Meditation

Rating

Category: Life Style Options

Injury Type: Chronic

What is it?

The term meditation refers to a variety of techniques or practices intended to focus or control attention. Generally, meditating involves the use of certain techniques such as focusing attention on the breath, or a specific posture. It is also important participants maintain an open attitude toward distracting thoughts and emotions.

How does it work?

Practicing meditation has been shown to induce some changes in the body, such as changes in the body's 'fight or flight' response. The system responsible for this response is the autonomic nervous system (sometimes called the involuntary nervous system). It regulates many organs and muscles, including functions such as the heartbeat, sweating, breathing and digestion. It conducts these functions automatically. The autonomic nervous system is divided into two major parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. Meditation may reduce the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and increase activity in the parasympathetic nervous system.

Is it effective?

There are no studies assessing the effectiveness of meditation on reducing symptoms from whiplash. Meditation has been shown to help with reducing low back pain.

Are there any disadvantages?

Meditation is generally safe. If you are interested in learning meditation, ask about the training and experience of the instructor.

Where do you get it?

Community groups and instructors may run meditation classes. There are also therapists who teach meditation, and these are listed in the appropriate section of the Yellow Pages.

Recommendations

There is presently no evidence that meditation can help with reducing whiplash symptoms. Therefore, its use cannot be recommended until further research is conducted.

Key References

  • Morone, NE, Greco, CM & Weiner, DK 2007, 'Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study', Pain, in press.
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