Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Ethan N, modified 1 Year ago.

Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/3/20 Recent Posts
Hi all! I've been dealing with persistent back pain and am pretty desperate for some advice.

A little context... I've been meditating for over 3 years now (mostly doing focus on the breath at the nose / belly). I've recently gotten to a point where I can focus on the rising and falling of the belly and after about 10 minutes, detect a subtle vibrating/flicking/pulsing quality to it at the rate of about 2 - 3 times per second. I can then tune into that vibration/flicking. (Is this impermanence? how should I practice with it?)

Recently, I've also been doing some focus on body sensations where I cover the whole body and try to feel the cloud of sensation as vividly as I can. I have had a handful to instances where I was sleeping or half asleep and suddenly the whole body felt really vivid like a cloud of tingling sensation. Some times the cloud of sensation will be flickering on and off at about 2 - 3 times per second. (Is this an A&P experience?)

Also, sometimes, I have weird muscle jerking where my arm or leg would spaz out. And sometimes it feels likes there energy current running up my leg making me want to shake it to release the tension (pretty much like restless leg syndrome). 

For the past 2.5 years, I've been having various back pain. It started because of an injury and I've been going to chiropractors, physical therapists, and massage therapists to treat it. It has helped but there is still persistent back pain in the upper back (trapezius, rhomboid, levator scapula, erectors). It has gotten to the point where I feel like there can't really be a physical cause of this pain anymore. So I suspect it might be due to the meditation. 

The pain doesn't come when I'm meditating (although I only mediate laying down because of my back issues). My upper back and neck just feel tight throughout the day and it will hurt after I lay on the back for 4 - 6 hours. I often wake up because of the pain in my upper back. I'd go to a massage therapist to get some relief and it might help for a while but then it'll come back. And I don't think I'm doing anything that would be causing this kind of pain (good posture, go for regular walks, etc). 

I've read the stages of insight description and it sounds like I'm in the 3rd nana / 3 characteristics? 

If so, what should I do so I can get past this phase and stop having back pain? Should I continue to focus on the impermanence? Do another technique? Take a break from meditation?

Thank you for the advice!
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Dustin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 103 Join Date: 12/28/17 Recent Posts
To me it sounds like 3c's with the leg kicking energy stuff, the arm jerking, and the back pain. I went through a period last year of about 2 months and 2 hour a day practice that really messed my body up. I got neck pain instead of back pain plus all the other stuff you talk about. I also lay down to practice due to a back injury and was going to the chiropractor and he would adjust my neck and it would be good and a day or two later it would be back. I kept telling my freind it wasn't practice related but he assured me it was. I bumped up practice hours on the weekends to three to four a day and kept on with the 2 hours a day I was already doing. Also you might think about trying out some Mahasi noting practice without the rising and falling of the abdomen. Just note anything that comes into awareness. Also realize that what your doing is working and it will pass once that energy has traveled it's coarse.
what are your practice hours or minutes now? 
have you tried another practice style? 
Ethan N, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/3/20 Recent Posts
what are your practice hours or minutes now?

I'm been doing about 2 hrs a day regularly. I try to fit more in when I can and I try to doing some background practice through out the day. 

have you tried another practice style? 

I've tried focusing on the breath at the nose and also whole body sensation. I'm been curious about try Mahasi style noting, although I found it a bit confusing to have so many focus objects. Shizen Young's Focus In/Focus Out technique makes a bit more sense since it restricts the range of attention a little bit more and it seems to be based on the Mahasi system, so I'll try doing that first and then gradually expand my range of focus. 

How has the Mahasi system help you get through this pain period?

Sounds like it took you 2 months?

Did all the pains go away after you cross the A&P stage?

Thanks for the advice!

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Dustin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 103 Join Date: 12/28/17 Recent Posts
Ethan N:
what are your practice hours or minutes now?

I'm been doing about 2 hrs a day regularly. I try to fit more in when I can and I try to doing some background practice through out the day. 

have you tried another practice style? 

I've tried focusing on the breath at the nose and also whole body sensation. I'm been curious about try Mahasi style noting, although I found it a bit confusing to have so many focus objects. Shizen Young's Focus In/Focus Out technique makes a bit more sense since it restricts the range of attention a little bit more and it seems to be based on the Mahasi system, so I'll try doing that first and then gradually expand my range of focus. 

How has the Mahasi system help you get through this pain period?

Sounds like it took you 2 months?

Did all the pains go away after you cross the A&P stage?

Thanks for the advice!

The mahasi practice is mostly all I have practiced except for some fire and disc kasina here and there. The thing about the mahasi style is its proven to get you through insight stages and that why I still practice with it. I was suggesting Mahasi practice due to the style you seemed to be doing seemed more broad focused and I thought Mahasi would give a more precise focus. I think of this becuse when I read your practice it sounded like some sort of (cloud style) Goenka style practice which can be more broad focused across the body. Also Shinzen has a pratice calles see,hear feel you might like which maybe less confusing for you. It did take about 2 months and no all pain doesnt stop after a&p for me. I believe im in some stage of dark night now and have some pain in shoulder blades and inbetween them but the 3c's were way worse. Also I could be delusional and have no clue were I am at on the map and be way wrong. I say that to let you know try not to get tripped up on mapping to much and take care of yourself. I read something on here the other day about in hard times practice one hour a day and be good to yourself. I am taking that advice now and if I would have known then I would have backed off some.
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Dustin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 103 Join Date: 12/28/17 Recent Posts
Ethan, one other thing is high concentration states can cause my nervous system to act up. When I do kasina disc for more than 30 minutes at a time I start to get heart burn I belive due to muscle tension in the solo plexus/ stomach area. You said you had some flicking and vibrations and if so I would think that was from high concentration. Not saying thats the cause but something to think about. Also backing off two hours to one may do the trick.
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Ward Law, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 123 Join Date: 9/7/15 Recent Posts
This little book might be worth trying: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446557684
Ethan N, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/3/20 Recent Posts
This little book might be worth trying: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0446557684

Thanks for the recommendation!
Georg S, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 25 Join Date: 12/8/19 Recent Posts
Hi Ethan,

I'm a physiotherapist, specialized in working with people with persistent pain. The backpain revolution is a great book. I would recommend it to you too.

My favourite websites/books I would also recommend are:

1. www.retrainpain.org --> A website, which explains how and why pain persists. There are short sessions (5-10 Minutes) each, which explain a quite complex topic in a funny and easy to understand way, especially for people without a medical background. All this information is evidence based and includes up to date studies about pain.
2. Explain Pain, a book from Lorimer Moseley and David Butler
neko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 756 Join Date: 11/26/14 Recent Posts
Do you exercise? Since I have started doing regular mobility and strength exercise that kind of pain has mostly gone away for me.

I would very strongly recommend gradually working your way up to pull ups if you cannot do those yet, since for me it was all clearly correlated to a muscle imbalance, and I am pretty convinced it is a pretty common problem. 

I cannot recommend the reddit r/bodyweightfitness recommended routine enough.  But if you decide to do it don't rush it and please don't hurt yourself.

https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommended_routine
Ethan N, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 6 Join Date: 1/3/20 Recent Posts
Do you exercise? Since I have started doing regular mobility and strength exercise that kind of pain has mostly gone away for me.

I do do a lot of back exercises like rows and lat pull down and I also strech and roll out my muscles with a lacross ball. In the beginning it helped a lot. I think I definetly had a lot of muscle imbalances and the exercises helped. Although it has gotten to the point where the pain doesn't seem to be caused by a lack of exercise or stretching. 

Thanks for the link. I'll definetly check it out. 
Magnus Sandberg, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Back pain due to meditation / 3rd nana?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 1/7/20 Recent Posts
There is a very good forum for these sort of things that helped me a lot when I was struggling most with pain:

https://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/An_Introduction_to_Tension_Myositis_Syndrome_(TMS)


I think the forum runs parallell to a lot of the topics covered on dharmaoverground. In its essence, the theory goes that back pain and chronic pains that come and go are due to repressed emotions, and that when these emotions come closer to the surface the body induces pain as a distraction. There are very many success stories on the forum where you can browse category according to your symptoms and find people with similar issues and also how they solved them.

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