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Reducing chronic pain and stress without harmful side effects
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18 November 2009
Christopher Clark, M.D., answers questions about the effect of Transcendental Meditation for chronic pain. Dr. Clark has practiced medicine for over 20 years and is currently a psychiatrist in Vero Beach, Florida. He is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, and recipient of a child psychology fellowship from the University of Washington.
In a series of questions and answers on the www.doctorsontm.org website, Dr. Clark comments that the Transcendental Meditation technique is not an analgesic. 'It's a preventative,' he said. 'It tends to reduce the possibility of pain, and it also strengthens the physiology. One's actual pain threshold may not change, but the physiology gets stronger and therefore the pain is not experienced as acutely.'
It has been shown through scientific research that when one practices Transcendental Meditation regularly, the brain physiology changes. According to research studies funded by the (US) National Institutes of Health, involving neuro-imaging of the thalamus and prefrontal cortex, long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique showed a 40-50% reduction in brain activity in response to pain, compared with a control group of non-meditators.
Research shows also that regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation program dissolves stress-aggravated conditions. It allows people to manage tension in their lives to the extent that headaches or other pain-aggravated conditions are reduced or eliminated altogether.
'Abundant research studies show that during the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, more coherence gets generated in the brain, as measured by brain-wave frequencies,' Dr. Clark said. 'The whole brain becomes more balanced, and this is reflected in more happiness, less stress, and reduced tendency for anxiety, depression, and pain.'
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