National library of Medicine
Mindfulness Meditation for Fibromyalgia: Mechanistic and Clinical Considerations
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain and a spectrum of psychological comorbidities, rendering treatment difficult and often a financial burden. Fibromyalgia is a complicated chronic pain condition that requires a multimodal therapeutic approach to optimize treatment efficacy. Thus, it has been postulated that mind-body techniques may prove fruitful in treating fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation, a behavioural technique premised on non-reactive sensory awareness, assists pain, and improves mental health outcomes. However, the impact of mindfulness meditation on fibromyalgia-related outcomes has not been comprehensively characterized. The present review delineates the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of mindfulness meditation in treating fibromyalgia-related outcomes.
Mindfulness-based interventions premised on cultivating acceptance, non-attachment, and social engagement may be most effective in decreasing fibromyalgia-related pain and psychological symptoms. Mindfulness-based therapies may alleviate fibromyalgia-related outcomes through multiple neural, psychological, and physiological processes.
Mindfulness meditation may provide an effective complementary treatment approach for fibromyalgia patients, especially when combined with other reliable techniques (exercise; cognitive behavioural therapy). However, characterizing the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness meditation is a critical step to fostering the clinical validity of this technique.
Identification of the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness-based pain relief could be utilized to better design behavioural interventions to specifically target fibromyalgia-related outcomes.
My own findings when working with people
It’s my personal findings that Mindfulness/Meditation techniques have assisted many people in working with their pain and inflammation, thus resulting in a positive outcome for each person. People don’t tend to try meditation because they think its daft and wonder why would something so simple help?
I cannot re-iterate enough even when I was working with a client (who shall remain unnamed) had intense pain as his diagnosis was terminal cancer, he was open enough to give it a try. The results were as follows: He was able to get his paperwork in order because the intense one hour a week work we did together resulted in his pain going from a 10 (strong) to a 1(low) then lasting on a 1 for 4 days plus, before his pain slowly went back up, by the time he saw me again it was getting higher and we started the process again and again until his only route was morphine until he passed away. What this period gave back to this client was unquestionable – time to talk to his friends and family and arrange for them to see him – time for him to get his paperwork in order – time for him to process what was happening and reach a level of peace with his own mind and body….
The mind and body work as a unit, they cannot work alone and many fail to recognise this working relationship is key, hence mind, body spirit, and this is NOT religion this is fact! The more people who choose to work with themselves as a whole person rather than talking in separation terms will find the magic key, this can bring about a WHOLE new way of being.
Breath Meditation for pain
Alternate Nostril Breathing:
Use the thumb and pointer of one hand to alternately close off one nostril and breathe in with the other; switch and breathe out the other.
– Close left, breathe in right
– Close right, breathe out left
– Keep right closed and breath in left
– Close left, breathe out right
– Keep left closed, breathe in right;
– Continue until the pain has subsided!