Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Pain

A new study by a group of scientists has shown that Mindfulness Meditation can reduce the intensity and unpleasantness of pain.

The scientists used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to measure response to pain in fifteen volunteers. A pain rating scale was used to determine the level of pain reduction.

The volunteers underwent two MRI sessions — one before a four day mindfulness training and another afterwards. Adverse response to pain was significantly reduced while meditating, and this was confirmed by the subjective observations of the participants and also by observed changes in brain activity revealed by the MRI scans.

The pain was induced by applying a heat probe to volunteers legs. While meditating, there was an average 40% reduction in level of pain experienced, plus a 57% reduction in the unpleasantness of applied pain. This was also reflecting in MRI brain activity.

After analysis of test results, the scientists concluded that “meditation engages multiple brain mechanisms that alter the construction of the subjectively available pain experience”

Dhawal Panda

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