06 Feb Can meditation help with your chronic pain?
Can meditation help with your chronic pain? Pain can be related to stress when we focus too much on the outside world, and stress affects us all. Many studies have been done recently on the link between meditation and pain management therapies. As physicians and mental health professionals turn toward the understanding that holistic health means healing the body and the mind, meditation practices have gained respect as an alternative chronic pain management treatment.
Meditation For the Pain Patient
One study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the effects of meditation and yoga training on pain levels. The study focused patients experiencing chronic lower back pain. Then, participants received 8 weeks of meditation and yoga training for 2 hours a week.
At the end of the study, participants who practiced meditation or “self-centered” mindful thinking reported substantially less physical limitation than before. More than 40% of study participants said their pain was less bothersome.
High stress and anxiety causes our bodies to tense up, making pain worse. So, it’s important to find ways to minimize your stress levels. To help alleviate pain and stress, try taking just 10-15 minutes a day to be alone. Practice breathing deeply and focus on your body. To help you get started, there are an abundance of resources available now. Apps and websites like Headspace are great places to start. With these tools and commitment, you can create a lasting meditation practice to reduce stress and chronic pain symptoms.
*Source: Journal of the American Medical Association. Effect of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Usual Care on Back Pain and Functional Limitations in Adults With Chronic Low Back Pain. Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD1,2,3; Karen J. Sherman, PhD1,4; Benjamin H. Balderson, PhD1; et al. . 2016;315(12):1240-1249