How to eliminate a headache (if you’re a meditator)

Last night I was on Jeannette Maw’s Good Vibe Blog. The most recent post about a method to change one’s beliefs resonated so deliciously I had to comment.

Once I finished off the comment I realized you too, dearest finest reader, might appreciate this information. So here’s the basic info, lifted directly from my comment on her post. I was having wine at the time . . . I’ve cleaned it up ever so slightly. So if you’ll allow me, let me quote myself:

From personal experience I’ve seen how diving into something painful can be the first step toward alleviating it. 

A good example in my life, small scale: Years ago I discovered that meditators — and others I presume — can easily get rid of headaches. I’m a meditator (!), I thought, let’s give it a go. 

Here’s the simple process: When you feel the first tinglings of a headache, you stop what you’re doing and get into a calm, meditative state. From there you bore into the incipient pain. You feel it thoroughly . . . 

And then you use imagery that works for you to release the blocked energy. For me, I open a pipe. It looks and feels like a pipe running through a submarine, with the circular wheel to open the port and all. I see the built-up pressure whoosh out. And, truly, it is gone. 

I haven’t had a headache in 6 or 7 years. If I feel something coming on, I’ve so trained myself that I needn’t even stop and meditate now . . . I can think it in an instant and BLINK, and it’s gone.

An intriguing aspect of delving into pain . . . is this: It’s not as painful as I thought. 

When I intentionally tunnel into the pain, I’m always surprised to see how much I was flinching from it and trying to wall it off, virtually unconsciously. It wasn’t until I stopped, sat down, entered an attentive state and explored the pain that I discovered how much of my energy and bodily apparatus was wrapped up in trying to mask and wall it off.

There are several components to this procedure, possibly the most important being that someone in a magazine article — an authority! — said it was so and I believed it. 

It could be the simple act of getting into an alpha brain wave state opens the blockage. 

Maybe there’s something magical we don’t yet fathom in its entirety about going full-bore into a pain or difficulty or problem . . . and simply experiencing it for what it is does the trick. 

Or visualization alone is the key. 

For me, that simple process quickly undid the pain, so I don’t overthink it now. It worked, and has worked for many years.

When I first read about it
 —  Yoga Journal? Yoga Today? Yogi Yogurt Yoga Something?? — it was pitched to meditators. Possibly because an experienced meditator, from practice, will be able to get into a zen state quickly even while under duress.

I can acknowledge that. It took practice initially to slip easily into that other consciousness, the one you inhabit while meditating. So I can imagine this exercise might be frustrating for those who do not engage in a daily meditation practice.

But if you do, it’s one more tool to alleviate an annoyance without ingesting something. And if you don’t but have considered a meditation practice, it’s one of many reasons to give it a try.

PS: My wife Ann sometimes gets rid of a headache via sex. Now it may be that it’s sex with me that makes the difference, as opposed to just sex . . . if so, I’ll have to politely decline assisting anyone else in getting rid of a headache in such a manner.

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Dead on Talmud
For the record, that is not a giant peeing