What: Chronic pain is a common and serious medical condition that affects an estimated 100 million people in the United States. What’s worse, chronic pain often goes hand-in-hand with depression.
The good news if you are a chronic-pain sufferer, is that even if the root cause may not be easy to resolve, there are tools that will help you manage it better. A recently published study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association showed that yoga and meditation are two such tools.
The study consisted of teaching yoga and meditation techniques in an 8-week course consisting of weekly 2.5 hour sessions. The main tenet of the course was to train people to have an awareness of the self in the present moment in a nonjudgmental manner. The result: nearly 90% of participants reported significant improvement in perceptions of pain, mood, and functional capacity.
Takeaway: The benefits yoga and meditation go well beyond de-stressing. The mental tools we learn through their practice can help us to better deal with adversity, such as the presence of chronic pain.