Whether you are a beginner or a meditation “maven,” with practice and perseverance, the benefits of the practice of meditation reaps benefits both mentally, physically and also spiritually. As alternative healing practices are working their way into Westernized medicine, we are seeing studies proving that combining traditional medicine and holistic healing brings greater outcome of relief of pain and healing when it comes to patient care.
Recently, a study took patients with chronic low-back pain, and used both mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helped to significantly alleviate patients’ pain, with the mindfulness strategy proving to be particularly helpful.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared the results of 342 patients, who used only one of the two strategies for a year.
Patients in the CBT group used thought and behavior modification strategies to counter pain, while those in the MBSR group used a strategy that incorporated elements of yoga and meditation. Both groups attended weekly workshops for eight weeks and were given resources to practice their respective strategies at home.
While both methods reduced chronic low-back pain, the MBSR group’s pain relief lasted significantly longer. The CBT method saw results capped at 26 weeks, while the MBSR patients saw results continue after 52 weeks.
The researchers, from Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, stressed that finding non-medication methods of treating pain is vital. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), which is part of the National Institutes of Health.