Following on the heels of research showing that meditation can be twice as effective as narcotics for pain relief, a Duke University study is showing similar findings. The Duke study focused on using guided meditation for pain relief and anxiety reduction. Specifically the study showed that patients who used guided imagery and meditation programs during breast cancer biopsy procedures experienced less pain and anxiety than those who either listened to music or spoke with technicians through the procedure.
According to questionnaires, patients using guided meditation and imagery programs had significantly lower self-reported pain scores throughout the biopsy procedure. Guided meditation also seemed to decrease anxiety and fatigue.
Dr. Mary Scott Soo of the Duke Cancer Institute explains the value of this research as the contrast between the “medical approach- providing anti-anxiety drugs,” and the “simple, inexpensive alternative” of guided meditation.
The guided meditation program provided for this study included a “loving-kindness” script designed to elicit positive emotions and release negative feelings.
This study adds further evidence to the theory of meditation’s ability to reduce pain. A recent Wake Forest study showed meditation to be significantly more effective than traditional opioids for relief of chronic pain.
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