I practiced martial arts for many years and have written about that time before in this blog and in my original website called SkyScraps.com. Imagine my surprise though when a friend told me about a technique to help with the gnawing pain of fibromyalgia. And what surprised me wasn't that there was a technique I hadn't investigated. There are plenty of those. What surprised me was that one of the first things martial artists learn is to use their bodies as weapons and the influx of adrenalyn when going into a fight to stiffen their arms and legs. In fact, we were always told to keep the fight techniques simple because of this stiffening. The better fighters, though, were always able to maintain fluidity in their fighting techniques flowing from one hit to another block to a third strike and then circling out to start the cycle again.
Fluidity, letting go, circling are all essential in moving from pain into non pain. Stretching helps muscle stiffness, meditation helps mental stiffness. But perhaps the most powerful technique, for me at least, is asking a leg or an arm, or a hand, or a back to 'let go of pain.' As I sit here typing this post, my hands don't hurt, my typing errors are fewer, and that comes the awareness of pain creeping back in and reminding my muscles to let go.
Pain in my case is a habitual frame of mind and body. Relearning how not to live in pain will be the work of the rest of my life and I think I can live with that.
May all beings know peace.