How does mindfulness help with chronic pain?
Mindfulness offers a switch from thinking to sensing, with a tuning into the fine sensations of the body. Noticing sensations during the practices of body
scan meditation, sitting meditation and mindful movement can help to shift patterns of emotional reactivity. Structural changes occur in the brain
in regions responsible for attention and emotional regulatory processes, memory, self-referential processing, empathy, self-compassion and perspective
taking (Holzel, B. K. et al., 2011a).
More flexible connections in the brain occur so there is less getting stuck in automatic patterns of reverberating pain and worrying thoughts (Kerr et
al 2013). This offers a new perspective with space for appreciation of beauty, engagement in creative pursuits and personal empowerment.