BanderasNews
Puerto Vallarta Weather Report
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta's liveliest website!
Contact UsSearch
Why Vallarta?Vallarta WeddingsRestaurantsWeatherPhoto GalleriesToday's EventsMaps
 NEWS/HOME
 EDITORIALS
 ENTERTAINMENT
 VALLARTA LIVING
 PV REAL ESTATE
 TRAVEL / OUTDOORS
 HEALTH / BEAUTY
 SALON & SPA SERVICES
 HEALTH FOR WOMEN
 HEALTH FOR MEN
 YOUR WELL BEING
 THE CHALLENGE CORNER
 DENTAL HEALTH
 ON ADDICTION
 RESOURCES
 SPORTS
 DAZED & CONFUSED
 PHOTOGRAPHY
 CLASSIFIEDS
 READERS CORNER
 BANDERAS NEWS TEAM
Sign up NOW!

Free Newsletter!
Puerto Vallarta News NetworkHealth & Beauty 

Thicker Brains Fend Off Pain
email this pageprint this pageemail usSylvain-Jacques Desjardins - University of Montreal
go to original
February 24, 2010



Montreal – People can reduce their sensitivity to pain by thickening their brain, according to a new study published in a special issue of the American Psychological Association journal, Emotion.

Researchers from the Université de Montréal made their discovery by comparing the grey matter thickness of Zen meditators and non-meditators. They found evidence that practicing the centuries-old discipline of Zen can reinforce a central brain region (anterior cingulate) that regulates pain.

"Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to be underlie their lower sensitivity to pain," says lead author Joshua A. Grant, a doctoral student in the Université de Montréal Department of Physiology and Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal. "We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity, which supports our previous study on how Zen meditation regulates pain."

As part of this study, scientists recruited 17 meditators and 18 non-meditators who in addition had never practiced yoga, experienced chronic pain, neurological or psychological illness. Grant and his team, under the direction of Pierre Rainville of the Université de Montréal and the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, measured thermal pain sensitivity by applying a heated plate to the calf of participants and followed by scanning the brains of subjects with structural magnetic resonance imaging. According to MRI results, central brain regions that regulate emotion and pain were significantly thicker in meditators compared to non-meditators.

"The often painful posture associated with Zen meditation may lead to thicker cortex and lower pain sensitivity," says Grant, noting that meditative practices could be helpful in general for pain management, for preventing normal age-related grey matter reductions or potentially for any condition where the grey matter is compromised such as stroke.

sylvain-jacques.desjardins(at)umontreal.ca

Partners in research: This study was supported jointly by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research and a Mind and Life Institute Varela Grant.

About the study: The article, "Cortical Thickness and Pain Sensitivity in Zen Meditators," published in the journal Emotion, was authored by Joshua A. Grant, Jérôme Courtemanche, Emma Duerden, Gary H. Duncan and Pierre Rainville of the Université de Montréal and its affiliated Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus