Ten minutes of mindfulness meditation could be an effective alternative to painkillers, new research finds.
The quick meditation session was enough to reduce anxiety about pain and increase both pain tolerance and threshold.
The results come from a study of 24 healthy young people.
Half meditated for 10 minutes while the other half just sat quietly.
Then they plunged their hands first into warm water and then into ice water for as long as they could.
Dr Osama Tashani, the study’s first author, said:
“While further research is needed to explore this in a more clinical setting on chronic pain patients, these results do show that a brief mindfulness meditation intervention can be of benefit in pain relief.
The ease of application and cost effectiveness of the mindfulness meditation may also make it a viable addition to the arsenal of therapies for pain management.
The mindfulness mediation was led by a researcher who was a novice; so in theory clinicians could administer this with little training needed.
It’s based on traditional Buddhist teachings which focuses attention and awareness on your breathing.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Pain Studies and Treatment (Tashani et al., 2017).