Mindfulness therapy may not be effective for managing fibromyalgia
In a recent study, fibromyalgia patients using mindfulness-based stress reduction, such as practising yoga, showed no significant improvements in either physical symptoms or emotional well-being.
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
For the new study, researchers led by Dr. Stefan Schmidt, of the University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany, tested the program’s effects among 177 women with fibromyalgia.
They found that women assigned to the mindfulness program showed no greater gains in health-related quality of life than those assigned to a waiting list for treatment.
Yes, I think we need a little more than that… like some actual pain relief might help. Nevertheless reduction of stress and being mindful of one’s emotional state can’t do any harm and may have some benefit.
That being said I think meditation does something for the perception of pain but not the pain itself. In other words, how we react or cope with pain, but not the physical pain in and of itself. I think it is beneficial to practice among other pain coping skills.
It may not help by itself. I wouldn’t say mindfulness helps by itself for any pain condition, to be honest. In conjunction with medication and other pain management strategies perhaps it is more beneficial. However, with the fear of opiates often people are taken off what was once effective medication and told to mindfully meditate instead as if this will replace their pain management… and that simply isn’t true. What worked in conjunction with medication does not necessarily help at all by itself.
I do find mindful meditation and other types of meditation to be very relaxing. And perhaps they do help with the perception of pain. More so for migraines than fibromyalgia I find. And relaxation breathing for a severe migraine can get me through the pain. But I can see how the results for fibromyalgia came back this way. Yoga for me actually caused harm- however- I have hypermobility syndrome as well as fibromyalgia, so one shouldn’t do yoga if one is excessively flexible.