Leave a Comment (0) →

Remember Where You Put Things in 5 Easy Steps

Have you ever forgotten where you parked your car?  Why do you think that happened?   

I was watching a show on memory and the host said that anyone’s memory can improve.  When they showed one technique, I realized that a lot of what they were talking about was paying close attention.  When you are in the moment, only then can you pay close attention to what is happening around you.

Focus on where you are in the moment.

Think about it.  When you are parking the car, you are already thinking about what you need to do next and you are on your way, before even looking at markers that will tell you where your car is.

Try this the next time you park your car:

  1. Get out of the car
  2. Take a breath
  3. Look around and find something that will remind you where you are parked and bring your focus to that reminder for a few seconds.  (Please do not use another car!)
  4. Walk toward you destination and notice where you are and what you are passing as you do this.
  5. If you are taking an elevator from a parking deck, notice which side the elevators are on, so you will know where to go when you are leaving.

You can use this technique throughout your day.  The key is to be present with what you are doing at that moment.  It takes time to make this shift, so start with easy things, like the car or your coffee cup.

Let me know in the comments below if this worked for you.  If it didn’t, what do you think happened?



Posted in: Technique of the Week

Leave a Comment (0) →