Mind Control for Pain

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A few weeks ago, a DreamBuilder client broke her femur! It required surgery and a week’s stay in the hospital. She shared with me that they offered her a virtual reality headset to help with pain management by distracting her mind and focusing it on something fun. 

Being the geek that I am, I thought that was super cool. And being a long time student of how the mind works I thought it was so interesting that the medical establishment is recognizing the power of the mind over the body and helping people to use it in this way.

It reminded me of Lamaze childbirth training when I was having my first child back in 1976. The basic concept as I remember was that the mind can only focus on one thing at a time and so by focusing on your breathing you wouldn’t be experiencing any pain. (I ended up not having to use it by the way, but that’s another story.)

Pain is often caused by fear, and fear can be overcome with information, reassurance and even humor. That’s why Mommies can “kiss it and make it feel better.”

I have to laugh because Yogis in India have been teaching the use of meditation to control the body for thousands of years. It isn’t a new technology!

The hospital, which was being so “innovative”, was actually substituting a high tech (and very expensive) device for a tool that we have been endowed with for free — our mind.

Wouldn’t it be great if they would teach people how to use their mind like they do physical therapy for the body? If patients were to learn how to use their mind to control pain they could use it to control a lot of other things as well. What a gift to send them home with!

Would people be open to that or would they think it is too “woo-woo”? Afterall, new thought churches use prayer for healing (I have been trained to do it.) And healing prayer is central to many traditional Christian denominations because Jesus performed many amazing healings. It is totally possible to use prayer for overcoming pain, however, it takes faith and practice.  (See Mary’s Story of miraculous healing.)

It’s easier to use a physical device or to pop a pill. Actually it’s NOT EASIER than using your mind, it’s just that the process of LEARNING to use your mind takes some time in the beginning. And hospitals don’t have the staff or budget to teach patients. Wouldn’t the hospital staff be thrilled if everyone came in already prepared to control their minds and bodies! It would certainly make their jobs easier!

The Benefits of Pain

All this being said, it’s important to note that pain has its benefits and shouldn’t be ignored altogether. Just like fear, pain is a signal from your body that something needs attention. When my right hip was wearing out and I was putting off having it replaced, I was able to overcome a lot of the discomfort by just choosing to ignore it and focus on other things, but I also recognized that it was signaling me when it was time to give it a break. 

In some cases, feelings of pain have become a habit. The original painful condition has gone away, but the mind is in the habit of feeling pain and creates it. I was blown away when I learned this recently. I can see how that could happen. Monitoring one’s pain could lead to anticipating pain and the body responds and creates according to the expectation and a habit-pattern of expecting pain and experiencing becomes established. It’s a case of inadvertently creating something we don’t want!

The Mind Is A Powerful Tool and You Can Use It

The mind is indeed a powerful tool! We can use it for our benefit or our detriment so it’s important to be aware of our thoughts and emotions so we can make conscious choices.

Do you believe it’s possible to overcome pain and promote healing using your mind?  Perhaps you already know how? Do you have any experiences you would love to share and empower others? 

Share with us in the comments. I’m looking forward to knowing what you think!

Here’s to using the power of our minds to be happy, peaceful and pain-free! 



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