If you haven’t already experienced the soothing powers of yoga firsthand, there’s ample evidence to support adding the practice to your pain-fighting arsenal.
Meditation may be the answer to easing recurring or chronic neck pain, a 2o15 study in The Journal of Pain suggests. Researchers found that a majority of study participants who experienced chronic neck pain reported a significant reduction in pain and pain-related complaints after eight weeks of jyoti meditation practice, a traditional Indian meditation technique involving the repetition of mantras and focus on the third eye.
Combining the mindful practice of yoga and meditation with traditional medical treatment can help chronic pain sufferers find more relief than medicine alone, according to research conducted by Patrick Randolph, Ph.D., at Texas Tech University. His study followed 78 patients with chronic pain, which unlike acute pain, is often not associated with a particular injury and can come and go over months or even years with no pattern. In addition to whatever medical treatment they were undergoing before, during, and after the study, the participants attended several cycles of two-hour classes that used gentle poses with an emphasis on mindfulness. They were also required to meditate for a minimum of 45 minutes per day, six days per week, with the aid of an audiocassette tape. Afterward, 79 percent said their condition somewhat or greatly improved.