Even a brief introduction to meditation can ease pain


New research has found that a 30-
minute introduction to mindful
ness can significantly reduce negative emotions and ease physical pain even for those who have never practiced the technique before.
Even people new to mindfulness meditation can reap the benefits after only a short introduction.
Research has shown that mindfulness and mindful acceptance have multiple benefits for physical and emotional health.
Medical News Today have covered studies showcasing the many benefits of mindfulness, from lowering blood pressure to coping with phobias.
There are two other areas that mindfulness can be helpful with: pain and emotion regulation.
Neuroscientific experiments have found that participants felt less physical pain as a result of practicing mindfulness, and researchers have suggested that this may have implications for managing chronic pain.
Further studies using brain scans have showed that mindfulness helpscontrol emotions, which may help people overcome addiction or lower their stress levels.
However, is it possible that someone who has never meditated before can reap these benefits? This is what a group of researchers — led by Hedy Kober, an associate professor of psychiatry and psychology at Yale University in New Haven, CT — has set out to examine.
Specifically, Kober and colleagues wanted to see whether or not people with no previous mindfulness experience could benefit from a 30-minute introduction to the technique.
The results — which now appear in the journal Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience — do seem to suggest that a brief introduction to mindfulness can help ease pain and reduce negative emotions.
Mindfulness, pain, and negative emotions
Kober and team tested 17 “meditation-naïve” participants, aged 18–45, under two experimental conditions.
In one condition, the participants had to look at 30 negative images vs. 30 neutral images. In the other, they experienced painful vs. warm temperature stimuli 30 times each.
Before the experiments, the researchers trained the participants in mindfulness and how to complete the tasks for a period of 30 minutes.
During this time, the researchers instructed the participants to “react naturally, whatever [their] response might be” in the control condition, so that the scientists could establish a baseline measure of emotional response.