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Mindful : April 2015
Trapped When Josie walked through the door to class her face showed the pain she was in. She lay down for the guided meditation that started the class. The meditation slowed down her fast a nd shallow breathing some, but the pained expression on her face stayed firmly in place. Josie suffers from IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a chronic intermittent pain sy ndrome that manifests as painful spasms in the gut. After the meditation we went around the circle and shared how the week had been with the pain levels and the mindfulness practices we were learning. When it was Josie’s turn, she told us that a new flare-up had just started last night, and she couldn’t sleep because she had such a full workweek ahead a nd worried how she’d make it through. She was also scared it would get as bad as it had been a couple of months ago, when she had to be hospital- ized and put on much stronger medication with heav y side effects. Chronic pain in the US Chronic pain affects more people in the US than diabetes, hea rt disease, a nd ca ncer combined: more tha n 100 million adults. More than half of them feel they have little or no control over the pain. It often negatively affects concentration, energy level, sleep, and overall quality of life. More than 80% report feeling depressed because of the pain. And let’s not even mention related health-ca re costs and overall costs for society including number of sick days, → By Christiane Wolf In the box We call PAIN April 2015 mindful 71