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Cold & Heat - pathways to mindfulness

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by TheUndyingMind, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. TheUndyingMind

    TheUndyingMind Peer Supporter

    Not long ago I began testing a theory that using cold or heat could help me achieve mindfulness. Anyone with TMS knows that your pain symptoms can be extremely distracting - to the point that it's very difficult to think about anything else. Perhaps this is already obvious (or I just haven't gotten far enough in any books), but in my experimentation I've indeed found that using things like ice packs and heating pads has helped me to get into a state of mindfulness by soothing the pain so that my mind can re-center.

    My preferred method, probably like many, is simply taking a warm/hot bath late in the day. I also use bath salts, not because I think it has healing properties, but because I find the scents to enhance my relaxation. After filling the tub I mindfully (pun intended) feel the warmth of the water wrap my body as I slowly lay back. I submerge my entire body and simply rest my head on the edge of the tub thus allowing my body to become as limp as possible; being mindful of the weightlessness.

    At this point I can quite literally "feel" the tension differential throughout my body between the parts that hurt and the parts that don't. I close my eyes and begin taking deep, slow breathes - visualizing the tension leaving my body as I exhale. Next, I slowly clasp my hands together as I lift them out of the water and then gently spread them across my forehead and down my face as I again visualize the tension in my mind being wiped away.

    Finally, when I'm done with the bath I start draining the water, but importantly I don't immediately get out. I stay in the tub until the water is almost completely drained. As the water drains I remain mindful of the weight that's slowly returning to my body and visualize the tension that was in my body swirling away and down the drain.

    Someday, when I'm ready to shake things up, I'd like to try taking an ice bath! For now though the ice will stay reserved for targeting specific pain areas when a hot bath isn't immediately available :).
    plum likes this.
  2. Plumcrazy

    Plumcrazy Peer Supporter

    I look forward to my nightly hot baths. I especially enjoy them now, as I tend to get a bit more tense/tight by day's end. I should try employing a bit more mindfulness to the ritual. Good idea.

    The ice baths...you go for it! LOL.
    TheUndyingMind likes this.

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