Can Meditation Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain?

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Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain and a spectrum of psychological co morbidities, rendering treatment difficult and often a financial burden. Fibromyalgia is a complicated chronic pain condition that requires a multimodal therapeutic approach to optimize treatment efficacy. Therefore, it has been stated that mind-body techniques may prove productive in treating fibromyalgia.

Mindfulness meditation, a behavioral technique premised on non-reactive sensory awareness, attenuates pain and improves mental health outcomes. Though, the effect of mindfulness meditation on fibromyalgia-related outcomes has not been expansively characterized.

The present review delineates the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of mindfulness meditation in treating fibromyalgia-related outcomes. If you have fibromyalgia, you know how difficult it can be to deal with. Fibromyalgia symptoms such as chronic pain and fatigue often make it difficult to go on with your daily routine.

These symptoms can sometimes have disastrous effects on your mood, leaving you feeling hopeless or even depressed. If you are feeling especially stressed out by your fibromyalgia, you may find that meditation can help you restore calmness and vitality to your life.

What is meditation?

Meditation techniques are progressively being used by those with fibromyalgia to deal with their fibromyalgia symptoms and boost their mood. Through meditation, people can quiet their minds, reduce stress, and eliminate worries from their life, at least for a short amount of time.

Meditation usually consists of focusing on the breath or a certain word, sound, or object in order to enter into an altered state of consciousness. Meditation produces feelings of relaxation and rest, and can help people learn how to focus their minds on things other than the trials and tribulations of daily life.

Meditation has been used for thousands of years by many different cultures. It is not known exactly where meditation began, though early practices can be traced to India and the Eastern World. There are numerous different types of meditation, including mindfulness meditation, concentration meditation, and transcendental meditation. Most types of meditation have the same goal to allow a person to achieve mental clarity and a state of extreme calm. Meditation is sometimes used to promote spiritual healing.

Mindfulness meditation

While many forms of meditation can be helpful for controlling pain, the most effective seems to be mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation focuses on awareness of the present moment, with the intention of paying attention to moment-to-moment experiences without judgment.

Numerous chronic pain conditions react predominantly well to a prearranged, eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program. In this type of program, a skilled practitioner trains participants in a group setting to bring awareness to sensations, movements, breaths, and thoughts that come and go in each moment. The goal is to simply notice, not to react, to these experiences.

Using meditation for fibromyalgia pain relief

As someone who has suffered from fibromyalgia for almost seventeen years now, I am all too familiar with what it means to live with chronic pain. Most pain medications target inflammation, muscle, and joint pain, but since fibromyalgia stems from sensitivity in the neurological system, pain medications are ineffective against nerve pain.

Even medications prescribed specifically for fibromyalgia, wane in their effectiveness over time as your body becomes immune to them. Pain becomes a part of everyday life, robbing you of sleep and energy. Finding holistic alternatives can make the difference in a day or a lifetime.

One such alternative is meditation. A technique such as meditation gives you a measure of control rather than your pain and health condition controlling you. Meditation and mindfulness techniques are extensively becoming effectual natural treatment plans. Meditation, particular mindfulness techniques, can lead to improvements in pain intensity when compared to standard care for many chronic pain patients. It also might assist in improving pain-related disability, pain reception, feelings of control over the pain, despair, anxiety, and quality of life, right away after treatment as well as at follow up afterwards.

Meditation has recently been shown to be very effective in reducing the stress levels and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia syndrome. If you have fibromyalgia, techniques of meditation can help to improve your sleep patterns and reduce your fatigue. Meditation techniques can also help to reduce your pain levels, as it decreases the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your body. Meditation and mindfulness techniques can lead to improvements in pain intensity when compared to standard care for many chronic pain patients.

It also may help improve pain-related disability, pain acceptance, feelings of control over the pain, depression, anxiety, and quality of life, immediately after treatment. Some specific conditions that respond particularly well include:

Low back pain

An eight-week MBSR program significantly improved back pain in older patients, with sustained improvements even after a three-month follow-up. The majority of patients decided to continue to practice mindfulness techniques after the study because they believe it benefited them substantially.

Migraines

Pain levels for migraine patients can be decreased with mindfulness meditation, as can quality of life, nervousness, and stress. A small study found that these techniques can improve the frequency and duration of headaches as well.

Fibromyalgia

Mindfulness-based therapy can be an effective fibromyalgia natural treatment. Women taking part in an MBSR program experienced considerably reduced symptom severity, as well as decreased stress and sleep disorder. Those who practiced the most at home in between sessions showed even further symptom reduction.

Try yourself

Along with helping decrease pain, meditation and mindfulness can help improve the immune system, treat misery, and more. In its simplest form, a meditation practice can be five minutes a day of sitting quietly and breathing deeply. But if you are actually struggling with chronic pain symptoms, finding a way to integrate a more involved practice into your daily schedule could benefit you enormously. Try finding meditation classes near you, and try out different types to see what suits you. Or, investigate for an MBSR program, where you will learn the tools essential to practice mindfulness techniques on your own to keep your pain under control.

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References

  • Meditation via fibromyalgia-symptoms
  • Can Meditation Help Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain? via New Life Outlook

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