Researchers looking at data from 7 studies of people with chronic pain (total 545) randomly chosen either to receive MBSR training or to join a control group receiving standard care, which often includes prescription painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, and 13 similarly randomized studies with a total of 1,095 pain patients, utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), found that these two approaches decreased pain to approximately the same extent. There is also one well constructed, randomized, head-to-head study of MBSR and CBT which has similar findings. While more studies are needed, the fact there there is likelihood that MBSR, a group intervention at much less cost than CBT, has a similar effect to CBT for the chronic pain the effects one in five US adults is encouraging.
USA Today article points to new research from Massachusetts General/Harvard as to why mindfulness meditation reduces pain perception.
Individuals who practiced mindfulness meditation during a pain experiment reported much less discomfort than they did in earlier, meditation-free sessions.
Study presented at the Society for Neuroscience this month shows meditation changes the way the brain processes pain signals.
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Occasional articles on the possible benefits of mindfulness practice