If you’ve been on Facebook in the last 30 days, you’ve probably seen this story from Byrdie.com on “How To Fall Asleep In Less Than 1 Minute.” The story, which resurfaced Dr. Andrew Weil’s popular 4-7-8 breathing method, has been making the rounds (more tips on how to fall asleep fast here) and reminds me of a visualization technique I learned years ago to get rid of pain. Like Dr. Weil’s 4-7-8 method, this technique is free, easy and very effective; I use it whenever I have a headache or back pain and don’t have meds on me. Here it is:
Close your eyes and imagine that your pain is a bright red light bulb. The red light is shining all around you, making it impossible to see anything else. The light is so bright that it’s pulsating. Now imagine that there’s a dimmer switch. Place your hand on the switch and slowly turn it down. As you turn it, the light becomes less and less bright, and with it your pain becomes less intense. Visualize the light slowly fading in intensity and color–first red, then orange, then yellow. Softer and softer. With it, your pain fades. Finally, the light is completely out and your pain is gone.
There you have it. An incredibly simple technique for alleviating pain that doesn’t require medication or any other therapy/treatment. Try this trick next time you’re experiencing pain, and I think you’ll be blown away by the results. Remember, mind over matter!
Also, p.s., I can’t remember where I learned it, but if you know who to attribute it to, please share in the comments below! I found a similar passage in a pain management book from Dr. Debra K. Weiner and Deborah Mitchell.