6 ways to use your mind to control pain - Harvard Health.pdf

Its also inøuenced by past experience if youve been

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genetic makeup, emotions, personality, and lifestyle. It's also inØuenced by past experience. If you've been in pain for a while, your brain may have rewired itself to perceive pain signals even after the signals aren't being sent anymore. The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard-aÓliated Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in helping people learn techniques to alleviate stress, anxiety, and pain. Dr. Ellen Slawsby, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School who works with patients at the Benson-Henry Institute, suggests learning several techniques so that you can settle on the ones that work best for you. "I tend to think of these techniques as similar to Øavors in an ice cream store. Depending on your mood,you might want a diÒerent Øavor of ice cream—or a diÒerent technique," Dr. Slawsby says. "Practicing a combination of mind-body skills increases the eÒectiveness of pain relief." The following techniques can help you take your mind oÒ the pain and may help to override established pain signals. 1. Deep breathing. It's central to all the techniques, so deep breathing is the one to learn Örst. Inhale deeply, hold for a few seconds, and exhale.
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