Mindful People Experience Less Pain Than Others

happiness

Mindfulness is all the rage right now and for good reason, the benefits of being able to be aware of yourself and your impact on others are great. Mindfulness has a lot in common with metacognition insofar that it provokes self-awareness and the more you practice it the better you get at it. If you haven’t tried mindful thinking then maybe this newest research will motivate you. It turns out that mindful people experience less pain than people who don’t practice mindfulness.

Whole brain analyses revealed that higher dispositional mindfulness during painful heat was associated with greater deactivation of a brain region called the posterior cingulate cortex, a central neural node of the default mode network. Further, in those that reported higher pain, there was greater activation of this critically important brain region.

The study provided novel neurobiological information that showed people with higher mindfulness ratings had less activation in the central nodes (posterior cingulate cortex) of the default network and experienced less pain. Those with lower mindfulness ratings had greater activation of this part of the brain and also felt more pain, Zeidan said.

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Yoga Might be Better Than Medication for Back Pain

happiness

Yoga can be an effective treatment for back pain according to new research. Before you sign up to any random yoga class for your back be sure to check what poses are actually good for you. The research team involved yoga instructors who specifically identified yoga poses and routines that are gentle on the back but also good for reliving back pain. Yoga isn’t just for staying fit, it’s also good for alleviating pain.

When the study began, about 70 percent of the patients were taking some form of pain medication. At the end of three months, when the yoga classes were wrapping up, the percentage of yoga and PT participants still taking pain medication had dropped to about 50 percent. By comparison, the use of pain medication did not decline among participants in the education group.

“It’s a significant reduction,” says study author Rob Saper, director of integrative medicine at Boston Medical Center.

“I’m not recommending that people just go to any yoga class,” Saper told us. He pointed out that their research has helped nail down poses and relaxation techniques that are helpful and safe.

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Smoke Weed for Pain Relief

Smoking marijuana can make life better for those who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain. This new research from McGill University shows that even small amounts of THC can make a noted difference in chronic pain levels. The article also shows how difficult it is to do research on marijuana in today’s political climate, so good on the researchers for sticking to their science!

The finding comes from what researchers in Montreal believe to be the first outpatient clinical trial of smoked cannabis, involving 21 people with chronic neuropathic pain.

The results, which included improvements in mood and sleep, were published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Even with this kind of fixed dosing and limited exposure, we were able to show in a blinded fashion that the patients did obtain some analgesia, improvements in sleep quality and on one of the subscales of the quality-of-life measure, we found that the anxiety was mildly improved as well,” Ware said.

“This may help in developing policy, or improving policy, or improving doctors’ willingness to consider this as an approach when all else has failed.”

Side-effects — the euphoria associated with smoking pot — were “very, very rare,” Ware said.

“I think because the doses we used were very low,” he explained.

The Star has more

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