Mindfulness therapy no help in fibromyalgia trial

December 30, 2010

A program aimed at easing stress with meditation and yoga may not be much help for people with the chronic-pain condition fibromyalgia, a recent study suggests.

The study, published in the journal Pain, looked at the effects of so-called mindfulness-based stress reduction — a technique developed by researchers at the University of Massachusetts in 1979 that combines mindfulness meditation and gentle yoga postures.

The technique is now available throughout the world — in the form of an eight-week program of classes — to help people manage general stress or health problems, including chronic pain.

For the new study, researchers led by Dr. Stefan Schmidt, of the University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany, tested the program’s … Read more »

Yoga by prescription: Doctors treat back pain with yoga

December 23, 2010

After months of agonizing back pain, Suellen Rinker was at a loss.

A surgeon suggested a range of options: painkillers, medication injected into the spine, back surgery. An MRI scan revealed a herniated spinal disk, and the pain, like a stabbing ice pick, filled her days with misery and robbed her nights of sleep.

“I was taking massive amounts of ibuprofen,” the 51-year-old Portland woman says. “I did have one of the spinal shots. It wasn’t particularly effective.”

Suspicious of surgery, Rinker decided to try a therapy her surgeon hadn’t offered but her primary care physician enthusiastically endorsed: yoga. Working one-on-one with a physical therapist yoga instructor, Rinker learned to practice three simple stretching positions … Read more »

Study: Yoga helps with fibromyalgia pain

November 29, 2010

Yoga that includes gentle stretching exercises combined with meditation can lessen the symptoms of fibromyalgia, a U.S. study found.

Twenty-five women diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, took part in a 2-hour weekly yoga class for eight weeks.

At the end of the study, the group reported improvements in both physical and psychological aspects of fibromyalgia, including decreased pain, fatigue, tenderness, anxiety and better sleep and mood, HealthDay reported Thursday.

Read the rest of this article…

Researcher finds link between meditative breathing and pain relief

We’ve all been told to “just breathe.” But a few psychology researchers at ASU and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix took that a step further in a study that took a closer look at the actual value of breathing.

The study, more specifically, looked at how meditative breathing affects the way women with fibromyalgia respond to pain in the form of heat pulses.

College Times met with Alex Zautra, the lead author of the study and a foundation professor of psychology at ASU, to talk about what this study means to the public, the idea of pain and pain treatments and the value of meditation.

College Times: From what I gather, this study was Read more »

Slow breathing may soothe pain

February 9, 2010

Fox News: The simple practice of slow breathing may help people deal with the physical and emotional reactions to moderate pain, a small study suggests.

Researchers say the findings, published in the journal Pain, offer support for the idea that yoga-style breathing exercises and meditation can help ease chronic pain.

The study gauged pain responses among 27 women with the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and 25 healthy women the same age.

Researchers found that when they had the women perform slow breathing, it dampened their reactions to a moderately painful stimulus — brief pulses of heat from a probe placed on the palm. Overall, the women rated the pain intensity as lower and reported less … Read more »