If it is really true that the world-renown artist, Prince, recently died from an opiod addiction, then he represents a growing trend in America caused by a dangerous class of pharmaceutical drugs. Just months after his untimely death, we learn from a peer-reviewed scientific study that meditation is not only better than morphine for treating pain, but that this practice can even bypass the opiod receptors which so commonly give relief to those suffering chronically, even from pain like Prince must have endured.

Opiods on Steroids

A single, ruthless pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, was likely the catalyst for the rampant use of opiod painkillers we see in America today, and the problem seems to be growing at an exponential rate. Americans now consume almost all of the opiod drugs made globally.

You would think the doctor who prescribed Prince the most powerful opiod pain killer (Fentanyl) on the market would be an exception in the medical world, but sadly, the pharmaceutical industry uses ever more aggressive tactics to push doctors to prescribe high-level opioids for all manner of complaints, including minor aches and pains for which they are clearly unnecessary. This is part of the reason there were over 300 million pain drug prescriptions written last year. With a $24 billion-plus market at stake, Prince’s health wasn’t a major concern, and nor is most American’s.

Ditch Big Pharma for an Effortless Presence

What is even more alarming, is that Big Pharma’s greed could be abruptly halted with a simple, age-old practice. Even in recent comparisons with a placebo, meditation significantly reduced pain – better than morphine. You can use Shinkantaza, Zen, Vippassana – name your poison, it would still be less toxic than an opiod drug.

Meditation employs distinct neural mechanisms, as scientists explain:

“Specifically, mindfulness meditation-induced pain relief activated higher-order brain regions, including the orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. In contrast, placebo analgesia was associated with decreased pain-related brain activation. These findings demonstrate that mindfulness meditation reduces pain through unique mechanisms and may foster greater acceptance of meditation as an adjunct pain therapy.”

But then there’s a study which could arguably be the nail in Big Pharma’s coffin if the information contained in it were shared with enough people.

Wen G. Chen, Ph.D. and Program Director at the Division of Extramural Research at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health argues that the opiod prescription drug industry (worth over $3 trillion annually) effectively alters our experience of pain by engaging the opiod receptors in the brain – but there is a more effective way of helping to eliminate pain for chronic sufferers.

Without Even Understanding How it Works, Scientists Confirm Meditation Eliminates Pain

In an NCCIH-funded study published in The Journal of Neuroscience today, Dr. Fadel Zeidan and his colleagues at Wake Forest School of Medicine and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center presented a shocking finding that mindfulness meditation achieves its pain relief-effect without engaging the opioid receptors in the brain.

Brian imaging has already shown that mindfulness meditation (concentration on the breath, and a non-judgmental attitude towards thoughts that arise during the practice) has been effective at modulating pain, but Dr. Zeidan’s study proved that even when blocking the opioid receptors in the brain by naloxone during meditation, they failed to block the pain-relief effect of mindfulness meditation.

Opiod Drugs

More than 300,000 prescriptions for painkillers were given in the US last year.

The researchers were not yet able to determine the exact biochemical pathways in which the brain was able to block pain through meditation, and bypass the opiod receptors, but it is clear that there is a non-opiod process to eliminate suffering – and thus the need for even a single Big Pharma opiod painkiller.

The CDC, often referred to as a corrupt government agency, just released a report called the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain—United States, 2016 which indicates prescription opioid drugs present serious risks, both medically and socially.

If Prince, and millions of American’s were just shown how to practice mindfulness meditation, the analgesic effect would make Big Pharma’s dangerous drugs not only undesirable, but a moot point.

Meditation even reverses opiod addiction – so Prince might not have had to spend hours dead on an elevator in Paisley Park.

We’re breaking new ground here. Learn how to practice mindfulness meditation, and you can clean out that medicine cabinet – or crank out some more jaunty musical greatness. Either act beats the opiod addiction that has America in its death grip.

Photo credit: psychologytoday.com