CE Workshop 01: Mindfulness Meditation Induced Analgesia Engages Multiple Unique Brain Mechanisms

Course Date: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Course Time: 09:00 - 12:00 (09:00 AM - 12:00 PM)

Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Credit Hours: 3
Instructor(s) Fadel Zeidan

Level of Instruction: Advanced

Fadel Zeidan, PhD

Associate Professor of Anesthesiology

UC San Diego

Location: Town & Country Ballroom B

Credit Hours: 3.0

Level of Instruction: Advanced

CE Workshop 01: Mindfulness Meditation Induced Analgesia Engages Multiple Unique Brain Mechanisms

Abstract & Learning Objectives:

For millenniums, mindfulness was believed to diminish pain by reducing the influence of self-appraisals of noxious sensations. Today, mindfulness meditation is a highly popular and effective pain therapy that is believed to engage multiple, nonplacebo-related mechanisms to attenuate pain. Recent evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation-induced pain relief is associated with the engagement of unique cortico-thalamo-cortical nociceptive filtering mechanisms. The proposed talk will provide a succinct, yet comprehensive delineation demonstrating that brief mindfulness-based mental training significantly reduces acutely evoked chronic low back pain through non-opioidergic mechanisms. Recent findings indicate that mindfulness-based pain relief, after brief mental training, can significantly uncouple self-referential from nociceptive neural mechanisms, an important finding for the millions of individuals seeking a fast-acting and non-pharmacologic pain treatment.

Upon conclusion of this course, learners will be able to:

1. Recognize if mindfulness reduces pain

2. Describe brain mechanisms supporting mindfulness-based pain relief

3. List the physiological systems supporting mindfulness

Speaker Biography:

Dr. Fadel Zeidan, is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at UC San Diego and Director of the Brain Mechanisms of Pain and Health Laboratory. He is also Co-Founder and Neuroscience Director of the newly formed UC San Diego Psychedelic Health and Research Initiative. His research is focused on determining the active mechanisms that mediate the relationship between self-regulatory practices and health.


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5.         Wells, R.E., et al., Attention to breath sensations does not engage endogenous opioids to reduce pain. Pain, 2020. 161(8): p. 1884-1893.

6.         Zeidan, F., et al., Effects of brief and sham mindfulness meditation on mood and cardiovascular variables. J Altern Complement Med, 2010. 16(8): p. 867-73.

7.         Zeidan, F., et al., The effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on experimentally induced pain. J Pain, 2010. 11(3): p. 199-209.

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9.         Zeidan, F., et al., Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain. Neurosci Lett, 2012. 520(2): p. 165-73.

10.       Zeidan, F., et al., Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 2014. 9(6): p. 751-9.

11.       Zeidan, F., et al., Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia. J Neurosci, 2015. 35(46): p. 15307-25.

12.       Zeidan, F. and D.R. Vago, Mindfulness meditation-based pain relief: a mechanistic account. Ann N Y Acad Sci, 2016. 1373(1): p. 114-27.

13.       Zeidan, F., et al., Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids. J Neurosci, 2016. 36(11): p. 3391-7.

14.       Zeidan, F., et al., Neural mechanisms supporting the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and pain. Pain, 2018. 159(12): p. 2477-2485.

15.       Zeidan, F., J.N. Baumgartner, and R.C. Coghill, The neural mechanisms of mindfulness-based pain relief: a functional magnetic resonance imaging-based review and primer. Pain Rep, 2019. 4(4): p. e759.