Based on a new study released in the journal Pain, mindfulness meditation may be beneficial in affecting pain perception.
According to researchers at the University of California, San Diego, mindfulness involves the principle that you are not your experiences. Such cognitive training of thoughts and perception may reduce the experience of acute pain.
The research involved the randomization of 40 participants to four sessions of mindfulness meditation or book-listening sessions. Functional-MRI and noxious heat were combined during the meditation sessions.
From the findings: “Mindfulness meditation significantly reduced behavioral and neural pain responses when compared to the controls.”
“Two separate preregistered seed-to-seed analyses found that mindfulness meditation-based pain-relief was also associated with weaker contralateral thalamic connectivity with the prefrontal and primary somatosensory cortex, respectively.”
“Thus, we propose that mindfulness meditation is associated with a novel self-referential-nociceptive gating mechanism to reduce pain,” the authors concluded in their findings.