When managing pain there are medications, exercises, and even certain foods that can help, but that’s not all. A new study also shows that mindfulness meditation can reduce pain.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience researched how mindfulness meditation, placebo meditation, and placebo medicinal cream eases participants’ pain in lieu of medication. The results showed that mindfulness meditation provided greater pain relief than the placebo treatments. For instance, the mindfulness meditation reduced pain by 27 percent while the placebo cream only reduced pain by 11 percent. This is a result of varying brain activity. Mindfulness meditation activated regions of the brain associated with self-control and deactivated the area that sends pain signals to the brain center.
Would you like to meditate to reduce your pain? Listed below are two tips that might help.
- Know the basics. Mindful meditation can improve your mood and reduce your pain associated with headaches, back pain, and chest pain. In order to achieve this pain reduction, the meditator must focus their energy on their thoughts and the inner workings of their body. Slow down and monitor your breath—short breaths will make you feel more anxious and make you more conscious of the pain. Do you need help focusing on your mindfulness meditation? Try these videos from the Mindful Living Network Meditation Room.
- Devote your time. You can meditate whenever you have pain or you can create a meditation schedule. In the study, researchers found that four 20-minute meditation sessions per day could enhance pain relief treatment. Try meditating in the morning so you can start the new day on the right foot, and if possible, try to take a short meditation break at work. For the last two sessions try meditating when you come home from work and before you go to bed.
Beyond pain relief, meditation can also help with other health conditions, including insomnia, memory loss, and stress. In various studies participants also reported that meditation helped lower their cholesterol, boost their immune function, and curb their addiction problems. You can learn more about the medical benefits of meditation in this article.