Originally Posted by carscheles
I'm not sure what mindfulness meditation is ...
It's a form of meditation originating in India, often associated with religions and belief systems such as Buddhism. However, increasingly it's now being subjected to modern scientific investigation and appears to be showing promise in various areas.
It's not something I could explain in a short post (even if I fully understood it myself!), but essentially it consists of sitting quietly and gradually training your mind to just be "in the moment". That means, increasing your ability to just observe your own thoughts without judging them or being distracted by them. It's hard to do.
The connection with pain is, I *think*, that the discomfort of pain has two components. The pain itself, and our *reaction* to that pain. And it's often the latter that is more debilitating. Pain itself isn't going to be fixed by meditation. That's where all the usual remedies come in - exercise, medication, and so on. But our reaction to pain can be controlled by a skilful meditator.
There are reports of people living with the pain of terminal cancer and using meditation to manage that. And I know of one person who used to have dental treatment such as fillings without any anesthesia, controlling the pain by meditating. This isn't new of course. I've read reports of a urologist who used hypnosis to allow male patients to undergo vasectomies without anesthesia (shudder).
It all adds to the idea though that there is pain, and there is our mental reaction to the pain. With training, we can do a lot about the latter.
If you're interested in finding out more, the best way is probably to find a local class. Ask your doc perhaps?