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Archive for ‘Helps reduce physical pain’

Eases Pain

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-89University of Montreal researchers found that regularly practicing meditation can decrease physical pain by causing physical changes in the brain that reduce pain perception. Mindfulness meditation directs focus to the here-and-now experience without reacting to the perceived experience. Reacting to pain with stress and panic intensifies perceived pain. Practicing mindfulness meditation trains the brain to recognize and accept pain without stressing or panicking, allowing the individual to perceive a less intense pain. Researchers proved this effect by studying MRI images of long-term meditators that showed increases in areas of the brain associated with pain, decreasing their sensitivity to pain. Mindfulness meditation is therefore an excellent option for people who suffer from chronic pain.

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Reduces Chronic Pain in Old Age

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-90Pain Medicine published a study on the effects of mind-body treatments in reducing chronic pain. Older people participated in treatments that consisted of muscle relaxation, meditation, hypnosis, tai chi, and yoga exercises in an effort to alleviate chronic pain. Participants suffering from lower back pain and osteoarthritis claimed that meditation and tai chi were the most effective treatments in targeting those areas. Elderly patients were better able to cope with pain while regaining body function and movement. In particular, participants benefitted from the holistic approach of meditation and other mind-body approaches, which target the ways that the body, mind, and behavior interact in individuals.

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Helps Control Pain Reaction

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-91University of North Carolina researchers discovered that practicing meditation can help alleviate pain perception. Participants practiced mindfulness meditation, which emphasizes relaxation techniques to create a more relaxed and stress-free state of mind. After practicing mindfulness meditation for three consecutive days, participants reported less pain when administered experimental pain stimuli than they had reported before beginning the program. Practicing mindfulness meditation helped lower participants’ anxiety and stress levels, affecting their reactions to the pain stimuli. Mindfulness meditation improves individuals’ ability to sustain personal focus, which can help alleviate the feeling of pain. By creating a relaxed state of mind, participants were better able to control their pain reactions.

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Improves Pain Management Skills

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-92A psychologist from Texas Tech Medical Center proved that meditation can be used to self-regulate pain. He created a stress and pain management program that combines meditation and yoga techniques with medical and psychological treatment. Participants in the study who practiced meditation found that their pain management skills and ability to cope with pain had significantly improved. The program was directed towards patients with chronic pain, encouraging patients to combat pain by becoming more mindful and striving to “stay in the moment.” This mindfulness technique helped direct participants’ focus away from the perceived pain and towards the present moment. Patients reported reduced or alleviated pain upon completing the program.

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Reduces Pain Severity

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-93Dr. Pat Randolph, Director of Psychology Services at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, used meditation to help patients improve their pain management skills. Randolph created a pain and stress management program that combined techniques from meditation and yoga with medical and psychological treatments. This pain and stress management program was used alongside medical and psychological intervention. According to patients, among the program’s benefits were improvements in coping with pain. Randolph explained that pain occurs from interacting sensations, thoughts, and feelings. Therefore, his program addresses these types of mental perceptions by using a combination of both medical and psychological exercises that train patients to manage pain more effectively.

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Promotes Self-Regulation of Pain

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-94The American Psychological Association journal Emotion published a study conducted at the Université de Montréal explaining that Zen meditation can help reduce pain sensitivity. The study compared the areas of the brain associated with chronic pain, neurological, or psychological illnesses in long-term Zen meditators and non-meditators. Researchers found that the regions of the brain associated with emotion and pain regulation were much thicker in practitioners of Zen meditation, resulting in lower perceived pain sensitivity among those participants. Meditators’ thermal pain sensitivity was significantly lower than that of non-meditators, demonstrating a stronger ability to self-regulate pain. Researchers posit that the often uncomfortable posture adopted by Zen meditators may contribute to their lowered pain sensitivity.

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Makes Pain Less Obvious

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-95A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience reported that meditation is an effective method of pain management. In the study, participants were given the same pain test before and after meditating for eighty minutes, but reported feeling noticeably less pain after meditating. Participants then learned a new meditation technique and were administered the same pain test a second time. Again, the participants reported feeling significantly less pain after meditating. The study claimed that meditation could induce pain-relieving effects twice as effective as some medications. Although this claim needs to be further substantiated, it is clear that meditation is an effective way to manage pain by promoting a different state of mind that reduces pain sensitivity.

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Reduces Pain Sensitivity

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-96Researchers from the Society of Neuroscience determined that meditation alters the processes of pain signals in the brain. After study participants practiced mindful awareness for four days, pain responses in their brain were significantly reduced. Volunteers reported less intense pain after practicing meditation. Researchers explained that right after meditating, sensory information relay in the brain slows, causing the individual to perceive a less intense pain. Meditation also reduces pain by decreasing anxiety, regulating emotions, and inducing relaxation. In another study published in the Journal of Pain, participants practiced meditation for thirty minutes each day for four days. After the treatment, their MRI brain images also displayed reduced reactions to pain.

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Decreases Perceived Pain

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-97A researcher from the University of Manchester in England reported to LiveScience that perceived pain is reduced after practicing meditation. Although meditation does not change the sensory experience of pain, it does alter the way people respond to anticipated pain. In contrast, feelings of pain are intensified in depressed individuals. By also helping to reduce depression, meditation therefore reduces perceived pain. People who regularly meditate focus on the present, reducing their anticipation of pain compared to that of non-meditators. Mindfulness meditation is the most commonly used meditation technique used to treat chronic pain, training individuals to stay in the moment and divert the emotional impact that causes pain sensitivity.

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Creates Less Feelings of Pain

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

meditation-image-98Researchers from the Université de Montréal found that Zen Meditation can help reduce pain. Zen Meditation promotes a mental, physical, and emotional balance that is associated with reduced pain sensitivity. The study compared the pain results of long-term Zen meditators and non-meditators. Each group was administered the same pain test, but the group of long-term Zen meditators reported much lower sensitivity to the pain test than non-meditators. Researchers explained that the Zen meditators used slower breathing techniques and displayed a relaxed state of mind to redirect their focus and feel less pain than the non-meditators. Therefore, people who meditate more often are less sensitive to pain.

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