How Meditation Can Help with Physical Pain

Susan Brumbaugh
5 min readAug 5, 2021

Pain-Focused Meditation

Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

When we’re experiencing pain, it can be counter-intuitive to focus on that pain during meditation. Sometimes it is all we can notice, and sometimes it’s just a small little thing. When we explore physical pain mindfully, we can begin to notice the thoughts that arise that can sometimes intensify the pain and pay more attention to what’s actually happening. We can also explore places in the body where there is no pain. Wherever your pain is now, I hope that this meditation will help you to take a different perspective on pain and perhaps perceive it and notice it in a different way.

I’m a licensed mental health counselor who enjoys sharing mindful meditations and information about mindfulness. Below is a transcript of a meditation I led on this topic, and at the end of the article, you’ll find a link to the meditation video. Give it a try and see what happens.

Meditation Transcript

So to transition into a time of meditation, I like to start with a little bit of movement, to stretch anything that might be tight, just listening to the body a little bit to see if something needs some attention.

Allowing any thoughts that are lingering from whatever has already happened today to move into the background and likewise with any thoughts of what is still to come. Just allowing those to shift to the side, to the back, so that we can pay some intentional attention to what’s happening here in the present moment.

You can close your eyes if that’s comfortable for you. It’s also perfectly fine to have them open.

Let’s pay some attention to whatever contact we have between our body and whatever is supporting the body. If you’re sitting, that might be the soles of your feet, the backs of the thighs, the pelvis and the buttocks, maybe a little bit of the lower back or the upper back depending on what sort of chair you’re sitting in. If your chair has arms, your arms might be touching the chair’s arms.

If you’ve chosen to lie down for the meditation, you can notice how the entire back of the body is either touching or close to the floor or whatever surface you’re lying on.

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Susan Brumbaugh

Susan Brumbaugh is a criminal justice researcher who telecommutes, a licensed counselor, a mindfulness meditation practitioner, and a perpetual learner.