ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Body Fat, Muscle Distribution Linked to RA Disability
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Green Tea Compound Slowed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Vitamin E, Selenium and Soy Won't Prevent Prostate Cancer
CAREGIVING
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Caregiving May Lengthen Life
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Mediterranean Diet Helps Protect Aging Brain
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
EYE CARE, VISION
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Walk Long, Slow and Often to Help the Heart
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Scary Toxins Make Halloween Face Paints Questionable
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
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Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain

If you're trying to reduce your sensitivity to pain, Zen meditation may help by actually thickening your brain, new research suggests.

The authors of a new study, published in a special issue of the journal Emotion, reached their conclusions after comparing brain thickness in 17 Zen meditators and a control group of 18 people who didn't meditate and hadn't practiced yoga or suffered from chronic pain, brain disease or mental illness.

The researchers applied heat to the participants' calves and used MRI scans to study how their brains reacted to the pain.

"Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex, and this appears to underlie their lower sensitivity to pain," study author Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student in the University of Montreal's department of physiology, said in a news release from the school. "We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity, which supports our previous study on how Zen meditation regulates pain."

"The often painful posture associated with Zen meditation may lead to thicker cortex and lower pain sensitivity," Grant said. He added that meditation could be a way for people to manage pain, reduce age-related brain shrinkage and deal with the effects of stroke.

SOURCES: University of Montreal, news release, Feb. 24, 2010 Published on: February 26, 2010