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Current Rheumatology Reports

, 19:59 | Cite as

Mindfulness Meditation for Fibromyalgia: Mechanistic and Clinical Considerations

  • Adrienne L. Adler-Neal
  • Fadel ZeidanEmail author
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (S Kolasinski, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain and a spectrum of psychological comorbidities, rendering treatment difficult and often a financial burden. Fibromyalgia is a complicated chronic pain condition that requires a multimodal therapeutic approach to optimize treatment efficacy. Thus, it has been postulated that mind-body techniques may prove fruitful in treating fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation, a behavioral technique premised on non-reactive sensory awareness, attenuates pain and improves mental health outcomes. However, the impact of mindfulness meditation on fibromyalgia-related outcomes has not been comprehensively characterized. The present review delineates the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of mindfulness meditation in treating fibromyalgia-related outcomes.

Recent Findings

Mindfulness-based interventions premised on cultivating acceptance, non-attachment, and social engagement may be most effective in decreasing fibromyalgia-related pain and psychological symptoms. Mindfulness-based therapies may alleviate fibromyalgia-related outcomes through multiple neural, psychological, and physiological processes.

Summary

Mindfulness meditation may provide an effective complementary treatment approach for fibromyalgia patients, especially when combined with other reliable techniques (exercise; cognitive behavioral therapy). However, characterizing the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness meditation is a critical step to fostering the clinical validity of this technique. Identification of the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness-based pain relief could be utilized to better design behavioral interventions to specifically target fibromyalgia-related outcomes.

Keywords

Pain Fibromyalgia Mindfulness Meditation fMRI Inflammation 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

References

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurobiology and AnatomyWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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