In some cases, the holistic practice could replace narcotics. Integrating meditation into regular treatment could significantly cut healthcare costs.
Persistent pain is not only life-altering for the patient, (causing missed worked days or early retirement, traumatic experiences, discomfort, and lack of sleep), but it is extremely costly. Pain is also difficult to manage. While narcotics can help patients considerably, many patients on opiates feel they can’t function as well. They develop a drug high, have cloudy thought processes, and while they do not feel the pain as strongly, they are not at a their baseline functioning level.
In hundreds of studies conducted over the past decade, researchers have examined meditation’s effects on people, such as attention regulation, awareness of the body, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction. Scientists have also studied the use of meditation as a treatment for pain. In these studies, meditation has been shown to help pain, sometimes significantly, though not cure it.