Loving-kindess meditation beneficial in reducing back pain and anger

Carson, J. W., et al. (2005). Loving-Kindness Meditation for Chronic Low Back Pain Results From a Pilot Trial. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 23(3), 287-304Full text.

Purpose: 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.

Method: Patients (N = 43) were randomly assigned to the intervention or standard care. Standardized measures assessed patients’ pain, anger, and psychological distress.

Findings: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

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