Fibromyalgia and compassion meditation - a study

Fibromyalgia and meditation study


This study proves that the simple act of meditation exercises reduced Fibromyalgia symptoms to a point where they were no longer felt as severe! This is great news for all Fibro fighters. 

The study compared Attachment-based Compassion Therapy (ABCT) with relaxation techniques for treating fibromyalgia. It was conducted by researchers from the University of Derby, the Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research in Italy, the Primary Care Prevention and Health Promotion Research Network, University of Zaragoza and Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu in Spain.
Fibromyalgia affects approximately three percent of adults in  Europe and the UK with more women diagnosed than men. So the researchers ran the study with 42 women diagnosed with Fibro who were split into two groups: one doing relaxation and the other doing compassion therapy.  
What is Compassion Therapy?
The Compassionate Mind Foundation, says that Compassion Therapy is:
“an evidence-based form of psychotherapy that draws upon our evolved capacity for compassion to facilitate the alleviation of human suffering”.
It was developed by Dr. Paul Gilbert, a psychologist from England who believed that compassion for ourselves and for others reduces intrusive feelings of shame and self-criticism.
Compassion therapy, in this study, used meditation exercises focusing on understanding the universality of suffering, gaining an emotional connection with other people's suffering, and the motivation to act to lessen suffering.

Fibromyalgia and compassion meditation
Meditation DOES NOT have to look like this... 
Compared to the relaxation control group, participants in the compassion therapy group demonstrated significant improvements across a range of psychological outcomes and reduced fibromyalgia symptoms by 36 percent. This is a big reduction. 
Dr. William Van Gordon, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, said: 
"The effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for fibromyalgia, such as anti-depressants, has long been questioned and can lead to unwanted side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of compassion meditation as an alternative treatment for fibromyalgia."
When the study was completed, most participants in the ABCT group, who did meditation, showed significant improvements to the point where some no longer met the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia.
"As fibromyalgia is linked with sickness-related absence from work, incapacity to work, reduced work productivity and high usage of health-care resources, these results are not only meaningful for the sufferers but could help to address the problem of absence from work and the cost implications of this."
Fibromyalgia symptoms were measured before and after the trial using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) which assesses the current health status of those with fibromyalgia syndrome in clinical and research settings.
Before the trial, both groups had an FIQ average score of over 60 which corresponds to a severe level of fibromyalgia symptoms. 
After the trial, the average score for the mediation group fell to 44, but the average score for the control group remained above 60.
In research, a reduction of 14 percent is deemed to be clinically important, but in this study the reduction in symptoms was in the order of 36 percent for fibromyalgia, 30 percent for psychological flexibility, 45 percent for anxiety, 54 percent for depression, and 38 percent for quality of life.
The amazing news is that the simple act of meditation exercises reduced Fibromyalgia symptoms to a point where they were no longer severe.

Meditation can be done anywhere
Meditation can be done anywhere in a comfy chair or lying down as well

THE VIDEO on YouTube


  1. Wow, these are some amazing results! More and more medical professionals are realizing the benefits of meditation in general, and the improvements the participants in this group saw seem to be even greater. Thanks for sharing this information!

  2. Yes Terri, amazing results! I especially like that the reduction in symptoms was in the order of 36 percent for fibromyalgia. We should all be dusting off the old meditation mats. Thanks for dropping by.


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