Does mindfulness-based stress reduction reduce pain among individuals who experience chronic pain?
Mindfulness Center teachers Matt Goodman and John Schorling will be conducting a workshop on this topic at the 12th Annual International Scientific Conference Investigating and Integrating Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society in Norwood, Massachusetts on April 4.
Along with colleagues Blake Garmon, John Philbrick, Daniel Becker, Max Padrick, and Justine Owens from the University of Virginia, they reviewed 23 studies of MBSR for chronic pain. They found that, although there was no significant improvement in pain ratings, MBSR participants did experience significant improvements in mental health and quality of life in the majority of studies compared to those in a control group.
These findings are consistent with the focus of mindfulness on present moment experience and learning new ways of coping with pain, not necessarily getting rid of it. As Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote in Full Catastrophe Living “Remember, you are trying to find out about your pain, to learn from it, to know it better, not to stop it or get rid of it or escape from it.”
This study is also published in Volume 7 Issue 1 of the Journal of Pain Management.
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