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Can mindfulness meditation relieve chronic pain?

Millions people suffer from chronic pain. For many of them the mindfulness meditation may reduce the psychological strain.This results are confirmed in a new study.Mindfulness meditation

For years, mindfulness meditation has been used successfully against chronic pain. A study that was published in the journal “Cerebral Cortex” has now confirmed their effectiveness. They also gave clues why exactly the mindfulness meditation works and what it is going on the neuronal level in the brain. Apparently people feel in a state of mindfulness, although quite in pain, but not feel so strong psychological strain because the authorities which are responsible for the assessment of pain stimulus brain areas are less active with them.

The mindfulness meditation is a form of relaxation technique with Buddhist roots. Mindfulness is a special kind of attention, in which one of the present moment is deliberately, but it includes all values and judgments. Rather than suppressing symptoms and behaviors, they are observed only attentive and neutral. Just by this omission of reviews the symptoms change frequently, and sometimes they even disappear completely. At least they can often be better accepted by those concerned.

For the current study, a team of researchers from the US and has 34 healthy men and women studied, of whom half were experienced mindfulness meditators. While using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain activity was measured, the researchers shifted the participants on the forearm hazardous electrical pain stimuli. They should the pain with various inner attitudes encounter – either in a state of mindfulness, or in a neutral “everyday normal” state.

Pain stimuli are interpreted differently.

Subsequently, the subjects were asked to estimate the strength of the electric shocks, the degree of discomfort as well as their fear of pain. It was found that experienced meditators in a state of mindfulness as less unpleasant felt the pain. They did this according to the researchers by the fact that they concentrate their attention on the pain, looking at conscious and alert, but not running rated. Based on the record of the magnetic resonance imaging has been shown that the authorities responsible for the sensory processing of stimuli areas were thereby enabled, but that the areas in which takes place the cognitive interpretation of pain, were less active. The subjects felt the pain, but they do not perceive as onerous.

Approximately 13 million people suffer from chronic pain. Pain is thus a widespread disease such as diabetes and hypertension, but is neglected in the treatment often. Among the types of chronic pain include back pain, headaches, nerve or cancer pain. Affected patients are often desperate and feel their suffering delivered. A good pain management can help here. That mindfulness meditation there can be supportive, is confirmed by the present study. Patients who use this type of meditation, often report that the stress caused by the disease is reduced, while improving quality of life and well-being.