A new research that was published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience claims that the practice of mindful meditation can help in managing pain.
According to Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study, “This is the first study to show that only a little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation.”
The research reports that people who practiced meditation were able to reduce their pain intensity by 40 percent. This is significant given that pain-relievers such as morphine, have been rated to reduce pain by only about 25 percent when taken.
The study involved 15 individuals who were taught meditation techniques. During their lessons, a pain-inducing device was put under their right legs – a plate that heats up to 120° Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, a special type of MRI recorded their brain activities.
According to the scans, meditation helped them manage the pain intensity, giving them longer tolerance on what they physically felt.
Zeidan concludes, “This study shows that meditation produces real effects in the brain and can provide an effective way for people to substantially reduce their pain without medications.”