“Mindfulness Meditation is proven to reduce pain at a neurobiological level:
In recent years, a growing body of evidence has found that mindfulness and meditation have the ability to relieve pain by creating structural and functional changes in the brain. I’ve written a broad range of Psychology Today blog posts on this topic. In this post, I’ve compiled the latest science-based findings in a retrospective analysis of “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation and Pain Relief.”

Most recently, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist have found new evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces pain more effectively than placebos by activating two specific brain regions associated with self-control and deactivating the thalamus.


Brain_Pain_ Sebastian Kaulitzki_Shutterstock


The November 2015 study (link is external) reports that mindfulness meditation outperforms a placebo in pain reduction. The report was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. These findings are significant because placebo-controlled trials are necessary to demonstrate the efficacy of clinical and pharmacological pain treatments.

In a press release, lead author Fadel Zeidan (link is external), assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist, described the study”

“While we thought that there would be some overlap in brain regions between meditation and placebo, the findings from this study provide novel and objective evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces pain in a unique fashion. This study is the first to show that mindfulness meditation is mechanistically distinct and produces pain relief above and beyond the analgesic effects seen with either placebo cream or sham meditation.”

article published in Psychology Today, by Christopher Bergland
Nov. 11, 2015

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