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Chang Gung Med J. 2002 Aug;25(8):538-41.

Mindfulness meditation in the control of severe headache.

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Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, ROC.


In the West, the use of the methods of alternative medicine, including meditation, has been on the rise. In the US, Kabat-Zinn and associates have pioneered the extensive use of mindfulness meditation (MM) for the treatment of people facing pain and illness. Among the essentials of MM is the observation of bodily sensations, including pain. In Taiwan, despite the deep cultural roots of meditation, its therapeutic use has received little attention from institutionalized medicine. We report on the case of a man who was prone to developing severe headaches due to activities requiring extreme concentration. He learned to control his pain and discomfort through mindfulness meditation, although this practice in fact induced headaches initially. It is suggested that training in MM may be a medically superior and cost-effective alternative to pain medication for the control of headaches with no underlying organic causes in highly motivated patients.

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