ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
CAREGIVING
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
Moms Who Breast-Feed Less Likely to Neglect Child
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Amino Acid May Be Key to Strong Teeth
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
Low Vitamin D Levels May Initiate Cancer Development
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Smog Tougher on the Obese
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
FITNESS
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
FDA Mandates New Warnings for Botox
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
GENERAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Eating Lots Of Vegetables, Olive Oil May Extend Life
Tune Up Your Health With Music
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
Arteries Age Twice as Fast in Smokers
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
SENIORS
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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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