Published in the April 6th, 2011 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience and on CNN Buddhist style meditation shows that it can reduce your sensitivity to pain making pain management much easier when you are a meditator. Participants were actually burned with about 120 degree heat on their calves before and after meditation sessions in a lab.
The results are not all that shocking since meditation; especially mindfulness meditation has been in the spotlight for about 8 months now with more and more scientific studies proving what effects it has on us. But the results showed that the participant’s sensitivity to pain drastically decreased after about a 20 minute meditation session.
The meditation that was practiced is called Shamatha, or “focused attention.” Like other forms of mindfulness meditation, it entails learning how to observe what’s going on in one’s mind and body without judging, and while maintaining focus on one’s breathing or a chanted mantra. The volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation training sessions over the course of four days.
Both men and women were mildly burned on their calves and were instructed together in this form of mindfulness meditation. We have already been shown in previous studies that meditation has a profoundly positive effect on our minds, bodies and every aspect of our health. But this study suggests that mindfulness meditation can be used instead of dangerous pain drugs to manage pain.
Meditation, especially silent meditation such as the mindfulness meditations are becoming very popular in the western world. Although still very new to the ideas we have here about stress management and pain management we can see that there are other options out there that we might want to look into than using dangerous prescription and OTC drugs.
Some may ask, “What about different types of pain?” Although a great question, we cannot be sure that this study can conclude that no matter what type of pain it is that it can be managed with the meditation. But for those of you that is avid meditators and has been so for a number of years, you can surely ring in on that with your own results.
In a country where every ill has a pill meditation is foreign and unknown, but you do not have to be a Buddhist monk, or for that matter, any type of monk to enjoy meditation as a part of your life. In fact more and more people are starting to meditate on a regular basis and are seeing drastic changes in their health both physical and mental.
For more on meditation and to learn from a Buddhist Zen master online or in person contact either the Empty Mind Zendo or theShikata Zendo and inquire about wanting to learn mindfulness meditation. Subscribe above and get meditation articles as they are published by National Zen Buddhism Examiner delivered directly to your inbox with no spam ever. Namaste