Loving-kindness meditation for chronic low back pain: results from a pilot trial
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
J Holist Nurs. 2005 Sep;23(3):287-304.
Loving-kindness meditation for chronic low back pain: results from a pilot trial.
Carson JW1, Keefe FJ, Lynch TR, Carson KM, Goli V, Fras AM, Thorp SR.
Duke University Medical Center, USA.
Loving-kindness meditation has been used for centuries in the Buddhist tradition to develop love and transform anger into compassion. This pilot study tested an 8-week loving-kindness program for chronic low back pain patients.
Patients (N = 43) were randomly assigned to the intervention or standard care. Standardized measures assessed patients' pain, anger, and psychological distress.
Post and follow-up analyses showed significant improvements in pain and psychological distress in the loving-kindness group, but no changes in the usual care group. Multilevel analyses of daily data showed that more loving-kindness practice on a given day was related to lower pain that day and lower anger the next day.
Preliminary results suggest that the loving-kindness program can be beneficial in reducing pain, anger, and psychological distress in patients with persistent low back pain.
Clinicians may find loving-kindness meditation helpful in the treatment of patients with persistent pain.