Wednesday, February 04, 2009

meditation and pain

I was in the hospital recently for my sudden and unremitting headache. Remembering what I learnt, I practised a simple mindfulness of breathing which helped me to cope better with the pain as well as the various medical procedures i had to undergo at the hospital. My other take-away from the experience: Even though there is physical pain, there is no need to suffer mentally as well.

Here is a timely report that I found:

Zen Meditation Alleviates Pain, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Feb. 3, 2009) — Zen meditation – a centuries-old practice that can provide mental, physical and emotional balance – may reduce pain according to Université de Montréal researchers. A new study in the January edition of Psychosomatic Medicine reports that Zen meditators have lower pain sensitivity both in and out of a meditative state compared to non-meditators.

While previous studies have shown that teaching chronic pain patients to meditate is beneficial, very few studies have looked at pain processing in healthy, highly trained meditators. This study was a first step in determining how or why meditation might influence pain perception." says Grant.

For full article, click here: Science Daily


Contributing Author said...

I'm very glad you were able to take some relief from your meditation techniques, ven under such trying circumstances. I've always tried to do the same sort of thing when I'm in pain or sick, but I find that my mind goes so weak most of those times that any type of concentration or meditation is almost impossible!

madsolitaire said...

I agree. I found it very difficult to meditate on loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. I never got quite beyond 'compassion'. However, mindfulness of breathing is a little different - it doesn't require a lot of concentration. I just simply pay attention to my breath: breathing in and breathing out. Slowly, one breath at a time. Very slowly, i will experience a certain calmness within myself. This helps to attenuate somewhat the 'mental suffering' of my physical pain and also reduce my anxieties about further pain/complications arising.