Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmidt

Mindfulness and chronic pain

Results from Clinical Studies

The transference of the practice and concept of mindfulness from Eastern Buddhist into Modern Western society is reconsidered. The underlying question is whether mindfulness as practiced in the ancient Buddhist tradition is still compatible with its modern expressions in the Western world. Interesting in this aspect is the incorporation of mindfulness into science.


This will be demonstrated by three clinical studies where chronic pain patients suffering from fibromyalgia, back pain or migraine were treated with mindfulness based interventions. Most patients showed only slight improvements regarding the specific pain symptoms but strong improvements on measures of general quality of life and psychological functioning. These results demonstrate that mindfulness based interventions result in increased coping abilities and less suffering.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Schmidt

received his PhD from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 2002 in psychology with a thesis on distant intentionality experiments. He is Head of the Academic Section for Evaluation of Complementary Medicine at the University Medical Center, Freiburg and also leads the Center for Mindfulness, Meditation and Neuroscience Research at the Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.


He holds the Jan Heymans Chair for Exceptional Human Experiences at the University for Humanistics, Utrecht. He is conducting research at the interface of health, spirituality and consciousness using many different methods. His primary research areas are mindfulness and health, meditation research, complementary and alternative medicine and psychological interventions.