Meditation can be better than morphine at easing pain.
A study has found 80 minutes of meditation training can quickly and effectively quell pain - and do it better than some of the most powerful drugs.
For the study, 15 healthy people who had never meditated before attended four, 20-minute classes to learn a technique called focus attention. The training showed them how to concentrate on their breathing and let go of distracting thoughts and emotions.
They also underwent a series of brain scans, as a heated probe was pressed against their leg, gradually raising the skin temperature to a painful 32C (120F). Meditation greatly reduced the amount of pain they said they were in and its unpleasantness, the Journal of Neuroscience reports.
The scans taken after meditation training showed a calming of brain regions involved in creating the feeling of where and how intense a painful stimulus is. And during meditation, this important pain-processing region appeared to be switched off completely.