“Eastern philosophies have recognised the health benefits of meditation for thousands of years,” says WebMD. Now, there's evidence that meditation can help reduce pain. Read on to find out why you should take up meditation to relieve your pain.
If you’re not a fan of meditation and your body suffers from a great deal of pain
, it’s time to reconsider.
A recent study in the Journal of Neuroscience
showed that meditation can produce powerful pain
And all it takes is one hour of meditation a week.
Here’s what the study found about meditation as a pain reliever
With meditation, there was an impressive 40% reduction in the intensity of pain and a whopping 57% reduction in pain unpleasantness. This is significant considering that pain relievers, even major ones like morphine, typically only reduce pain ratings by 25%.
And many of the participants in the study had never even meditated before. “They attended four classes to learn a technique called focused attention, in which you focus on breathing and try to rid yourself of distracting thoughts and emotions,” explains Antoinette Pombo for FSP Health
The brain activity of the participants was studied with imaging before and after meditation training. The participants had a heat device applied to their skin, which heated a small area of the skin to 49 °C over the course of five minutes.
Scans taken after meditation showed that every single participant had a reduction in pain ratings. The decreases ranged from 11 % all the way up to 93%.
That’s not all…
Other areas of the brain were also affected by meditation, which may be why the effect was so strong. “Researchers said the fact that multiple levels of brain processing were involved speaks to the dramatic effectiveness of meditation on pain,” writes Pombo.
The good news is it didn’t take long for the participants to learn this meditation technique. They felt pain relief after only four 20-minute training sessions! And you can too if you!