If you ever needed a reason to get your zen on, here it is:

Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that meditating for 80 minutes is enough to reduce pain intensity by almost twice as much as morphine or other pain-relieving drugs.

After short meditation sessions, each of the study’s 18 participants reported less pain than before the sessions. On average, the subjects’ reported pain unpleasantness plummeted by 57 percent. (A dose of morphine or another pain-relieving drug only elicits a 25 percent reduction, according to the researchers.) The MRI scans, meanwhile, showed that meditation led to a drastic change in brain activity. Before the exercises, the primary area of the brain that helps regulate pain lit up intensely.  After meditation, scientists couldn’t detect any activity there at all.

Photo: CC BY Drab Makyo


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