Mindfulness may reduce pain not only in adults but also in adolescents.

Mindfulness appears to reduce the effect of pain on day-to-day functioning in adolescents, according to a new study published in The Journal of Pain by Canadian researchers. This was a scientifically rigorous study of 198 boys and girls aged 13 to 18 years. The researchers made an effort to recruit some children who meditated and some who did not. They were all subjected to the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure questionnaire and to the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (questions such as “When I have pain I feel I can’t stand it anymore). They were asked about their daily pains, such as headache, stomachache, tooth pain, muscle pain, back pain. They were also subjected to experimental pain, which was produced by submerging their hand into ice cold water. The results showed that mindfulness had a direct effect on pain interference with daily activity and an indirect effect on the experimental pain intensity and tolerance by producing less catastrophizing.

The good news is that mindfulness is something that can be learned by meditation and can be taught as part of a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy. Kids with migraines, headaches, and other pains should be always advised to start with meditation, biofeedback, or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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