postheadericon Meditation Shown To Help Reduce Pain

A recent study published in the April 6 2011 edition of the ‘Journal of Neuroscience’ shows that meditation can have a very significant pain reducing effect on the brain.

15 volunteers who had never meditated before were given four twenty-minute meditation classes. Before and after this training, the volunteers brain activity was examined using a special type of imaging, called arterial spin labeling magnetic resonance imaging (ASL MRI).  During these scans, a heat device was placed on the volunteers legs in order to induce pain.

The scans taken after meditation training showed that all 15 volunteers pain ratings was reduced. Decreases ranged from 11 to a massive 93 percent.

“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,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., the lead author of the study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

“Meditation produced a greater reduction in pain than even morphine or other pain-relieving drugs, which typically reduce pain ratings by about 25 percent.”

This study also showed that meditation significantly reduced brain activity in the primary somatosensory cortex, an area that is heavily involved in creating feelings of where and how intense a pain is. The scans taken before meditation training showed high activity in this area, but when the volunteers were meditating, activity in this region could not be detected.

The research also showed that meditation increased brain activity in other areas such as the anterior cingulate cortex, anterior insula and the orbito-frontal cortex.

“One of the reasons that meditation may have been so effective in blocking pain was that it did not work at just one place in the brain, but instead reduced pain at multiple levels of processing.”

This is exciting news as many pain relieving drugs contain negative side effects which can hamper a patients recovery. There is now a proven drug free alternative that has no negative side effects. Meditation only has the positive side effects of increased health, happiness and relaxation. Just one hour of meditation training made all the difference, which shows how incredibly accessible meditation really is.

This shows that you don’t need to be some sort of meditation guru with decades of experience to make a positive impact into your life. However it is likely that with even more experience, even greater results can be achieved.

Thank you to Jon Rhodes DHyp of HypnoBusters Hypnosis and Gastric Band Hypnotherapy for providing us with the article above.

5 Responses to “Meditation Shown To Help Reduce Pain”

  • Good information related to meditation and power yoga which is most important in todays fast world for releasing our physical and mental stress which would help to maintain health and wellness of our mind and body.

  • Yes, I agree with you that meditation can reduce pain and Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

  • As a relative newcomer to meditation – I haven’t really tried yoga yet – I found the information here and throughout the site to be exceptionally useful.
    Meditation is proving to be a shortcut to deep relaxation and contentment.

  • Howy:

    As much as this information is true, it takes years of practice to reach this phase. I know it took me almost 3 years to reach the state whereby I could reduce any kind of pain using guided mediation and self hypnosis. Practice makes perfect.

  • What I like about your article is that it is free from all so called spiritual jargon. It has solid foundation of scientific proofs.Mostly we all exagrate our pain unconsciously by using our imagination or fearful thoughts.In meditation you can significantly detach your mind from the pain. I like your post. It is different, unique and very clear. It appeals to my logical brain.