A pilot randomized control trial investigating the effect of mindfulness practice on pain tolerance, psychological well-being, and physiological activity

Jessica Kingston, Paul Chadwick, Daniel Meron, T Chas Skinner

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127 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of mindfulness training on pain tolerance, psychological well-being, physiological activity, and the acquisition of mindfulness skills.

METHODS: Forty-two asymptomatic University students participated in a randomized, single-blind, active control pilot study. Participants in the experimental condition were offered six (1-h) mindfulness sessions; control participants were offered two (1-h) Guided Visual Imagery sessions. Both groups were provided with practice CDs and encouraged to practice daily. Pre-post pain tolerance (cold pressor test), mood, blood pressure, pulse, and mindfulness skills were obtained.

RESULTS: Pain tolerance significantly increased in the mindfulness condition only. There was a strong trend indicating that mindfulness skills increased in the mindfulness condition, but this was not related to improved pain tolerance. Diastolic blood pressure significantly decreased in both conditions.

CONCLUSION: Mindfulness training did increase pain tolerance, but this was not related to the acquisition of mindfulness skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-300
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Adult
  • Affect/physiology
  • Arousal/physiology
  • Awareness/physiology
  • Blood Pressure/physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy
  • Male
  • Meditation/psychology
  • Pain Threshold/physiology
  • Pilot Projects
  • Practice, Psychological
  • Pulse
  • Quality of Life/psychology
  • Single-Blind Method

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