Good guided meditations for surgery recovery/pain?
October 30, 2013 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Looking for guided meditations/mindfulness practices specifically for help with post-surgical pain, besides Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief.

I had (minor) surgery late last week; everything should be fine in the long run, but in the short-to-medium run, I'm in quite a bit of pain. Rx painkillers help some, but I would also like to work with meditation/mindfulness to deal with it. Ideally, I'm looking for apps/audiobooks I can download onto my phone, but would also be fine with CD or book recommendations. I already have Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness Meditation for Pain Relief, but for some reason, I'm currently finding it of limited usefulness right now.

posted by scody to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Here is a link to a search for talks/guided meditations related to physical pain.

Personally, for physical pain, I generally use a straight mindfulness practice of awareness, rather than a guided meditation, but I think you are likely to find a good deal of useful material on that link. The talks are free to download -- Dharmaseed is supported by donation.

Hope you feel better soon!
posted by janey47 at 3:24 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

So sorry you're in pain! I've never thought that "minor" and "surgery" belonged in the same sentence, but I'm glad to hear the long run is looking good.

I've heard good things about this book though I don't personally know anyone who has used it. I believe it came from a randomized control trial about using ACT for the treatment of chronic pain which had some positive results, but I'm not sure if the RCT used these exercises with or without ongoing therapy.

Anyway, you can peek through some of the pages in the Amazon page view thing, see if the writing style is appealing.
posted by jasper411 at 4:25 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Insight Meditation Center has a number of talks about pain that might be of use.

You also might find Shinzen Young's guided meditation helpful.
posted by redindiaink at 7:31 PM on October 30, 2013

My absolute favorite pain meditation:

"Ooooh, wow that hurts. And this is the exact same hurt that other people feel when they have surgery. There are many people in the world right now who've just had surgery. And they are feeling exactly this pain. Oh how I wish they didn't hurt like that!"

Really really meditate on that one.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:26 AM on October 31, 2013

I'm a huge fan of Meditation Oasis. They have apps, and downloads on their site as well. Number 14 on this podcast page might be helpful to you. I find her voice and delivery to be incredibly soothing.
posted by jbickers at 5:22 AM on October 31, 2013

You may find hypnosis helpful. I believe there are self-hypnosis videos on YouTube and the like that specifically address pain management. I tried one of these in the past, and found it surprisingly helpful. It's very similar to meditation. You calm down, focus your awareness on the pain, and then gently begin to imagine that pain as something similar but not painful (e.g. pressure, soothing warmth, etc.), so that you can embrace it.
posted by xammerboy at 8:07 AM on October 31, 2013

Response by poster: These are all great resources -- thanks, everyone. Hard to pick a "best answer" out of them all.
posted by scody at 2:29 PM on October 31, 2013

Check out Belleruth Naparstek at
posted by PickeringPete at 5:20 PM on October 31, 2013

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