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 In response to:
 >I'm fairly new to this group but haven't read any discussion yet about
 >using meditation or biofeedback as pain relief techniques.  I know that 
 >for many people, myself included, they are quite helpful.  You might check 
 >with your local chapter of the Arthritis Foundation to find out if any 
 >hospitals in your area offer classes (some do in several major cities).  
 >Also, there are many books out discussing these techniques.   I believe the 
 >Herbert Benson book is called "The Relaxation Response."  It's a good intro 
 >to meditation without any references to religious beliefs that might not be 
 >appealing to some readers.
 I have used biofeedback and/or self-hypnosis since 1982 - most psychologists
 and/or psychiatrists are trained in biofeedback and I would highly recommend
 going this route to learn the technique as they have special machines which
 they use to measure your rate of relaxation during the biofeedback sessions.
 I have never found the commercial tapes one buys in the stores to be much 
 good and even prefer making my own to using them.  However, once one becomes
 adept at using biofeedback for pain relief and relaxation, it becomes easy
 to use the technique without the use of tapes.