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Meditation er lige så effektivt som smertestillende midler til at lindre ubehag, viser et nyt forskningsresultat.

Blot 10 minutter af den populærer buddhistiske udøvelse kan bruges som et alternativ til paracetamol, ibuprofen og aspirin.

At praktisere denne udøvelse, som har eksisteret i århundreder, forbedrer ens smertetærskel, har et lille forsøg vist.

Resultatet understøttes af tidligere resultater, som indikerer, at mindfulness hjælper med at berolige sindet og virker ved at styrke hjernens funktion.

Forkningsresultatet bidrager også til de voksende tegn på, at stermtestillende midler i det store og hele er ineffektive, og at ubehag mest af alt eksisterer i sindet.

Kommentar: Delvist oversat af fra For pain, meditation beats meds

How was the study carried out?

Researchers at Leeds Beckett University used a group of 24 healthy university-aged students for the study.

They were randomly split into either a control group or a meditation group.

All volunteers experienced pain through a cold-pressor task in the form of putting their hand in cold water before removing it when they could no longer bare it.

They then either sat quietly for ten minutes or meditated for the same time frame before repeating the same experiment.

Five groups of data were then collected; anxiety towards pain, pain threshold, pain tolerance, pain intensity and pain unpleasantness.

What did they find?

There was no difference in pain reported by participants for the initial cold-pressor task, the study showed.

But for the second, those in the meditation group reported a significant increase in their pain threshold and tolerance.

Dr Osama Tashani, who was involved in the study, said: 'While further research is needed to explore this in a more clinical setting on chronic pain patients, these results do show that a brief mindfulness meditation intervention can be of benefit in pain relief.

'The ease of application and cost effectiveness of the mindfulness meditation may also make it a viable addition to the arsenal of therapies for pain management.

'The mindfulness mediation was led by a researcher who was a novice; so in theory clinicians could administer this with little training needed.

'It's based on traditional Buddhist teachings which focuses attention and awareness on your breathing.'

Previous findings

It comes after researchers last year also found that meditation is more effective than medication at easing chronic lower back pain.

The Group Health Research Institute study noted that the technique of quietening the mind could be used by some to help alleviate pain.

Training the brain to respond differently to pain signals may be an effective pain relief tool, the authors said.

The new findings also comes after leading doctors in the US warned that back pain should only be treated with painkillers as a last resort.

In a review of the evidence, the American College of Physicians said pills should only be used after physical therapies had failed.