MAT: Meditation Assisted Treatment

What if meditation was used the same was medication is used? Increasingly, mental health and medical practitioners are turning to meditation and other mindfulness based practices. For centuries, a regular meditative practice has been seen by eastern cultures as preventative medicine. The opioid epidemic around the world is reaching a peak in its crisis. MAT, medically assisted treatment often comes under fire for keeping a patient attached to opioid treatment. Today, doctors are imagining a world of a different kind of MAT, meditation assisted treatment.

Chronic pain management through opioid prescription is a sharp tack in the wider conversation about addiction treatment. Patients do not need to suffer pain senselessly if they are proven to find relief in responsible use of opioid medications. However, doctors who have been incorporating mindful practices into their wellness regimens for patients are making an incredible discovery. In patients suffering mild to moderate on the scale of chronic pain, meditation is being used as a replacement for prescription medication. Of course, this is not going to be the case for every patient.

Patients who undergo mindfulness based treatment see over 20% more success in alleviating pain than those who do not. Treatment can include mindfulness based stress reduction, cognitive behavioral therapy, and meditation. Using these practices not only promotes wellness and reduces pain, but change the body in very real ways.

MRI of a brain meditating revealed that areas containing a wealth of opioid receptors are activated. Other research finds that pain is less pronounced after mindfulness training. Science continues to investigate this important revelation.

Why it matters

Continuing to investigate the practical roles mindfulness and meditation can fulfill in treating illnesses is a necessary turn in history. Voluntary interest in alternative medicine that doesn’t include a pharmacy is a step away from modern practices; quite literally connecting the industry to its roots. The debate is not black and white. It isn’t about opioid or nonopioid, meditation or medication. Instead, it is about discovering what works. For many people at different levels, meditation and mindfulness practices work. Scientifically, that makes the topics worth evaluating.

We believe in trying on new ideas to see if they fit. That’s why we offer an array of both mindfulness based therapies and evidence based practices in our programs for addiction treatment and recovery. For more information about our programs call 323-207-0276.

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