Indian Express: Scientists have found that meditation can reduce anxiety by as much as 39 per cent and have also identified the brain functions involved.
Buddhist monks and Zen masters, have known for years that meditation can lower anxiety, but the mechanism has not been clear, until now.
“Although we’ve known that meditation can reduce anxiety, we hadn’t identified the specific brain mechanisms involved in relieving anxiety in healthy individuals,” said Fadel Zeidan, postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
“In this study, we were able to see which areas of the brain were…
When Subhana Barzaghi was a midwife she taught breathing and meditation techniques to relieve the pain caused by contractions.
“Most of us have a habitual reaction to pain – an aversion that we react against,” Subhana, who is now a meditation teacher at North Sydney’s Bluegum Sangha, explains.
“Meditation teaches us to observe rather than get caught up in the strong sensations we are experiencing. We learn to stop labeling and therefore stop reacting. In this way, instead of tightening up against it and resisting, which causes further tension, we start to soften into it. As we do this, the pain can begin to soften and subside.”
Recently, the 5000 year old intuitive teachings of … Read more »
Melinda Beck: How you think about pain can have a major impact on how it feels.
That’s the intriguing conclusion neuroscientists are reaching as scanning technologies let them see how the brain processes pain.
That’s also the principle behind many mind-body approaches to chronic pain that are proving surprisingly effective in clinical trials.
Some are as old as meditation, hypnosis and tai chi, while others are far more high tech. In studies at Stanford University’s Neuroscience and Pain Lab, subjects can watch their own brains react to pain in real-time and learn to control their response—much like building up a muscle …
Adam Cole, NPR: Meditation has long been touted as a holistic approach to pain relief. And studies show that long-time meditators can tolerate quite a bit of pain.
Now researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have found you don’t have to be a lifelong Buddhist monk to pull it off. Novices were able to tame pain after just a few training sessions.
Sounds a bit mystical, we know, but researchers using a special type of brain imaging were also able to see changes in the brain activity of newbies. Their conclusion? “A little over an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation,” Fadel Zeidan, a … Read more »
Many people see meditation as an exotic form of daydreaming, or a quick fix for a stressed-out mind. My advice to them is, try it.
Meditation is difficult, at least to begin with. On my first attempt, instead of concentrating on my breathing and letting go of anything that came to mind, as instructed by my cheery Tibetan teacher, I got distracted by a string of troubled thoughts, then fell asleep. Apparently, this is normal for first-timers. Experienced meditators will assure you that it is worth persisting, however.
“Training allows us to transform the mind, to overcome destructive emotions and to dispel suffering,” says Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard. “The numerous and profound methods that Buddhism … Read more »
You don’t have to be a Buddhist monk to experience the health benefits of meditation. According to a new study, even a brief crash course in meditative techniques can sharply reduce a person’s sensitivity to pain.
In the study, researchers mildly burned 15 men and women in a lab on two separate occasions, before and after the volunteers attended four 20-minute meditation training sessions over the course of four days. During the second go-round, when the participants were instructed to meditate, they rated the exact same pain stimulus — a 120-degree heat on their calves — as being 57 percent less unpleasant and 40 percent less intense, on average.
“That’s pretty dramatic,” says Fadel Zeidan, … Read more »
Meditation is a known painkiller, easing people’s pain perception even after brief sessions. Now a study reveals why: Meditation changes the way the brain processes pain signals.
In a study presented Nov. 16 in San Diego at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, researchers reported that practicing a mindful awareness of the body and consciousness for just four days affects pain responses in the brain.
Brain activity decreases in areas devoted to the painful body part and in areas responsible for relaying sensory information. Meanwhile, regions that modulate pain get busy, and volunteers report that pain is less intense and less unpleasant.
Earlier studies suggested meditation reduces anxiety, promotes relaxation and helps people … Read more »
Welcome to our new format of news, which is more of a news round-up, often with links to several stories in one post.
The Times of India has a couple of stories about meditation. One is based on an article by University of North Carolina (Charlotte) psychologists Fadel Zeidan, Nakia S. Gordon, Junaid Merchant and Paula Goolkasian, in the current issue of The Journal of Pain. The study found that relatively short and simple mindfulness meditation training — one hour of training spread out over a three day period — can have a significant positive effect on pain management.
Alicia W. Roberts: Even brief sessions can help with multitasking, dealing with deadlines – and pain relief, too
Fadel Zeidan has proven that minimal training in meditation can lessen the perception of pain in research subjects.
He also has shown that similarly brief sessions of meditation can increase cognitive function – the ability to multitask, recall items in a series and complete tests on a deadline.
Now, he wants to find out why even short stints of meditation affect the brain that way.
As a post-doctoral fellow at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, Zeidan is building on research he started at UNC Charlotte. Using…
We have long believed that a cup of coffee every morning can make us more awake, yet a newly published study suggests that brief meditation can prepare us for the day just the same.
In past research, neuroimaging technology has shown that meditation techniques can promote significant changes in brain areas associated with concentration, but it was thought that the effect required extensive training to achieve.
However, according to the new research, the benefits may be achievable with much less effort. It suggests that the mind may be more easily trained to focus than we previously believed.
Psychologists found that participants who meditated for 20 minutes a day for four days showed an evident improvement … Read more »