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How Meditation Clams Pain

How Meditation Clams Pain

Learn to control chronic pain by practicing meditation techniques…

A British study has shown that those who routinely practice mediation may be better able to deal with pain because their brains are less focused on anticipating it.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Manchester’s School of Translational Medicine, analyzed people who practiced a variety of meditation formats for varying periods of time from a few weeks to several decade.

The results showed that only those who had engaged in a long-term commitment had the benefits of reduced pain.

how meditation calms pain How Meditation Clams Pain

Meditation Clams Pain

Meditation, or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy has been recommended for recurrent depression since 2004, but this is the first time it has been shown to be effective at reducing pain. The findings could pave the way for mediation therapies to treat the estimated 40% of people who unable to manage their chronic pain.

Study author Dr. Christopher Brown, said:

“Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a way to treat chronic illness such as the pain caused by arthritis…

“Recently a mental health charity called for meditation to be routinely available on the NHS [National Health Service of Great Britain] to treat depression, which occurs in up to 50 percent of people with chronic pain. However, scientists have only just started to look into how meditation might reduce the emotional impact of pain.”

By using a laser to induce pain, Brown and his team found that activity in certain parts of the brain seemed to dip when the study participants anticipated pain. With that observation he was able to establish that those with upwards of 35 years of meditation under their belt anticipated pain the least.

In particular, meditators also seemed to display unusual activity in the prefrontal cortex region of the brain that is known for regulating attention and thought processes when a person feels threatened.

“The results of the study confirm how we suspected meditation might affect the brain,” explained Brown:

“Meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events. This may be why meditation is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain considerably worse.”

However, he added that “although we found that meditators anticipate pain less and find pain less unpleasant, it’s not clear precisely how meditation changes brain function over time to produce these effects.

The findings were released online recently in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Pain.


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