ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Beware of Dog Bites
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Many Americans Fall Short on Their Vitamin D
CANCER
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
MRSA Infections Spreading to Kids in Community
Robots May Come to Aging Boomers' Rescue
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Trans-Fat Ban In New York City Is Proving successful
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Oregano Shown to be the Most Powerful Culinary Herb
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
Walkable Neighborhoods Keep the Pounds Off
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
When Gauging Age, the Eyes Have It
FITNESS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
MRSA Infections Can Bug Fitness Buffs
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Music Therapy For Prehistoric Man?
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'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
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
Green Tea May Help Brain Cope With Sleep Disorders
Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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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