Forget prescription drugs. Mindful meditation has been shown to reduce and negate the effects of stress and pain. Researchers continue to unearth scientific breakthroughs related to meditation and its effects on our health.
Mindfulness Meditation for Stress
A 2011 Harvard study found that people who meditated for eight weeks increased the grey matter in the hippocampus (the area responsible for learning, memory, self-awareness, and introspection) and decreased the grey matter in the amygdala (the area associated with stress and anxiety). All thanks to mindfulness meditation.
The Harvard study defines mindfulness meditation as “the practice of paying attention to what you’re experiencing from moment to moment without drifting into thoughts about the past or concerns about the future and without analyzing (or making judgments about) what is going on around you.”
Mindfulness Meditation for Pain
Another study, conducted by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in 2016, found that meditation reduces pain without opiate-based therapy. Researchers blocked the pain-reducing effects of opioids in the participants. Despite chemically blocking opioid receptors, participants still found reductions in pain through meditation.
“These findings are especially significant to those who have built up a tolerance to opiate-based drugs and are looking for a non-addictive way to reduce their pain,” said Fadel Zeldan, Ph.D. who led the study.
Mindfulness Meditation for A Whole Lot More
And mindfulness meditation doesn’t just reduce stress and pain. It has been shown to help reduce anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain, psoriasis, headache, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Dr. Sonja Stilp delivers innovative, individualized physical medicine and rehabilitation services in non-surgical spine and sports medicine. Dr. Stilp recommends mindfulness meditation for her patients. If you want to learn about mindfulness meditation, or you are looking for ways to optimize your performance, schedule an appointment to meet with her.