Many people live with pain, but there's one technique they can employ that is easy to learn, doesn't cost anything, and that has almost immediate benefits, a new study has discovered.
Simple mindfulness meditation dramatically reduces the feelings of pain, even after just one hour's training in the technique. The meditation also seemed to reduce the person's sense of pain for hours afterwards.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina aren't quite sure why the meditation eases pain, but they believe it makes the meditator sense the immediate pain without anticipating future pain. Being 'in the moment' seems to reduce pain response, they conclude.
The people participating in the study fully learned the technique in three days, and they meditated for 20 minutes every day.
(Source: Journal of Pain, 2009; online: 10.1016/j.jpain.2009.07.015).