Researchers link meditation and pain-reduction

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Studies have shown that meditation can help ease pain — one study published this year in the The Journal of Neuroscience found that meditators slashed their pain levels by 57%. Scientists, however, haven’t been sure how the mindfulness practice worked exactly to provide relief — until now.

New research has uncovered the brain mechanisms that affect our experience of pain. Mindfulness practice — the ability to observe your thoughts and feelings from an objective distance — may help ease pain, in part, by increasing activity in key brain regions linked to processing sensory information, such as the posterior insula, according to the journal Cerebral Cortex.

“During the state of mindfulness, meditators seem to be in contact with the present moment experience as it is — without reappraising or evaluating it — which seems to reduce suffering,” said lead study author Tim Gard, of Massachusetts General Hospital, in an e-mail.

Original article no longer available…

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