Mindfulness meditation, a really effective remedy to relieve pain?

Despite drug treatments and other natural remedies of all kinds, pain is sometimes omnipresent in our lives. It is sometimes difficult to find a solution that really works, so you end up accepting to live with it. However, a gentler method could prove effective: mindfulness meditation. According to one study conducted by the University of San Diego School of Medicine in California, this practice could reduce the perception of pain in the separation of “self”. How it works ?

The effects of mindfulness meditation

“For many chronic pain sufferers, what most affects their quality of life is not the pain itself, but the mental suffering and frustration that accompanies it,” says Fadel Zeidan, professor of anesthesiology. part of the research. “Their pain becomes part of their identity as an individual – something they cannot escape – and it exacerbates their suffering. »

So, to reduce this pain, the mindfulness meditation seems to be an interesting method. The professor clarifies: “One of the central tenets of mindfulness is that you are not your experiences. You are training to experience thoughts and feelings without attaching your ego or sense of self to them, and this experience finally shows how this plays out in the brain during the experience of acute pain. »

By meditating in this way, the pain continues to pass through the body but the person no longer perceives any appropriation of the suffering, as if they were distinguishing it from themselves, from themselves.

The experiment carried out by the researchers

During their research, the scientists brought together 40 participants whom they divided into two groups: one following four 20-minute training sessions in mindfulness meditation – where they learned to recognize their thoughts, feelings and emotions without judging them – the other following four sessions of listening to an audio book.

Via a brain scanner, it was possible to measure the participants’ resistance to pain: that of great heat applied to their leg. On the last day of the study, the brain activity of both groups was again analyzed while they either had to meditate in the heat or rest with their eyes closed. According to the results, participants in the “mindfulness meditation” group reduced the intensity of the pain by 32% and the unpleasantness of the pain by 33%.

This discovery could well constitute a new method of treatment of the pain and to advance medicine to treat other problems. “We are excited to continue exploring the neurobiology of mindfulness and its clinical potential in various disorders,” concludes Professor Fadel Zeidan.

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Mindfulness meditation, a really effective remedy to relieve pain?

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