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Is mindfulness the new paracetamol? Brain scans show practice can act like a painkiller 

Trendy mindfulness meditation may be used as a pain reliever, a study suggests.

The practice involves being ‘present’ with your thoughts and feelings, normally using breathing techniques.

It’s said to help people feel less sad when faced with stressful emotional situations, but now scientists say they’ve proven for the first time that it can also treat physical pain.

They had about 30 healthy Americans take an eight-week mindfulness course and compared them with a control group.

The participants received a brain scan before and after the course while their limbs were exposed to heat to determine a pain response.

Those who practiced mindfulness showed less activity in the brain regions responsible for pain compared to the control group.

A separate experiment with long-term mindfulness followers indicated that they had physical changes in their brains that affected their perception of pain.

Researchers claim the results suggest that mindfulness could be used in place of opioids or other pain relievers for people with chronic pain.

The practice of mindfulness is on the rise, especially in the US, and some studies estimate that 5.7 million Americans have tried it at least once.

University of Wisconsin researchers have found that mindfulness can be used as a form of pain management (stock image)

University of Wisconsin researchers have found that mindfulness can be used as a form of pain management (stock image)

A number of celebrities have endorsed mindfulness, including Harry Potter star Emma Watson (pictured here last October)

A number of celebrities have endorsed mindfulness, including Harry Potter star Emma Watson (pictured here last October)

A number of celebrities have endorsed mindfulness, including Harry Potter star Emma Watson (pictured here last October)

Hollywood star and envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie is also a proponent of the technique (pictured here in Ukraine in April)

Hollywood star and envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie is also a proponent of the technique (pictured here in Ukraine in April)

Hollywood star and envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie is also a proponent of the technique (pictured here in Ukraine in April)

1659762593 628 Is mindfulness the new paracetamol Brain scans show practice can

1659762593 628 Is mindfulness the new paracetamol Brain scans show practice can

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey has also talked about how she believes mindfulness helps people “be present” to those they love.

Professional tennis player Novak Djokovic has said that as an athlete he used mindfulness as part of a mental training regimen

Professional tennis player Novak Djokovic has said that as an athlete he used mindfulness as part of a mental training regimen

Professional tennis player Novak Djokovic has said that as an athlete he used mindfulness as part of a mental training regimen

The use of drugs in pain management has come under scrutiny due to an increase in opioid addiction in the US.

There are also fears of a similar burgeoning crisis in the UK, with opioid hospital admissions skyrocketing over the past decade as more Britons use painkillers while on the NHS waiting lists for surgeries such as hip or knee replacements.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a popular form of meditation where you focus on being intensely aware of what you are feeling and feeling in that moment.

The practice includes breathing methods, guided imagery, and other exercises to relax the mind and body and reduce stress.

It is often touted as a universal tool to boost mental wellbeing by reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

Mindfulness has become popular in recent years as a way to improve mental and physical well-being.

Celebrities who endorse it include Emma Watson, Davina McCall, Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey.

Mindfulness is a form of guided meditation in which people pay attention to the present moment and their immediate thoughts and feelings.

It generally includes breathing methods, guided imagery, and other exercises to relax the mind and body and help reduce stress.

Over time, the technique is said to improve mental well-being by helping people become aware of the present moment, help them enjoy the world around them and better understand themselves.

In the latest study, by the University of Wisconsin, 28 healthy adults received a two-month mindfulness course that consisted of a two-and-a-half-hour weekly group lesson, a one-day retreat, and 45 minutes of mindfulness. a day at home.

It included simple yoga, mindfulness meditation, and body scanning, a technique in which a person pays attention to their body and sensations in a gradual order from head to toe.

Eighty-seven people were used as a control group and went about their normal lives.

Scientists created image scans of the participants’ brains before and after the eight-week study, looking for two parts of the organ that are normally activated in response to pain.

The researchers gently applied heat to the participants’ forearms, slowly increasing the temperature to mimic a pain response.

By publishing their findings in The American Journal of Psychiatry, researchers found that people who took the mindfulness course were less active in one of the pain regions.

Lead author Dr Joseph Wielgosz, a psychologist in Wisconsin, said, “Our finding supports the idea that mindfulness training for new practitioners directly affects how the body’s sensory signals are converted into a brain response,” he said.

The researchers also examined the brains of “experienced” mindfulness practitioners, those who go on intensive mediation retreats.

dr. Wielgosz said these scans showed that mindfulness training had altered the areas of the brain that shape how we experience pain.

“Just as an experienced athlete practices a sport differently than a first-time practitioner, experienced mindfulness practitioners seem to use their mental ‘muscles’ differently in response to pain than first-time meditators,” he said.

Opioid hospitalizations in England (the black line) have grown to just over 16,000 cases in 2018, up from about 10,000 in 2008, an increase of about 50 percent in a decade, mainly driven by an increase in the number of opioid poisonings considered more serious. considered (the blue dotted line) than opioid abuse (the green dotted line)

Opioid hospitalizations in England (the black line) have grown to just over 16,000 cases in 2018, up from about 10,000 in 2008, an increase of about 50 percent in a decade, mainly driven by an increase in the number of opioid poisonings considered more serious. considered (the blue dotted line) than opioid abuse (the green dotted line)

Opioid hospitalizations in England (the black line) have grown to just over 16,000 cases in 2018, up from about 10,000 in 2008, an increase of about 50 percent in a decade, mainly driven by an increase in the number of opioid poisonings considered more serious. considered (the blue dotted line) than opioid abuse (the green dotted line)

be mindful?

Experts give five tips for a person to get into a state of mindfulness

First, a focus on the breath. A person must recognize when he inhales and exhales and himself ‘home’ on his breath

Then a person should tighten up and make sure to focus on the pulse of his breath

The next step is to increase your awareness of just your breath to your body as a whole and be aware of where the tension lies within the self.

Fourth, a person must release the tension and enter a greater state of relaxation

Once a person enters a state of mindfulness, they are advised to practice ‘walking meditation’, where they remain attentive as they move and enjoy every movement their body makes

Source: Mindful.org

In the US, an estimated one-fifth of Americans live with some form of chronic pain.

America is still living with the effects of the opioid epidemic that began in the early 2000s.

Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death among young Americans — more deaths in a year than ever were killed annually from HIV, gun violence or car accidents.

In 2019, the Center for Disease Control revealed that nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdose.

This is an increase from about 59,000 just three years earlier, in 2016, and more than double the death rate from ten years ago.

It means that drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

In the UK, the National Institute for Care Excellence estimates that 28 million, about four in ten Britons, are living with some form of chronic pain.

One of the most common causes of chronic pain in the UK is arthritis, a condition that causes pain and swelling in people’s joints, which is more common in older people.

Doctors are looking for alternative ways to manage pain due to growing concerns about opioid use, both in the UK and the US.

A study published in February found that hospitalizations for opioid overdoses in Britain have risen by 50 percent in a decade.

The researchers, from the London School of Economics, emphasized that there was a six-fold increase in patients with multiple underlying health conditions requiring emergency care before using opioids, suggesting they may have misused them as part of pain management.

HOW AMERICA IS ADDICTED TO OPIDEN AND IS THE SAME HAPPENING IN THE UK?

New research has found that opioid hospital admissions have risen by 50 percent in England over the past decade, raising fears that the UK could face an opioid crisis similar to that in the US, which has devastated thousands of families.

In the early 2000s, the FDA and CDC began to notice a steady increase in opioid addiction and overdose cases. In 2013, they issued guidelines to curb addiction.

However, that same year — now considered the year of the spread of the painkiller epidemic — a CDC report revealed an unprecedented rise in the number of opioid addictions.

Overdose deaths are now the leading cause of death among young Americans — more deaths in a year than ever were killed annually from HIV, gun violence or car accidents.

In 2019, the CDC revealed that nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdose.

This is an increase from about 59,000 just three years earlier, in 2016, and more than double the death rate from ten years ago.

It means that drug overdoses are currently the leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 50.

The data exposes the bleak state of the US opioid addiction crisis, fueled by deadly manufactured drugs like fentanyl.

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