A new study published in the journal of neuroscience and headed by assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., determined that a cognitive based approach to pain treatment was more effective than commonly prescribed opioid medications. In addition to meditation, other forms of cognitive therapy proved reliable in pain management as well.
- Deep Breathing
The lead researcher indicated that mindfulness was the key factor in reducing or eliminating pain altogether. “Our finding was surprising and could be important for the millions of chronic pain sufferers who are seeking a fast-acting, non-opiate-based therapy to alleviate their pain,” Zeidan said. If this research is true it would cast a dark shadow on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry and its unrelenting promulgation of opioid painkillers.
What’s Wrong with Painkillers?
Opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin as well as their endless spawns of derivatives such as Percocet and Codeine all have one commonality – they are highly addictive and deadly. People start out taking these drugs innocently enough because they are prescribed by their trusted physicians. People tend to put too much blind faith in the recommendations of their doctor however as these are very slippery substances. Initially they can seem like a godsend, reducing pain and providing much needed relief. However these results tend to wane over time, requiring the patient to take higher and higher doses to elicit the same reduction in pain response. This is where things can take an ugly turn.
What Happens when the Prescription needs Refilling?
Eventually the patient will run out of their prescribed meds at which point all hell can break loose. The withdrawal from pain medication is ironically enough worse than the initial pain the patient was seeking help with in the first place. Desperate for a solution to their increasingly worrisome problem the patient may resort to questionable means of obtaining more pain pills. They can go so far as go doctor shopping where they find a doctor to write phony and fraudulent prescriptions or in more hopeless situations look for hard core street drug alternatives like Heroin and other opiates. When the addiction gets to this point there is usually no turning back. Relief from the pain becomes the only objective for the user and their world revolves around scoring more dope, at the expense of everything else around them, including family and loved ones.
Meditate the Pain Away!
In light of this groundbreaking new discovery regarding the painkilling effects of meditation we encourage you to practice this and other alternative forms of treatment. Find a place where you can sit quietly uninterrupted for at least 10-20 minutes everyday and close your eyes and clear your head of any thoughts. Focus only on deep breathing and stillness. Practicing meditation and other forms of mindfulness everyday like yoga will get you feeling better in no time. Like everything at first it will be challenging, but with consistent practice it will become a daily habitual self-care routine that will provide life-changing results. You will experience reduction in pain and even bursts of creativity and less anxiety. What’s not to love? You don’t even need to shell out money from your wallet for this age old spiritual practice. Give it a try for a few days and see if it doesn’t make a difference.