Mindfulness meditation reduces pain by separating it from th
After baseline pain testing, 40 participants were randomized to well-validated, four-session mindfulness meditation or book-listening regimen. Functional MRI and noxious heat (49°C; right calf) were combined during meditation to test the study hypotheses. Mindfulness meditation significantly reduced behavioral and neural pain responses when compared to the controls. Preregistered (NCT03414138) whole-brain analyses revealed that mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was moderated by greater thalamus-precuneus decoupling and ventromedial prefrontal deactivation, respectively, signifying a pain-modulatory role across functionally distinct neural mechanisms supporting self-referential processing. Two separate preregistered seed-to-seed analyses found that mindfulness meditation-based pain-relief was also associated with weaker contralateral thalamic connectivity with the prefrontal and primary somatosensory cortex, respectively. So, we propose that mindfulness meditation is associated with a novel self-referential-nociceptive gating mechanism to reduce pain.

Source: https://journals.lww.com/pain/Abstract/9900/Disentangling_self_from_pain__mindfulness.127.aspx