Some physicians claim stress is the original source of all illness. Even in cases where illness or the source of pain isn't caused by stress, stress-reduction techniques can promote healing and reduce the experience of pain. In one study conducted by the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, after an eight-week training period in the clinic during which patients were taught a variety of stress-management relaxation techneques, 75 percent of patients with chronic pain achieved a 33 percent reduction in their pain (according to how they rated their pain on a questionnaire), and 61 percent of pain patients achieved at least a 50 percent reduction in their pain. In addition, most showed an improvement in their ability to engage in normal activities and a drop in negative mood states.
Meditation is a basic relaxation technique. It is more than that, of course, but it is at least that!