Meditation: good for what ails


Not only is meditation good for removing stress and helping you relax, but it helped me get over an injury faster than I thought possible. I am a runner, and so I occasionally get aches and pains. While training recently for my annual marathon, I felt a stabbing pain in my right shin which forced me to half-walk, half-limp back home.

These symptoms can often be the onset of ‘shin splints’, an injury which I’m glad I know very little about. The only known cure is to stop running or wait for it to disappear. During the day, my pain got progressively worse until I could hardly walk. This kept up for the entire day, so that resuming my training runs tomorrow seemed out of the question. That evening I was driven to my local meditation centre by a friend. As I travelled the four hundred meter stretch to the centre my steps proceeded so slowly that I could hardly cross a road in time before the pedestrian lights went red.

Trying to disguise each grimace as a smile of joy, I tried to convince myself that I wasn’t in agony. Each step caused my body to sway to and fro like a street-side busker as jolts of pain met the contact between foot and unsympathetic concrete. After I hobbled to my chair and finally sat down I tried to focus entirely on meditation, knowing that it has a well-earned reputation for speeding up the healing process and removing pain. Sure enough, once the meditations were over I got up and prepared for the long, painful walk back to the car. Lo, I was healed! Well, not entirely. I still had a little bit of soreness, which was completely gone by the next morning when I happily went out for a pain-free training run. Another problem solved by the power of meditation.

Tom McGuire.