What do you actually do when you do practice MindBody / NeuroMind techniques, and how is NeuroMind practice different from meditation?
Meditation vs NeuroMind Practice
There’s a lot of discussion about the benefits of meditation, and meditation is incredibly important. In this busy, increasingly stressful and unstable world that we live in, it’s a beautiful way to find the peace that is within us.
How does meditation differ from specific NeuroMind practice for reducing pain?
Here’s metaphor to illustrate this. Imagine that there’s a field and in the one corner of the field there’s a hot fire burning. There’s clouds of smoke coming up and big flames, but it’s only one corner of the field.
Meditation is like the arrival of a rainstorm. The clouds build up, the rain comes down, and as it does, everything is soothed.
The fire is quieting down a bit, but that’s all, it keeps burning. It’s not quite as hot as it was, but it’s not out completely.
When you do a specific NeuroMind technique, it’s like taking a big hose, walking over to the fire, and putting it out.
In other words, meditation is a non-specific calming down of everything. It will help your pain as part of a general quietening down. But if you really want to deal with your pain, you need to be specific, and that takes NeuroMind techniques.
The next part of the question is: “How? How do these techniques work?”
NeuroPlasticity and Chronic Pain
NeuroMind techniques relieve chronic pain through a neuroplastic process. When you do them, you are changing the function of your brain.
Now that we understand more about how brains work, we know you’re not only changing the function of your brain. You’re subtly changing the structure of your brain through a neuroplastic process.
The basis of NeuroMind techniques (or any other discipline in life,) is that you have to believe that it will work. That’s your foundation. What is belief? Belief is the foundational process that makes us who we are.
Belief lives very deep within us, that’s why it’s foundational. If people believe something, they can be persecuted for thousands of years, and they will still hang onto their belief. No one can change your belief. Only you can.
In order to be consistent and focused in your practice, you have to believe you can bring about changes in your brain so your pain process can return to normal.
Belief and Proof
To believe something, sometimes you need proof, but not always. Do we have proof that there’s God, or an afterlife? We have proof of nothing, and yet millions and millions and billions of people believe, and that belief is incredibly powerful.
But if we’re talking NeuroMind practices, after trying so many other treatments for chronic pain, you may need proof to convince you this won’t waste your time.
The cool thing is that you do have that proof. The proof is this: your mind is constantly changing through a neuroplastic process. This is what happens day by day throughout your life.
The proof you have is that there was a time when you didn’t have pain. Then, through a neuroplastic process, the pain turned on.
For people with pain that’s spread to their whole body, the only way that chronic pain can turn all these areas is through your central pain system.
And the only way your central pain system gets sensitised is through a neuroplastic process.
Once this is happened, the way to return your pain system to normal is to use this same process in reverse.
The way your pain system first changed was through an unconscious neuroplastic process. Now you’re going to use a conscious neuroplastic process to return your pain system to normal.
How to Use the Tools You Already Possess
You have a tool to do this, and the tool is your attention. Your attention is the tool whereby you can change the function and ultimately the structure of your brain.
You need something else, and that is your belief. The belief becomes an intention. So I believe something, and now I have an intention, which is changing my belief into something more concrete. My intention is that I am going to change my pain system.
The No.1 Tool in your Toolkit
My tool is my attention, which I use to focus on different parts of my mind. I put my attention in very particular ways to bring about what I want. So we have belief, which will then create an intention. You then use your attention to do what?
You use your attention to change the synapses in your central nervous system (otherwise known as your pain system.)
You have in your brain about a trillion synapses. There are billions of nerves, and each nerve has up to 10,000 dendrites, and each of those has a little synapse. The synapse is where one nerve talks to another. With your attention, you can change how those synapses work.
When you have normal pain, these synapses behave properly. When you have chronic pain, the messages they carry become amplified. This means you end up feeling more pain.
In fact, the pain you feel can be much worse than any damage in your body. Sometimes your body may have already healed, but because the nerve messages are being amplified, you’re still in pain.
So with your attention, you use NeuroMind techniques to change the way those synapses work. Over time, with practice and repetition, you’ll be able to gradually change the connections in your brain, and turn down the sensitivity of your pain system.
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