A new study says people who practice Zen meditation have a lower sensitivity to pain ~ meaning they feel less of it ~ when they’re meditating and when they’re not. In other words, meditation can reduce pain.
The study was performed at the Université de Montréal, where scientists recruited 13 Zen meditators with a minimum of 1,000 hours of practice to undergo a pain test, then contrasted their reactions with 13 non-meditators. The subjects were 10 women and 16 men between the ages of 22 to 56.
In the study, a computer-controlled heating plate was pressed against the calves of subjects intermittently at varying temperatures. Heat levels began at about 110 degrees and went to a maximum of 130 degrees, depending on each participant's sensitivity.
Pain Drops 18 Percent
Scientists noticed a marked difference in how the two test groups reacted to pain testing. Zen meditators had much lower pain sensitivity ~ even without meditating ~ compared to non-meditators. During the meditation-like conditions it appeared meditators further reduced their pain partly through slower breathing: 12 breaths per minute versus an average of 15 breaths for non-meditators.
Zen meditators experienced an 18 percent reduction in pain intensity. "If meditation can change the way someone feels pain, thereby reducing the amount of pain medication required for an ailment, that would be clearly beneficial," says Justin Grant, one of the lead scientists.
Click here for the article in Medical News Today.