ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Autumn Sees More Women With Bunion Problems
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
CANCER
Herb May Counter Liver Damage From Chemo
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
Timing May Matter in Organ Donation Decisions
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Vitamin B12 Key to Aging Brain
Low-Fat Diet Does Little to Alter Cholesterol Levels
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
EYE CARE, VISION
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Blood Sugar Control Helps Diabetics Preserve Sight
FITNESS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Vitamin D and Bone Health: Are You Getting Enough of This Important Vitamin?
'Organic' May Not Mean Healthier
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Family Medicine Cabinet Top Source Of Kid's Poisonings
Wood Fires Can Harm the Youngest Lungs
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Boost In Elderly Population Will Be Felt Worldwide
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
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