Meditation-based treatment yielding immediate relief for meditation-naïve migraineurs

Pain Manag Nurs. 2014 Mar;15(1):36-40. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2012.04.002. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


Meditation is gaining popularity as an effective means of managing and attenuating pain and has been particularly effective for migraines. Meditation additionally addresses the negative emotional states known to exist with migraines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of meditation as an immediate intervention for reducing migraine pain as well as alleviating emotional tension, examined herein as a negative affect hypothesized to be correlated with pain. Twenty-seven migraineurs, with two to ten migraines per month, reported migraine-related pain and emotional tension ratings on a Likert scale (ranging from 0 to 10) before and after exposure to a brief meditation-based treatment. All participants were meditation- naïve, and attended one 20-minute guided meditation session based on the Buddhist "loving kindness" approach. After the session, participants reported a 33% decrease in pain and a 43% decrease in emotional tension. The data suggest that a single exposure to a brief meditative technique can significantly reduce pain and tension, as well as offer several clinical implications. It can be concluded that single exposure to a meditative technique can significantly reduce pain and tension. The effectiveness and immediacy of this intervention offers several implications for nurses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Buddhism
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Holistic Nursing / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / nursing
  • Migraine Disorders / psychology*
  • Migraine Disorders / therapy*
  • Stress, Psychological / nursing
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*