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Does Mindfulness Help With Pain?

Mindfulness is not a new form of healing. The great Buddha discovered the life-changing secret of mindfulness in his meditations and path to enlightenment. Many Brahmins, mystics, spiritual leaders, and intellectuals also knew the power of mindfulness. Today, in 2018, mindfulness is perhaps one of the biggest buzzwords of the millennia thus far. A simple, ancient spiritual practice has become a scientific modern wonder of transformation, helping people change their lives and relieve stress from mental illness and beyond. Mindfulness helps reduce stress, reduce inflammation, and reduce troubling symptoms of our diagnoses. Mindfulness also gives us tools for being more compassionate toward ourselves, as well as toward others. When we are mindful, we are more aware and connected. Being more aware and connected helps us be more human and realize that all of our sufferings is an immensely human experience. As a result, the pain caused by our suffering is greatly reduced.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center discovered that mindfulness causes less pain. More specifically, people who are mindful feel less pain. Published in PAIN, the study analyzed data which “compared mindfulness meditation to placebo analgesia,” reports Science Daily. Researchers wanted to determine if the propensity toward mindfulness might enhance one’s ability to feel less pain. Since science was involved in this otherwise spiritual pursuit, researchers also sought to discover what specific mechanisms of the brain were involved in a mindful response to pain stimuli.

Seventy-six volunteers completed the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory which evaluates how mindful an individual is. Interestingly, participants in this study had never meditated before. During an MRI scan, the participants were administered “painful heat stimulation” of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Individuals who were evaluated to be more inherently mindful than others experienced a “greater deactivation of a brain region called the posterior cingulate cortex” and conversely, those who experienced more pain saw greater activity in this brain region. Researchers can use this information to further investigate the functioning of the brain areas involved, as well as how to curate mindfulness practices in a way proven to deactivate brain activity there during pain stimulation.

Mindfulness helps us create a positive foundation of calm from which we can operate in the midst of all of life’s challenges, real or perceived. As survivors of trauma, we are hypersensitive to even the slightest notion of something we might interpret as painful. Mindfulness helps us navigate all of our difficulties, real or real to us, outside of us or within us.

At The Guest House Ocala, we offer residential treatment programs specialized for the care of traumas, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our trauma treatment programs and our concierge style customization for every guest: 1-855-483-7800