article: In pain? Try meditation

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article: In pain? Try meditation

Postby octathlon » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:30 am

A study where they rated people's experience of pain before and after four 20-minutes sessions of meditation.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/05/me ... index.html
In the study, researchers mildly burned 15 men and women in a lab on two separate occasions, before and after the volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation training sessions over the course of four days. During the second go-round, when the participants were instructed to meditate, they rated the exact same pain stimulus -- a 120-degree heat on their calves -- as being 57 percent less unpleasant and 40 percent less intense, on average.

A question I have about this study is, was there a control group with the same process but no meditation? Without one you can't prove meditation was the cause. Maybe the second time they reacted differently because they knew what to expect, or some other factor.

Anyway, I think the part I highlight in red below is interesting:
The conventional wisdom has been that meditation relieves pain not by diminishing sensation but by helping people consciously control their perception of pain, says Katharine MacLean, Ph.D., a meditation researcher and postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

However, she says, the brain scans make it clear that both processes take place: Mediation changes the nature of pain before it's perceived and also allows people to better handle it. "Meditation is really kind of retuning your brain," MacLean says.
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Re: article: In pain? Try meditation

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:44 pm

Thank you for making this very interesting post!
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: article: In pain? Try meditation

Postby Nibbida » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:15 pm

Here's the actual paper:
http://www.psych.uncc.edu/pagoolka/JoP2010.pdf

The control condition was reading a magazine in experiment 1.

In experiment 2, the control conditions were relaxation and distraction (by doing serial calculations, i.e. start at 1000 and subtract by 7. Ack!).

There's no way a study would have made it into a journal like that without adequate controls. It's a very reputable one.

:anjali:
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
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Re: article: In pain? Try meditation

Postby octathlon » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:15 pm

That's a different study, but the conclusions are the same.
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