You don’t have to be an expert in meditation to enjoy the benefits of this practice, even against physical pain, as this American study shows
Practicing meditation on a daily basis, even just a few minutes a day, can bring many benefits to our lives, such as improving the quality of our sleep, making us more focused on our goals, reducing our stress levels and teaching us to listen to our body.
Mindfulnessor the fact of being in the here and now, leads us to distance ourselves from our worries and our anxieties, to detach ourselves from them and to see them with detachment, without letting ourselves be overwhelmed by the emotions that make us impulsive and often cause us to act in ways that are inconsistent with our true behavior.
Now, a new study by the University of California–San Diego has shown that mindfulness can help not only reduce psychological problems, but also relieve chronic pain – and you don’t have to be an experienced meditator to see the early benefits of this practice in reducing pain.
The consciousness that can be achieved through meditation can influence the activity of our brain but also our perception of pain. Indeed, the practice of meditation interrupts the communication between the parts of the brain responsible for pain and those which generate self-awareness.
One of the goals of mindfulness is precisely to detach from one’s emotions and experiences – even those that are physically painful. Meditation is training to experience thoughts and feelings without becoming attached to them, which can have very positive effects on endurance of acute pain.
The California researchers enrolled forty volunteers in their study, who underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain as they experienced a very intense (almost painful) sensation of heat in their legs. After being exposed to the painful experience, the volunteers were asked to make a value judgment about the pain they felt.
In the second phase of the experiment, the volunteers were divided into two groups. One of the two groups was offered a short mindfulness training (four sessions of twenty minutes each), during which the topics of mindful breathing and letting go of emotions were discussed. and feelings without judging or reacting to them.
After the short training period, the first experiment was repeated with the participants of the mindfulness course and the sample group. The results of the MRI and the questionnaires given to the volunteers were surprising: the participants who practiced meditation during the heat exposure saw a 32% reduction in the intensity of the pain and 33% of the character. unpleasant pain.
MRI images showed that pain reduction was associated with reduced synchronization between the thalamus (area of the brain that transmits incoming sensory information to the rest of the brain) and areas of the brain involved in self-awareness processes. The less these areas were synchronized, the greater the pain relief reported by the participant.
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Meditation: mindfulness, remedy for chronic pain. – Media Patrollers
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