Excerpt from the Introduction to Yoga for Pain Relief: Simple Practices to Calm Your Mind and Heal Your Chronic Pain by Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Retraining the Mind and Body with Yoga
The best way to unlearn chronic stress and pain responses is to give the mind and body new, healthier responses to practice. That is exactly what you will learn in this book: yoga practices that teach you how to choose health and well-being.
Yoga is a comprehensive mind-body system that provides tools to address every aspect of the pain response. There are yoga practices for relaxation, reducing stress, dealing with difficult emotions, examining your thoughts and beliefs about pain, and training the mind to be less reactive to painful sensations.
Yoga will teach you how to use your mind as a resource for healing, instead of feeling at the mercy of an unpredictable body. Yoga will also give you a clear way to take care of your body, and teach you how to take charge of your experience even when you are in pain.
By helping you transform chronic pain and stress responses and into “chronic” healing responses of mind and body, yoga will do more than reduce your suffering of chronic pain. It will give you greater strength, courage, and joy in all areas of your life.