According to a recent Canadian study, Zen meditation practitioners may find that their sensitivity to pain is lowered.
It was found that there was thickening of some areas of the central brain, more precisely the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC).
This area of the brain that facilitates communication between the left and right parts of the brain is seen to help the body maintain blood pressure and heart rate, rational thinking, decision making and empathy.
It was found that this ACC areaâ€™s thickening was perhaps the reason for the reduction in this sensitivity. Brain scans were performed on two groups, one consisting of Zen meditators and the other who had never practiced yoga or meditation. The two groups reacted differently to the pain stimulus that was then applied. The meditators having thickened cortexes was seen to be linked with their reactions. It was concluded that the thickened cortexes were what helped lower pain sensitivity in the Zen practitioners.
While this is a small study, Zen meditation has shown numerous benefits that can accrue from it; and numerous reasons why it could be incorporated into oneâ€™s daily activities. It can calm and center the mind, reduce stress and offer actual and physical benefits for health.