ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Acupuncture May Trigger Natural Painkiller
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
A Winning Strategy to Beat Spring Sporting Injuries
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
U.S. Diet Needs Heart-Felt Overhaul
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D Best Taken With Largest Meal of Day, Study Finds
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Swine Flu Fatality Rate a 'Little Bit' Higher Than That of Seasonal Flu
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Optimism May Boost Immune System
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
SENIORS
Seniors Who Volunteer May Live Longer
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Add your Article

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