London, UK -- The Buddhist relaxation technique used by hippies in the Sixties has been found to make pain less unpleasant and reduce its emotional impact.
<< COMBATING chronic pain could be a case of meditation over matter.
A study at the University of Manchester found that particular areas of the brain were less active as meditators anticipated pain, which was caused by a laser device. Those with longer meditation experience – up to 35 years – anticipated the pain the least.
Dr Christopher Brown, who carried out the research, said: “Meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events.
“This may be why (it) is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain worse.”
He said the findings should encourage further research. “Although meditators anticipate pain less and find pain less unpleasant, it’s not clear how meditation changes brain function produce these effects.”
Meditation is an increasingly popular way of treating chronic pain such as that caused by arthritis, which affects 10 million adults a year.