Virtually every day I meet patients who are suffering from facial pain, tight jaws, and (or) headaches of a muscle or migraine variety. Some of these patients are poor sleepers, others grind and clench their teeth at night, and others just feel they have too much on their plate with stress levels that are boiling over. Eventually the conversation turns to stress management and my patients’ question is invariably, “What can I do to reduce the stress and the tension in my life?”
For most of us changing the daily routine, family responsibilities, and financial situation is not so simple, if possible at all. As a result of a perpetual state of tension, the brain can become either fatigued or upset, or both. As a consequence, physical ailments are more likely to develop particularly associated with the muscles of the head, neck and jaw. The emergence then, of pain, stiffness, and spasm along with limited head or jaw motion is common.
Do treatment strategies exist that deal with the source of unhappy muscles (the source being the brain) instead of dealing with the end result (unhappy muscles)?
That is where Transcendental Meditation (TM) comes in. Though far from being the perfect or the only technique to address brain fatigue and upset, there is increasing scientific evidence and patient feedback to suggest that TM promotes mind-body balance. How does it work?
TM is designed to create restful alertness of the mind, which seems to be just the opposite of what you think meditation should be. What this restful alertness achieves, however, is a coordinated functioning of all parts of the brain, or EEG coherence. In EEG Coherence the brain is operating in its most efficient way, with synchronization of the multiple types of brain waves responsible for it to communicate with organ systems and organs, and in turn for them to communicate with the brain. When these communication pathways work well, organ systems like muscles and joints are under less strain, they fatigue less, and essentially function with reduced pain and limitation. The end result is more comfort.
As a doctor who treats pain, this does not mean that my patients will no longer need prescriptions, muscles and joint injections, oral appliances, or exercise rehabilitation and relaxation strategies. But I now strongly advise all of my patients to consider making Transcendental Meditation a part of their daily routine.
I have formed relationships with local TM centers and can make referrals at discounted rates once patients are seen for consultation in my office.