Opioid pain medications can cause serious side effects or risks of addiction, overdose, and death. Thus, the FDA recommends that these drugs must carry a warning label about these grave dangers. The agency also encourages doctors to explore alternative ways to alleviate pain, like mindful meditation. s
In a study published in the National Institutes of Health, it’s shown that mindful meditation if paired with cognitive behavioral therapy, could work better. The positive results could last longer than standard treatment.
In the said study, the lead author said the mind plays a vital role in the management of chronic pain. Participants were asked to focus on changing how they think about their pain. They were also required to participate in specific activities that people could do to manage their condition.
How meditation and yoga can help?
Meditation and Yoga can assist individuals in changing their awareness of their pain and becoming more accepting about the pain. These mindfulness activities will help people in focusing their energies on finding other methods to accept their pain and manage it constructively.
However, even though individuals can practice meditation and yoga, they must still follow the usual care as recommended by their doctors, like medications, massage therapy, and exercise.
Participants who used mindfulness and CBD experienced to have greater improvement in their function.
With mindful meditation, you’re teaching your mind to be curious about the pain’s intensity and let go of the thoughts that the pain is awful. It also teaches you to avoid having goals and expectations. It’s quite beneficial because if you expect that a particular medication can ease your pain, and it doesn’t, your mind will go into a solution mode resulting in you thinking thoughts that medications don’t ever work at all.
What the mindful meditation does is that it allows you to engage with the pain as it is. Instead of fulfilling a particular goal, you’re learning to relate to the pain and think about it differently.
Experts call this strategy as a learning mindset, instead of having an achievement-oriented mindset. Mindfulness lets you think that nothing requires fixing. In the mindfulness study, it showed that just being aware of that pain may be considered as healing, rather than just thinking about it.
Mindful meditation allows you to have an accurate perception of pain. At first, you may think that your pain is constant throughout the day. Then, when you examine your pain, you’ll realize that it hits you several times a day. By realizing it, you’re lifting your frustration and anxiety.
The benefits of mindful meditation could last a full year. And this reality isn't common among treatments for this type of pain.
Scientific trials have shown that mindfulness meditation is extremely beneficial in relieving anxiety, depression, and irritability, in addition to alleviating chronic pain and chronic back pain.
Apart from relieving pain, mindful meditation is also proven to be beneficial for the improvement of memory. It has also shown to enhance physical stamina. In other words, those who regularly meditate are more contented with their lives than those who don’t practice it.