ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Studies Struggle to Gauge Glucosamine's Worth
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
Tequila Plant May Help Fight Bone Loss
CANCER
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Tainted China Formula Caused High Rate of Kidney Stones in Kids
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
DIET, NUTRITION
Coffee or Tea Consumption May Lower Stroke Risk
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Staying Slim Is Good for the Environment
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
EYE CARE, VISION
Clues Found to Brain Mechanism Behind Migraines
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
FITNESS
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Hand-Washing Habits Still Need Improvement: Survey Says
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
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
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Nighttime Urination Linked to Higher Death Rate Among Elderly
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Therapies for Menopause
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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