People who practice mindfulness meditation may be less affected by the presence of pain. For those living with chronic pain, meditation is increasingly popular.
According to recent research, people who meditate have different activity in the prefrontal cortex when anticipating the presence of pain. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain which controls attention in potentially dangerous situations.
Dr. Christopher Brown of the School of Translational Medicine in Manchester said this: "The results of the study confirm how we suspected meditation might affect the brain. Meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events. This may be why meditation is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain considerably worse."
Practicing mindfulness meditation may be more effective as a pain reliever for some people than it might be for others. More research may reveal why and how practicing mindfulness meditation brings relief from pain, and make it possible to more effectively make this available as a treatment to people in pain.