Mindfulness mediation is a potentially rich area for pain treatment. During the last several years, scientific study of meditation has advanced. Dr. Richard Davidson at University of Wisconsin Madison is a leader in the field. I’m looking forward to his visit to New Orleans in May 2013.
Meditation has been found to decrease stress hormones in the body and improves immune system activity. It also changes brain function. We are hopeful that meditation can reverse central sensitization or chronic brain changes that can accompany long-term pain.
A 2008 study on the effects of mindfulness mediation from Journal of Pain included 27 adults >65 years old. After 3 months of meditation, patients reported decreased pan, improved attention, well -being and quality of life. Unfortunately, the study was small and replication with a larger group of patients would be helpful support for the hypothesis.
Morone NE, Lynch CS, Greco CM, Tindle HA, Weiner DK. “I felt like a new person.” the effects of mindfulness meditation on older adults with chronic pain: qualitative narrative analysis of diary entries. J Pain. 2008;9(9):841-848.