According to research and methodologies increasingly carried out by various health specialists, the beneficial results of the MINDFULNESS or “FULL ATTENTION” practice in pain control processes, as well as in various areas of pain management, can be seen more clearly. life, if not at all. Being then a valuable tool for comprehensive health care, we will have an approach to various systematic reviews that (Miguel Quintana and María Esther Rincón Fernández) of the Official College of Psychologists of Madrid, Spain, have been given the task of developing; being of our particular interest because, in VITAL BALANCE, our vision of health comes from a comprehensive approach, which does not neglect the biopsychosocial sphere that surrounds each patient, in addition to being of special importance mental health care in these moments of Global transformation.
The fundamental basis of mindfulness is the intentional use of attention to establish an ALTERNATIVE CONFIGURATION OF INFORMATION PROCESSING. Thus, mindfulness meditation achieves objectives similar to those of some cognitive psychotherapy techniques, for example, “stopping thought” and observing cognitive distortions, among others, although the objectives are achieved through other means.
While other techniques are aimed at cognitive reorientation to eliminate automatic and intrusive thoughts, mindfulness meditation defends that those elements that arise in the individual’s consciousness should only be observed, not judged or intentionally confronted (Miller, Fletcher and Kabat- Zinn, 1995; Vandenbergue and Sousa, 2006).
The ancient practice of mindfulness involves focusing attention on a single object, internal or external, becoming aware of any other stimulation of the environment and focusing on a specific or sensory / mental activity, for example, the repetition of a sound, visualization of an image, or the sensation / attention of the breath. This is achieved, through fair observation, that our thoughts do not distort our emotions, preventing the perpetuation of harmful levels of anxiety and depression. (Menezes and Dell’Aglio, 2009).
In this sense, mindfulness meditation is considered a mental training that achieves a greater body-mind connection, as well as an external body-world (Brefczynski-Lewis, Lutz, Schaeffer, Levinson and Davidson, 2007; Slagter et al., 2007).
The development of mindfulness ability is gradual and systematic, requiring that it be carried out regular practice, usually through meditation and intentional redirection of attention to the present moment, as well as to daily daily activities. In this way, the ability to realize the experience moment by moment generates a richer and more vital sense of life. If the mental content is observed persistently and without judging, a gradual increase in the ability to perceive one’s own mental responses to internal and external stimulation is achieved.
This favors the regulation of affective actions, as well as a greater perception of control, including, the body, which in the case of our patients is a determining factor on many occasions for the choice of starting therapy that seeks to mitigate in any way the painful processes, both acute and chronic.
Mindfulness training has also been shown to be beneficial for patients with various musculoskeletal conditions such as chronic arthritis or osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic muscle contractures, pain control after surgery, to name a few.
In relation to the above, some relevant conceptual aspects should be highlighted.
Mindfulness practice proposes “giving up direct control.” Where the objective is not for the person to control their reactions, feelings or emotions, but to EXPERIENCE THEM AS AND WHERE THEY OCCUR. This does not imply that emotional, physiological and behavioral regulation does not take place, but simply that it is not about controlling. For this reason, the pain and difficulties in the physical or emotional functioning of these patients will continue to be present, the FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE is that THE WAY OF PERCEIVING THEM will have been transformed.
Mindfulness does not seek to control your pain or to change your physical function or emotional role. It simply aspires to REDUCE OR SUPPRESS SUFFERING, caused by pain or physical incapacity, by transforming the way it perceives them. In the words of Kabat-Zinn (2008), “consciousness cannot diminish the enormity of our pain. What it can do is provide us with a broader environment that allows us to sustain and recognize our suffering in any circumstance, which is profoundly transformative. ” That is, by transforming the subject’s perception through mindfulness, effects such as reducing pain and suffering can be produced, without being the primary objectives of mindfulness meditation.
The main objective lies in the expansion of consciousness, in this case, the body, since it is expected that as soon as a pain appears in the body, our mind worries about obtaining relief, in such a way that, if we could remove the cause of pain or mitigating it, even with very powerful pain relievers, would often be considered a much better option. However, at some point in their lives, people come to face some significant degree of pain, from which they cannot escape. There are even people who are victims of some disease or physical deterioration, for which they have to live day by day in insurmountable, and sometimes, acute pain.
One of the many things that mindfulness teaches us is the NON-PASSIVE ACCEPTANCE OF THE SITUATION presented. Accepting from an active point of view, which does not only imply sitting down to meditate, but day by day, moment by moment, demands OR PRETENDS THAT ONE IS “PRESENT” IN EVERYTHING HE DOES. Just doing one thing at a time, accepting things the way they are, without trying to change anything that cannot be changed, and trying to make the most of the benefit. What seems so complicated to achieve can be carried out consistently in formal practice first, and then added informally, in daily life. (P. Sciacca)
In short, MINDFULNESS PROPOSES A WAY OF BEING IN COUNTERPOSITION TO THE AUTOMATIC WAY OF DOING (in which the human being usually positions himself), with which one can reach the desired introspection and from there, acquire acceptance. It is required to start with one, without waiting for the others. The solution, the change, and therefore the acceptance, do not come from the outside. Only in this way, with constant practice, can acceptance and reduction of illness be achieved.
We therefore invite our entire community to come and expand their information in this regard so that in their own experience they can experience the transformative changes that this practice can bring to their lives and thus live them free from suffering and each time in a little more balance.