The transcendental meditation technique and acute experimental pain

Author: Mills WW//Farrow JT
Conference/Journal: Psychosom Med
Date published: 1981
Other: Volume ID: 43 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 157-64 , Word Count: 133

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique decreases the distress associated with the experience of acute experimental pain. Fifteen advanced mediators and 15 controls were administered the cold pressor test before and after a 20 minute period of meditation (TM group) or relaxation (control group). Verbal reports of the intensity of pain sensation and pain distress were obtained at intervals during the cold pressor trials. Skin resistance and heart rate were measured throughout. The mean distress level for the TM group was significantly lower than controls during both trials; the mean pain sensation level for the TM group did not differ significantly from controls during either trial. Heart rate and skin resistant changed for both groups in the expected manner, with no significant differences between groups. The validity, implications, and possible causes of these results are discussed.