Mind-Body Practice: Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain

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If you suffer or know someone who suffers from depression, anxiety or chronic pain, it may seem like there is little to do, but “suffer” through.

Here is one new option that might provide some relief. It has been shown that meditation practices, such as Yoga, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi, may protect your brain from illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Here are the details behind that statement:

Mind-Body Techniques Counteract Effects Of Chronic Pain On Brain Anatomy: Study

“At the APS 2015 annual meeting in Palm Springs, California, M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, presented research showing that mind-body practices may be helpful to this population.

Bushnell, of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, said in an APS news release, ‘Imaging studies in multiple types of chronic pain patients show their brains differ from healthy control subjects.

Studies of people with depression show they also have reduced gray matter, and this could contribute to the gray matter changes in pain patients who are depressed.

Our research shows that gray matter loss is directly related to the pain when we take depression into account’.

She added, ‘Brain anatomy changes may contribute to mood disorders and other affective and cognitive comorbidities of chronic pain.

The encouraging news for people with chronic pain is mind-body practices seem to exert a protective effect on brain gray matter that counteracts the neuroanatomical effects of chronic pain’.”1

How To:

That may seem like a lofty goal to just start meditating. Some ideas are to look for short instructional video on media sites such as YouTube.

If you would like a moving meditation there are some great short videos (7-10 minutes) for Qi Gong led by Lee Holden. Here is one example:

You might as well try it to see if it helps! As always, contact me with any questions.

References   [ + ]

1.Mind-Body Practices, Chronic Pain and the Brain, Shirley Archer, 2015, Ideafit.com.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Sara Foster

Sara is an engineer turned fitness professional after realizing training clients is way more fun. A nerd at heart, she geeks out on the science behind exercise. As a result, she’s highly focused on form, posture and balance in her approach to personal training. Sara looks to provide a fun and challenging exercise plan tailored for each client. Whether it’s in the gym, or supporting clients outside the gym for their athletic endeavors, nutrition, and overall health, Sara is passionate about helping clients find activities to incorporate into their lifestyle. Sara works with clients in the Downtown San Diego Big Bricks studio.

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