Mindfulness and Pain Management

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Chronic pain can be debilitating and intolerable. Mindfulness meditation can help rewire the brain’s relationship with pain. Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) which has been shown to help individuals manage pain and reduce stress. A study of mindful meditation shows that 57% of individuals experiencing chronic pain benefited from regular mindful meditation practice. Meditation has no side effects, unlike pain medication. Moreover, training in meditation can have positive benefits in other areas of life including relationships, unhealthy eating, emotion regulation and individual happiness. Imaging studies show that mindfulness soothes the brain patterns underlying pain and, over time, these changes take root and alter the structure of the brain itself, so that patients no longer feel pain with the same intensity.