Pain in Your Brain and How to Create Your Own Relief

Mindful mental and physical practices to create your own pain relief.

Lexy Rose, MA - Founding Teacher & Partner
 min read
September 20, 2023
Mindful mental and physical practices to create your own pain relief.

PAIN is, in fact, a four letter word. 

Pain can hijack your attention at any time, steal your ability to do the physical and functional things you love and need to do, and send you into a deep dark hole of uncertainty, frustration, and anguish.

While pain is generally a felt and physical sensation in the body, it has a powerful effect on the brain, and can be further exacerbated by the mental processes that ensue. The human brain is averse to the sensation of pain and longs for relief from it.

The reason(s) for pain, be it acute or chronic, can vary — poor movement mechanics, overuse, recent or old injuries and surgeries, chronic inflammation, sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, neurological conditions, etc. (the list is endless!)

There are a number of practices that can reduce this unpleasant bodily sensation by providing relief from the “top down”, and addressing the symptomatic mental burden of pain through mindful mental and physical practices.

At Upswell you can find exceptional class instruction that teaches you the skills of self-massage and mindfulness, decreasing your painful symptoms, and enhancing your physical and mental longevity.

Here are two techniques that prove to have a positive and relieving impact on pain. 

Ball and Foam Rolling

Ball and Foam Rolling is a self-massage technique that is derived from the principles of massage, and is constructed around the physiological characteristics of muscles and fascia. 

Many people experience chronic pain as the result of muscles and fascia being dehydrated, having poor mobility, the presence of an undiagnosed tear or inflammation, and the result of poor nerve communication and pain signaling.

With the use of pressure and movement on a ball or foam roller, you can change the integrity and health of soft tissue while also improving the neurological feedback that the body is receiving and sending back to the brain. A rolling practice enhances the function of your muscles — stimulating healthy activation, thereby decreasing the pain of dysfunction.

During ball and foam rolling you will inevitably find points of pressure that are quite intense with sensation. These “trigger points” are areas of muscle fibers that need constant pressure in order to be restored to a relaxed resting point. This process requires slow breathing and the mental awareness of patiently watching sensation change. 

By being with your sensation during a foam rolling session you will have a more intimate understanding of what is healthy sensation, and a greater mental capacity and tolerance for healthy discomfort.

Upswell offers RELEASE; a myofascial self-massage class that softens muscular tension throughout the entire body, while also providing guided breathwork and meditation.


Meditation is the practice of mindfully being present with your physical experience, without attaching judgment or a narrative to what you feel and why.

Research shows that the experience of pain is oftentimes accompanied by the nervous system response of fight or flight, and an influx of stress hormones that magnify the sensation of discomfort. Once pain is perceived by the body, that message is sent to certain areas of the brain that stay attentively attuned to the stressful experience.

Meditation can help to downregulate the nervous system to a state of rest and relaxation, reducing the level of cortisol and stress hormones in the bloodstream. 

The practice of mediation stimulates areas of the brain that are responsible for quieting uncomfortable sensations, and calming the sensory mechanisms located throughout the body that ordinarily initiate the pain messaging.

Upswell will be offering a workshop on Thursday, August 24th that incorporates sound-bath meditation with the healing touch of a licensed massage therapist. 

The weekly RELEASE class also incorporates guided meditation, complete with breathwork that restores the nervous system to a state of relaxation.

Pain is an inevitable side-effect of having a human body.

Despite the multitude of reasons for chronic and acute pain, the experience has a compelling and overwhelming influence on brain activity, and subsequent hormonal stress responses.

Considering the scientific information available, self-massage and mindfulness practices can limit, reduce, and diminish the suffering that accompanies pain, beginning with a reclaiming of the mind.

Let Upswell be your guide in stopping the pain cycle.

For more information about our restorative movement classes, recovery sessions, and everything else we have to offer, visit our website here or email us at

Lexy Rose is a Colorado native who began teaching exercise and personal training in 2008.